California father and son on Sunday were arrested at Honolulu’s airport and charged with trying to get around the isolated state’s Safe Travel Program with phony documentation after allegedly showing officials fake COVID-19 passports.
57-year-old Norbert Chung and 19-year-old Trevor Chung flew to Hawaii for vacation and were taken into custody at the airport.
Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, visitors are required to present proof or document of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to avoid a 10-day quarantine.
According to prosecutors of the case, the arrests were made after receiving a tip from a community member.
The Chung's were taken back to California to undergo the COVID-19 test. They both tested negative and were returned to Hawaii where they were going through the court system.
It was not revealed why the father and son flew back to the mainland for their coronavirus tests or why they allegedly resorted to phony documentation.
“To come to Hawaii and spend thousands of dollars on a trip and hotel and airfare and the money you’re going to spend to enjoy paradise, you’re going to risk that and spend even more money, because you put yourself, your family and others in jeopardy,” Arthur Logan, special agent of criminal investigations for the Department of Attorney General, said.
If the Chung's are found guilty of falsifying vaccination documents, they might be subjected to a $5,000 fine and/or a year in prison.
“Part of that task force, our job is to investigate community complaints that come in about what’s going on with visitors that may or may not be cooperating,” Logan revealed.
“There are multiple investigations that we have and are continuing to do. This is the first one that culminated in the arrests such as we have, but that’s not to say there are more to follow", he added.
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