Two men who passed themselves off as senior citizens in order to get vaccinated against Covid-19 are in prison and awaiting trial.
On Wednesday, a Mexico City judge ordered the two men to stand trial on charges of identity theft as well as falsification, alteration or improper use of identification documents. The judge remanded the men in custody and granted prosecutors a period of one month to complete their investigation.
Christian Alberto Nieva Gómez, 35, and Rubén Morales Zerecero, 31, allegedly went to a vaccination center in the Mexico City borough of Coyoacán on March 27 and passed themselves off as the latter’s uncle and father, respectively, according to the TV Azteca news website.
According to preliminary investigations, they presented birth certificates and citizen identification (CURP) numbers that corresponded to Morales’ relatives.
Wearing face masks, plastic face shields, gloves, sweaters with hoods and dark glasses, the men managed to deceive officials at the vaccination center and both received shots.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that the men had also dyed their hair and eyebrows gray.
After the men had received their shots and were in the vaccination center’s observation area, a federal official became suspicious that they weren’t who they said they were. Their documents were checked again, and the official noted that the two men’s voices weren’t those of senior citizens.
Police were immediately notified and the men were arrested.
“What they did was falsify official documents, and that’s a criminal offense,” Sheinbaum said on Wednesday. “That’s the reason they’re in custody.”
The two men have connections and some renown in Latin America’s video gaming e-sports world, according to TV Azteca.
A video gaming news website said Morales, who is also the son of Mexican TV actress Aida Pierce, has been one of the best videogame players in Latin America during the past two decades.
He made a splash in the videogaming world at age 15 in 2005 as a third-place winner in the FIFA esports world championships and became popular enough that he was featured in commercials for the Xbox live videogaming platform in Latin America in 2015. He most has recently worked for the videogame company EA Sports on content creation.
Nieva also has worked for EA Sports and is known for working on the development and localization team for Latin America.