A father and his son flying to Hawaii from Los Angeles were arrested as soon as they had landed after allegedly presenting fake documents to bypass the state’s mandatory quarantine policy.
The allegation: Norbert Chung, 57, and Trevor Chung, 19, of the Pacific Palisades, are accused of using bogus COVID-19 vaccine cards to get around Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program, which requires visitors to present a vaccine card or a negative COVID-19 test result in order to avoid a 10-day quarantine.
- The Chungs were arrested at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Aug. 8 after someone sent authorities a tip.
- The Chungs’ attorney told KHON 2 that following their arrest, the father-and-son duo returned to California, got tested for COVID-19, received negative results and flew back to Oahu, where they are now going through the court system.
What authorities are saying: Local authorities said the Chungs’ arrests are the first of its kind in Hawaii, which currently has the highest rate of COVID-19 transmission — 1.6 — in the U.S.
- This reproduction rate, or rate of spread, means every person who gets COVID-19 passes the coronavirus to 1.6 other individuals on average. “That is very, very high,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, referring to how a reproduction rate above 1 means that the coronavirus is spreading very quickly, according to Hawaii News Now.
- Hawaii’s Attorney General has created a task force to catch offenders of the Safe Travel Program, which came to effect in October 2020. “Attorney General investigators are committed to ensuring all such leads are investigated and thank the community for their assistance and support,” the AG’s office said in a statement, according to AP News.
- It remains unclear why the Chungs allegedly resorted to faking their documents or why they returned to California to get tested. If convicted, they each face a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a year in prison.
Featured Images via Hawaii Attorney General’s Office