‘Hundreds’ of fake Covid exemptions: Cops

A Queensland woman will face court after she allegedly pretended to be a doctor and issued 600 fake Covid-19 ‘medical exemptions’.

A Toowoomba woman will face court after she allegedly pretended to be a doctor and sold hundreds of fake “exemptions” for Covid-19 testing, receiving a vaccine or wearing a face mask.

Acting on a tip-off from a member of the public, Queensland Police Task Force Sierra Linnet, in conjunction with Gold Coast Detectives, on Wednesday arrested the 45-year-old Darling Heights woman in Labrador and charged her with multiple offences.

Detective Acting Inspector Damien Powell said on Thursday the woman admitted to allegedly selling approximately 600 “exemption certificates” to people from across the country for up to $150 each.

He said it wasn’t yet clear if people who paid for the certificates were aware they were not genuine, but anyone who had could potentially be charged with fraud-related offences.

Detective Acting Inspector Powell said the woman told police she believes she “hasn’t done anything wrong”, was “entitled” to issue the certificates and does not think people should be “forced” into vaccinations.

He said the woman held a PhD research doctorate but was not a medical practitioner and was not registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or Medicare.

She was charged under Health Practitioner Regulation National Law with five counts of taking a title indicating a person is a health practitioner.

She is the first person in Queensland to be charged with this offence.

Detective Acting Inspector Powell said she now faced a fine of up to $10,000 and potential jail time.

The arrest came after police executed a search warrant at an address on Robert St, Labrador, on the Gold Coast.

It will be alleged the woman told police she has issued approximately 600 false medical “exemption certificates” in relation to Covid-19.

The woman is scheduled to appear at the Southport Magistrates Court in Brisbane on Thursday, October 28.

Investigations continue.

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