What type of mask did the Community of Madrid buy from that company from which the brother of President Isabel Díaz Ayuso charged a commission? In the transparency portal contract, available here, there is talk of FFP2 and FFP3 masks. These acronyms refer to different protection standards approved by the European Union. Between the two, FFP3 is the most expensive, and also the one with the best protection: 98% filtering efficiency, compared to 92% for FFP2. But the reality is that the company Priviet Sportive SL – which paid a commission to Tomás Díaz Ayuso – delivered a different sanitary material than the one that appears in that award: cheaper and of inferior quality.
Everyone is Ayuso in the town of the president and the businessman
They were not FFP3, the most effective masks. There were none of those. Neither is FFP2. Those that finally arrived at the Ifema pavilion in April 2020 were all KN95: a Chinese quality standard, in theory with similar filtering benefits as the FFP2, but which do not go through the same type of controls required by the European standard.
With the KN95, the quality control is carried out by the manufacturer itself: it is a self-certification. Sometimes – as happened with numerous lots discovered in June 2020– what the manufacturer says is very far from the real quality. While in Europe the masks have to be approved by an independent public body, which carries out quality tests and checks that they do indeed filter what they should filter. That is why the KN95 were cheaper than the FFP2 and much cheaper than the FFP3.
That does not mean that there are no ‘made in China’ masks that have FFP2 or FFP3 certificates. But all of them are subject to European quality control, something that does not happen with the KN95.
With the arrival of the pandemic and the shortage of medical devices, almost all European countries temporarily allowed the importation of masks that were not approved in Europe, even though it was a lower standard. In Spain, that free way to the KN95 was published in the BOE on March 20, 2020 and was in force throughout that year, until December 31, when its sale was banned again.
Four days after the Government allowed the sale of this type of mask – on March 24, 2020 – the Community of Madrid accepted the offer presented by Priviet Sportive, according to the contract documentation. Although at that first moment, in that offer, there was a type of mask that never arrived: “FFP2-3”. This is the file in question of the company that paid a commission to Tomás Díaz Ayuso:
The description of the material is quite clear: “FFP2-3 mask”. The price: 5 euros, plus VAT (6.05 euros for each one). 1,512,000 euros in total. As an expected delivery date, Priviet Sportive SL promised that the masks would be delivered to the makeshift hospital of Ifema on April 10, 2020, something that was also not fulfilled.
The first batch, 182,000 masks, arrived through Barajas Airport a week later than expected: on April 17. And the remaining 68,000 landed two weeks later: they did not arrive at Ifema until April 29. But beyond this delay – understandable at the time it occurred – what is relevant in the receipts for these deliveries is that the content is different, different from what appears in the award: “FFP2/KN95 masks”. All identical. None FFP3.
The reality is that neither were “FFP2-KN95” what Priviet Sportive imported from China and sold to the Community of Madrid. They were KN95 to dry. And the proof is a publication on Facebook by the Sotillo de la Adrada City Council, the town where the Ayuso brothers and Daniel Alcázar, the businessman who participated in this award, met.
Just on the same dates -April 24, 2020- in which they closed that operation with the Community of Madrid, the Sotillo City Council thanked another Daniel Alcázar company for donating 400 KN95 masks to the municipality. As seen in the picture, they were never FFP2.
This post on Facebook is no longer available on the Town Hall page. Three months ago, when this newsroom exclusively uncovered this irregular contract, elDiario.es linked it to that first piece of information. Shortly after, this compromising track was deleted from Facebook. The mayor of Sotillo de la Adrada is in the hands of the PP.
A price above the market
Isabel Díaz Ayuso, this Friday, defended that the price that had been paid for these masks – 5 euros plus VAT for each one – was lower than that of other purchases that the Community of Madrid signed in April 2020. And to argue it, she put these examples:
-BIOGEN FFP3: €10.5
-Palex FFP2: €6.5
-Lost Symmetry: FFP2 6 €
-Helianthus FFP2: €5.95
-Barna: FFP2: €5.30
The comparison is tricky, even if what Priviet Sportive had delivered had been an FFP2 homologated in Europe, instead of a KN95 without homologation. Because as Newtral’s collaborator has revealed Marcelino Madrigal, Ayuso lies when providing this data: in all those prices he cites, he speaks of contracts where the successful bidder delivers different types of masks –FFP2 and FFP3– and details a different price for each model. And Ayuso, in the figures he provides, always takes the most expensive price as a reference: that of the FFP3.
For example, these are the prices of the company Barna Import: which sold the FFP3 to the Community of Madrid in April 2020 at 5.30 euros and the FFP2 at 4.30 euros. Nor is the figure that Ayuso gave about Lost Symmetry correct: at the end of April, the Madrid Health Service bought FPP2 masks for 2.59 euros. On April 15, another company, Tower TBA, supplied 50,000 FPP2 masks to the Community for 2.95 euros. And one last one, Vin Doré 24K SL, which on April 17, 2020, sold the FFP2 mask to the regional government for 2.78 euros.
But we must remember that what Priviet Sportive sold to the Community of Madrid was neither an FFP2 nor an FFP3: it was a KN95. In April 2020, the Community of Madrid also commissioned another supplier 4,200 masks of this type for the Madrid Metro. The price? 3.5 euros per unit.
On those same dates, the KN95 could be bought on Ali Express at a price of 1.45 euros per mask. As evidenced by this request of April 19, 2020 made by Daniel Paltrinieri, a reader of elDiario.es.