The Madrid City Council was left with "defective" material from the commission agents for 4 million

The Madrid City Council was left with "defective" material from the commission agents for 4 million

When it's been a month since An Anti-Corruption investigation into million-dollar commissions on purchases of medical supplies by the Madrid City Council was revealed, the true scope of the scam remains unknown. To the six million euros that Alberto Luceño and Luis Medina stayed in commissions, we must add the damage caused by the fact that part of the material that the consistory acquired was "defective" or "of poor quality", according to the expressions used in their Complain the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor. This material had a destination yet to be clarified and involved a disbursement of 4 million euros. The administration led by José Luis Martínez-Almeida never denounced him.

In addition to the tests and gloves, the Madrid City Council bought a million masks from a company based in Malaysia, through Luis Medina and Alberto Luceño, of which the prosecutor Luis Rodríguez Sol affirms: “Despite being from good quality, the seller would have been willing to sell for much less than the price paid; specifically, 40% of what the City Council paid for them”.

So the doubts about the quality of the medical material acquired are lodged in the gloves and the tests and in what was done with them. On the gloves, the purchase was 2.5 million pairs "of much lower quality and different characteristics to those that had been offered to the City Council", according to Anticorruption. The Consistory paid for gloves up to the elbow and Luceño delivered others up to the wrist.

When the person in charge of purchasing, Elena Collado, complained, the commission agent replied that the Malaysian company did not make refunds but that it lowered the price to 0.39 dollars instead of the 2 that the council had paid per couple. What she was actually doing was waiving the commission and leaving each pair of gloves useless to protect the toilets at a price four times higher than what they cost in a supermarket in the capital.

Luceño returned 4 million dollars plus a 25,000 penalty that the seller had imposed on him and that he had also charged to the City Council. So of the 5 million dollars that the council had paid, the final disbursement in gloves was 975,000. Now, the City Council had 2.5 million gloves that reached only to the wrist. has requested information from the Consistory on the fate of these pairs of gloves. The response that he has obtained from an official spokesman is that since they were not used for the toilets, they were distributed among other City Council officials such as the drivers of the Municipal Transport Company. The disbursement in euros of the gloves up to the wrist is equivalent to 926,002.84 euros at the current exchange rate.

On the tests the discrepancy grows. The mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, assures that reagents were missing for a batch, that the sellers delivered it through the commission agents and that all of them were destined for City Hall personnel. Luceño and Medina have also assured in court that the reagents were delivered. But in the messages and emails included in the case there is no evidence that the delivery materialized, in such a way that the prosecutor goes so far as to say in his complaint: "There is no evidence that to date new reagents have been sent or that it has been corrected. otherwise the lack of sensitivity of the tests”.

There is not even a consensus on how many of these tests needed extra reagents to be able to offer reliable results on the spread of Covid-19. The manager of Madrid Salud sent an email on May 26 to the Security delegate and municipal spokesperson, Inmaculada Sanz, and to Elena Collado herself in which she transferred the result of the analysis of the three batches in which she said that only the one that includes 75,000 tests "is the one with the highest sensitivity and specificity according to data from the INIA laboratory and it is the one we are using in the Police, Fire Department, Samur, Funeral Services and EMT." And he adds: "The other batches should not be used because of their low sensitivity."

At that time, Collado and Luceño still communicate through WhatsApp. Five days after that email, the purchasing manager writes to the commission agent but only asking for explanations for one of the lots. “If we can trade them for another phenomenal game. If it cannot be, we have to return them”, writes Collado.

The explanation of why he asks for solutions for a test could be in a reference that Elena Collado from WhatsApp with Luceño: "I send you an email with the validations of the independent laboratory." "Send the mail and I'll forward it to Leno tomorrow," replies the commission agent. has asked the City Council what happened for that change of criteria, from a single usable lot to two, but the consistory has refused to explain it, alleging that there is an open court case.

If one or two of the test batches were not suitable for use, the prosecutor in the case concludes: "A large part of the Covid-19 tests that the City Council received were defective." "Specifically, of the 250,000 tests received, only 75,000 had an acceptable level of sensitivity," adds Luis Rodríguez Sol. According to the prosecutor's statements, the City Council paid 3.06 million euros for diagnostic tests that did not have "an acceptable level of sensitivity." of acceptable sensitivity. To this figure must be added the 926,002.84 euros in gloves "of very low quality and that only reached up to the wrist". In total 3,989,008.4 euros of a sanitary material whose use is still unknown.

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