More than 1,000 people were injected with a fake Covid-19 vaccine allegedly imported by a Pakistani man with business interests in Campeche.
According to a report by the newspaper Reforma, fake Sputnik V vaccines were imported by Mohamad Yusuf Amdani Bai – considered one of the richest people in Honduras – and administered to workers at a Campeche textile factory he owns.
Fake vaccine doses were also reportedly given to other people close to Amdani, including company executives and politicians.
In addition, taxi drivers and merchants, some of whom are from Mérida, Yucatán, and Mexico City, received shots of the fake vaccine, Reforma said.
People close to Amdani, who has cultivated relationships with Campeche politicians since he began investing in the Gulf coast state at the start of the century, were reportedly given the fake vaccine shots at a hotel he owns in Campeche city as well as a private medical practice, also located in the state capital.
They were administered starting March 10 at the Ocean View Hotel and the clinic and March 15 at Grupo Karim’s textile factory. Reforma spoke to two people who received fake shots, both of whom expressed concerns about the health consequences of being injected with an unknown substance.
News of the fake vaccine shots comes after customs at Campeche airport last week seized 5,775 doses of fake Sputnik V vaccine hidden beneath a shipment of soft drinks.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, thanked Mexican authorities for the seizure of the fake vaccines.
“Analysis of the photographs of the seized batch, including the design of containers and labels, suggests that it is a fake substance which has nothing to do with the original vaccine,” the fund said in a statement.
After the seizure of the fake doses, Amdani’s textile factory closed its doors and workers were given vacations until April 4, Reforma said.
The businessman is under investigation by the federal Attorney General’s Office in connection with the fake vaccines.
The federal government reached an agreement with Russia in January to purchase 24 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine but only 400,000 have arrived so far.
Just over 5.9 million vaccine doses had been administered in Mexico by Tuesday night, mainly to health workers and seniors.
Source: Reforma (sp)