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Cairo: A Bahraini court has sentenced two defendants to one year in prison each after convicting them of forging coronavirus-detecting test documents, a prosecution official has said.

The pair were arrested after they presented fake documents alleging they had tested negative for the coronavirus while attempting to use the King Fahd Causeway to move from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.

In investigations, the defendants admitted to have forged the documents and were referred to a trial at the Fourth Criminal Major Court, said prosecution chief in the city of Al Muharraq in north Bahrain. The ruling can be appealed.

“Tampering with results of the coronavirus test and related documents constitute a crime of forgery in official documents. It is a grave crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison,” the official added.

Travellers using the King Fahd Causeway are required to undergo PCR testing 72 hours before entry.

The 25km-long causeway was shut in March last year as part of a string of measures to fight the spread of COVID-19. The facility was reopened four months later.

The bridge was inaugurated in 1986 and has since been vital for movement between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, two members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.