Deputy commissioner of Detective Branch (Rajshahi) Arefin Jewel confirmed the information to the media on Thursday.

“The group used to blackmail foreign bound passengers by informing them their samples came out to be positive and subsequently charged a huge amount in exchange for a Covid-19 negative certificate,” he said.

“They used to charge Tk 3,000-15,000 depending on the situation," he added.

Tarique Hasan, office assistant of Rajshahi Civil Surgeon was the ringleader of the group and he used to collect the information of people conducting Covid-19 tests in the division using his official connections.

Later, Samsunnahar used to call people to inform them they have tested positive and demand a huge amount in exchange of Covid-19 negative certificate, the detective explained.

“It is learned that the expatriates who used to give samples for corona tests had only 48 to 72 hours to submit their papers. The gang exploited this situation,” Arefin added.

They were arrested from the Hetemkha Kalabagan area of the city and three of their associates are currently on the run, he added.

The officer also said that 100 fake certificates were seized during the raid.

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