Two tourists convicted of presenting false COVID-19 tests, one whilst positive

Two British women banned from entering Europe for three years after pleading guilty to travelling to Malta with a forged COVID-19 test results

File Photo
File Photo

Two young British women have been fined and banned from entering Europe for three years after pleading guilty to travelling to Malta with a forged COVID-19 test result. One of the women was later found to be COVID-19 positive.

Before magistrate Astrid May Grima, Principal Immigration Officer Frankie Sammut accused British citizens Kieanna Barnes, 21, and Victoria Chidibere Ajuda, 23, of making a false declaration to the immigration authorities on 22 July at the airport.

The prosecutor presented the court with the results of COVID-19 tests relating to the accused amongst other documents.

He explained that the women presented forged COVID-19 tests as they arrived in Malta. “One of them was COVID-19 positive. They were quarantined and then arrested,” he said.

“I would like to apologise. What we were doing was very stupid and selfish,” said Barnes choking back tears.

The Magistrate reprimanded the women. “What you did could endanger other people as well as yourself.”

Defence lawyer Etienne Calleja said the girls had been going to Ibiza but there was a cancellation and they had decided to come to Malta instead. “We have all done stupid things in life when their age,” he said.

In his submissions on punishment, the lawyer asked the court to take into account the age of the accused, their background, the fact that they stayed in quarantine without any trouble and their immediate cooperation with the authorities.

They will be banned from entering Europe for three years and have paid for hotel stay at considerable expense, he said. “The justice system should look upon the accused with as much grace as possible.”

The court after briefly retiring to chambers to consider the case, said it was finding them guilty but was also taking into consideration the sincere apologies given by the accused. The young women were fined €900 each.