Friday, September 22

The Government of the Canary Islands appears as the “injured” party in the mask case

The Government of the Canary Islands has presented this Thursday a brief in the Court of Instruction number seven of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to appear as an injured party in the process known as case masks.

Mask case: the director of the Canary Health Service hides behind the context and denies that he has been asked to resign

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This was announced by the Executive’s spokesman, Julio Pérez, after the weekly Governing Council. The also Minister of Justice has added that the objective is to achieve, “as far as possible”, the recovery of the four million euros that the Canary Islands claim from the company to which the Canary Islands Health Service (SC) awarded the contract for urgency to buy masks in the first months of the pandemic. Those masks, which had to be of the FFP3 type, never reached the island hospitals.

Being part of the case, Pérez explained, will allow “acting in the procedure, proposing proceedings and making claims”.

For this case, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has filed a complaint against the director of the SCS, Conrado Domínguez; the former head of the General Directorate of Economic Resources of the public body, Ana María Pérez, and Rayco Rubén Rodríguez, administrator of the winner of this emergency contract (RR7 United SL, an automotive company with no experience in the health sector), appreciate signs of the crimes of prevarication, influence peddling, aggravated fraud and money laundering, the latter two charged to the businessman.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has described this procedure as “overwhelmingly irregular”, even “grotesque”. The complaint highlights that the contract was negotiated for 21 days through Whatsapp and that during that period at no time was the solvency of the company, its ability to obtain and transport the material, its relationship with the supplier or the deadlines asked. He points out that, despite the fact that it was justified by the “urgent and imperative” need to supply FFP3 masks, those with maximum protection and performance, to the health workers of the Islands, what he ended up hiring were FFP2 and, in addition, at the highest price that it was paid throughout the pandemic (more than one euro higher per unit compared to the second most expensive). It also reproaches the SCS for agreeing to a second payment (of two million euros, the remaining 50% of the contract) without having received a single mask of those committed and after two service heads from the contracting area of ​​the General Directorate of Economic Resources of the public body warned that the risk of fraud “was notorious” and that RR7 United was “a ghost company, pirate.” Or that in June 2021, when the contract had already been terminated due to non-compliance by the company, it decided to accept a modification by which the successful bidder undertook to deliver 20% more masks (1.2 million) from another for the same price. model, a commitment that he did not fulfill either and that he assumed three months after a consignment of just over 900,000 masks from Ethiopia arrived in Gran Canaria, which were destroyed at Customs after it was found to be false.

Relief in the General Secretariat of the SCS

On the other hand, Julio Pérez has pointed out that the Governing Council this Thursday has decided to appoint Esther García Cabrera as the new Secretary General of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS). She “she is a tax inspector public official with a long history in the Canary Islands administrations.” Her predecessor, Abraham Cárdenes, has alleged “personal reasons” when requesting her dismissal.