COVID-19: Dutch man arrested for allegedly selling live coronavirus for self-infection

A Dutch man has been arrested for allegedly offering to sell live coronavirus on the internet for self-infection.

A website police say the suspect used for his operation has been shut down, the anti-fraud unit of the Ministry of Finance (FIOD) reported in The Hague.

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Saturday that a so-called corona kit was offered to be sent by post for €33.50 (NZ$56).

The kit allegedly contained a tube with a virus liquid and a self-test.

The Netherlands requires people aged 13 or older to show a COVID certificate which allows them to go to a bar or restaurant, an event, the cinema or theatre, or to a sports match.

You can get a COVID certificate with proof of a negative test or proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from coronavirus within the last year.  

The suppliers promised the viruses were not older than three months and buyers could be "sure that the latest mutations and variants are included", De Telegraaf reported.

Potential buyers were promised that after self-infection and overcoming the disease, they could obtain a COVID certificate from the health authorities according to the FIOD.

The suspect has since been released, the ministry said.

"Further investigation will have to show whether he sold anything and if so how much and if it works at all," an FIOD spokesperson told the ANP news agency.

The healthcare authority warned against self-infection:

"Those who deliberately infect themselves are culpably putting public health at risk," a spokeswoman said.