54gene tackles imitation of COVID test results, creates validation portal


Later that day, over the phone with him, as I introduce myself, he goes, “it is N40,000”; barely allowing me to finish as if he has been waiting for my call.

Like his colleague at the airport, he is not going to collect N10,000, saying it is “too small”, but not without a note of apology. After much persuasion to reconsider the price, he finally settles for N25,000.

“Just send your details, I will get your name in our system and give you your result. Send me your passport page, when you are travelling, then I will send you my account number so that as you are paying the money, I will send the result to you,” he says, adding on a final note: “N25,000 last”.

He also informs me I will get my result latest by 9 pm, and “you can use (it) and travel”. But because I still need to be certain the result will be a ‘genuine fake’, I ask him, “hope it will be authentic (and) they won’t stop me at the airport.”

Laughter comes rolling from the other end as if he is mocking my diffidence. “Do something so that you go and use it and travel. Nothing will happen to you. Don’t worry.”

He would later forward his GTB account via text message and, while I was signing off on the phone call with him, he immediately chips in: “Hello, hello, I have done this thing for many people and nobody has failed, so you will not fail. They have been travelling.”


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Author: Charles

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