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Anti-corruption investigates a dozen emergency government contracts

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office will investigate 13 emergency contracts that the Government of Pedro Sánchez awarded in 2020. The chief prosecutor of this department, Alejandro Luzón, has agreed to open several investigative proceedings to analyze whether the seven contracted companies have a link with the former ministers Jose Luis Abalos Y Salvador Island; the First Vice President of the Government, Nadia Calvino; and the president, Peter Sanchez. Specifically, it is about 11 tenders for the acquisition of medical supplies at the start of the pandemic; and two others unrelated to covid-19, the total amount of which amounts to 326 million euros.

The PP of the Assembly of Madrid On March 10, he filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office to investigate these 13 contracts for the alleged commission of crimes of prevarication, prohibited negotiations with officials, influence peddling and embezzlement of public funds. All this just after the same Prosecutor will agree open proceedings on the award made by the Community of Madrid for the purchase of FPP2 masks in which the brother of the regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, would have mediated.

After studying the letter, the Chief Anti-Corruption Prosecutor signed a decree this Friday in which he agreed to open seven preliminary lines of research -that is, they are not prosecuted- to clarify whether there are irregularities in these contracts. In addition, Luzon highlights in his decree that, for the time being, there is no reason to investigate any member of the government -who are certified before the Supreme Court- as there are no indications of their participation in said contracts.

With all this, Luzon appoints the prosecutor Luis Pastor Motta to take charge of five of the investigation proceedings, which are related to medical supplies to deal with the coronavirus health crisis. Specifically, there are 11 contracts signed with five companies, the “common thread” of which is that each of the companies has a “linkage” with the “different public administrations” and the “the lack of verification of the concurrence of the minimum requirements for the formalization of contracts.

“Excessive” prices and no experience

Thus, according to the decree, the PP denounced that, according to journalistic information, Business Management and Support Solutions has a relationship with the then Minister of Transport, Jose Luis Abalos. Likewise, it indicates that the activity of this company It is not directly related to the object of the contract. -which was the supply of masks- and that, while in 2019 its turnover was 0 euros, in 2020 rose to 53.13 million euros by direct public awards. Similar events highlight the complaint about FCS Select Product. As indicated, the award took place because of the friendly relationship between the administrators and the former Minister of Health, Salvador Illa Roca, despite the fact that its social activity was the manufacture of marketing products for the alcoholic beverage sector. It also highlights that in 2018 its turnover was less than one million, while in the year of the pandemic it reached 263.1 million euros.

Regarding the companies Member of the Tribe; Hyperin Business Group; Y Weihai Textile Group Import&Exportthe Prosecutor’s Office points out that the ‘popular’ does not relate them to any member of the Government, but they do emphasize that in their role “there is no correlation with the supply of medical devices”. In addition, he adds that in the case of the first company, Health not only paid an “excessive price” of between “25% and 500%” for the unit of gloves compared to what is offered by other providers; but rather advanced 30% of the total amount to be paid and has not recovered it after the contract was terminated due to non-compliance with the material delivery deadline.

The same would have happened with Hyperin Business Group, to which Health advanced the total amount of the contract for the acquisition of invasive mechanical ventilation devices, which reached the sum of 3,310,556 euros, although the company still has to reimburse 1,801,481, 74 euros for breach of contract. As for Weihai Textile Group Import&Export, the Anticorruption decree states that the price paid by the supply of 500,000 disposable gowns was also “excessive”since the unit was set at 16.7 euros, compared to other providers whose offers were around 0.32 euros and 0.27 euros.

“Social transcendence of the context”

With all this, Anticorruption relies on the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court to affirm that it must be clarified “whether the contracts for the acquisition of sanitary material denounced, as failed or fraudulent, were adjusted to the requirements and guarantees imposed by administrative contracting“In this sense, it extrapolates to this case what was already stated in the decree by which it opened proceedings for the contract linked to Díaz Ayuso’s brother on the origin of carrying out proceedings “that, without initially being directed against natural or legal persons, allow coConfirm or rule out criminal significance of the facts denounced”.

Dolores Delgado

And all this due to the “relevance of the correct and normal functioning of the Public Administration Subject to the system of values ​​established in the Constitution” and the “indisputable social significance of the context in which the events described in the complaint take place”. However, the PP also raised the alert about two other contracts that would be related to Nadia Calvino Y Pedro Sanchez and that they have no relation to the pandemic. These facts will be investigated directly by the chief anti-corruption prosecutor, Alejandro Luzón, in whose decree he points out that “although the applicable legal circumstances are different, the action guidelines of the Prosecutor’s Office in its investigative function are not“.

Thus, Anticorruption reports in the decree that the PP questions the contract signed with the company Yellow Pages Digital Solutions (now Beedigital) for the Social Security digital image and online reputation management service, because her husband holds the position of marketing director of the same. It adds that the award was made when the company had debts with the State for an amount of 1.6 million euros and that the agreement was extended in 2020 when it was still at 884,000 euros.

Lastly, regarding the relationship with the President of the Government, the complainants relate the 14 grants he received Playbol Plastic Industries, between February 18, 2020 and May 25, 2021, for the connection of the same with Sánchez’s parents. “Apparently -explains Anticorruption- these sold in 2018 the assets, goodwill and machinery of the company Playbol SA, of which continue as administrator and proxyLikewise, said company continues to be the owner of the warehouses in which the transferred business activity is carried out, for the lease of which it receives 156,000 euros annually.