From the sanitary collapse to the puff of masks

Image of a toilet protected with PPE. / C7

Anti-corruption and the Court of Auditors purge the responsibilities of companies and institutions that could have taken advantage of a critical situation in the Spanish health system during the state of alarm

Francisco Jose Fajardo

It was New Year's Eve 2019 when in a Chinese city named Wuhan, the Municipal Health Commission reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in its population. Was the
first alert about a virus that was acquiring a remarkable prevalence and that already raised suspicions among those responsible for the WHO. On March 11, the health authorities considered covid-19 a pandemic and it spread until the first case was registered in Spain on January 31, specifically a German tourist who was on vacation, precisely,
on the island of La Gomera.

The seriousness of the matter, the escalation of positives, the number of deaths and the lack of knowledge about something new, motivated urgent and drastic actions and, therefore, on March 14
The Government of Spain decreed a state of alarm and a historical confinement. In parallel, on March 18, the Canary Islands Government Health Department gave the green light to carry out the necessary emergency actions and, in this way,
The ban on the acquisition of medical supplies was opened wherever and however it was to protect the professionals who played it inside and outside the hospital centers of the islands.

This opening for the purchase of material caused the offer to multiply and, consequently, acquiring these products in the national market became an impossible mission. Thus
trade crossed our borders and, with it, dozens of companies saw imports as a
golden opportunity to do business in a time when the world was confined.

In such a way that the Government of Spain had transferred to the communities the direct purchase of sanitary material, expressly expanding
the emergency procedure for hiring, many entrepreneurs began to offer products that they would bring from other continents.

The
The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands was overwhelmed Yused an agile purchase system via telephone, but - as the
Audience of Accounts draft report- Lacking the minimum and elementary control systems over the companies awarded the files without publicity or competition. At this time was born
case Masks that
investigates the Anticorruption Prosecutor and the Court of Accountswhich examine whether the Administration incurred in any allegedly punishable act, as well as the
companies that were awarded the contracts.

According to this document, on February 25, 2020, the General Directorate of Economic Resources of the Canary Islands Health Service
d authorized the first contract exceeding the thresholds established in the emergency regulations, without it being recorded that authorization had been requested from the Government of the Canary Islands. He went to the ACJ company and
they paid just over two million for the purchase of waterproof gowns.

This dynamic became habitual until on May 25 they signed a
verbal agreement -according to the awardees-
with the company RR7 United SL, a limited company with fiscal domicile in the office of its advisor, with 3,000 euros of capital and whose purpose was the purchase and sale of vehicles. The commitment made with the SCS was the importation of a million FFP3 masks of the brand
3M model 1860 for four million eurosthat is, four euros each.
The money was transferred in two payments in advance at the request of this company to be able to access a complicated market due to the great existing demand.

But despite the fact that the agreement contemplated that said merchandise should be in the archipelago in a short period of time, it was extended month by month, until the SCS
sent an email to RR7 United SL on December 3 requesting information on the date of receipt of the material.

Names and surnames

In this space of time the rest of the
leading actors of this case Masks.

On one side was
Samuel Machín, an intermediary who acted as a liaison between businessmen and the Ministry of Health. The name of the
current director of SCS,
Conrad Dominguez, who was the one who sent a message to the general director Ana María Pérez with the RR7 data so that they could sign the contract. were also
luke cross -known to be the
interlocutor of a failed purchase of CB Gran Canariathe provider
Ihsan Mahmhoud Mohammed -what did he bring
Counterfeit or unapproved 3M masks reason why they were destroyed -, a fiduciary agent named Charles Douglas and even the directors
Blas Trujillo and Julio PerezThat
They took pains to explain.

All this in a matter in which, the only thing clear, is that what never appeared were the masks. now it will be the
Justice and the Court of Auditors those who purge responsibilities in an event that has shaken the foundations of the Government of the Canary Islands.

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