A Spanish businessman pocketed £21 million in taxpayer money after acting as a go-between for a Florida-based Jewellery designer to secure protective garments for NHS staff, it has been revealed.
A legal dispute playing out in the courts in Miami has helped shine a light on the obscene amounts of cash which have been handed during the pandemic without being opened to competition.
According to court documents Michael Saiger, founder of Miansai, landed what has been described as “a number of lucrative contracts” with the British government.
He signed up a Spanish businessman, Gabriel Gonzalez Andersson, to help with “procurement, logistics, due diligence, product sourcing and quality control” of the PPE equipment, in effect finding the means to fulfilling deals that had already been done, the BBC has reported.
But once the agreements had been signed Mr Andersson stopped doing any work for Mr Saiger, allegedly leading to PPE deliveries being delayed to NHS frontline workers.
More to come later on how one man made $50 million. Not to supply PPE, because he didn’t. But to act as a middleman to sort the logistics for the jeweller from Florida whom the UK Government selected to supply £250m worth of PPE. https://t.co/fpuHAGPXc3— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) November 17, 2020
So far the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published contracts with Mr Saiger’s company, Saiger LLC, totalling more than £200 million.
Mr Andersson would have been in line for a further $20 million in consulting fees after Saiger LLC signed three more agreements to supply the NHS with millions of gloves and surgical gowns.
Saiger LLC said: “At the height of the pandemic, and at a time when the NHS was in need of high-quality PPE that met the required safety standards, we delivered for Britain, on time and at value.
“We have few full-time staff so for large projects we bring in short-term contractors for additional expertise and capacity, allowing us to deliver what is needed.
“We are exceptionally proud to have played our part in providing frontline workers in the UK, including nurses, doctors and hospital staff, with the millions of pieces of PPE they need to stay safe and to save lives.”
Remember this when they tell us there is no money for a pay rise for the NHS staff who have risked their lives and are struggling to pay their bills this winter.— ? Angela Rayner ? (@AngelaRayner) November 17, 2020
Remember when Boris Johnson told Andy Burnham he couldn’t afford an extra 5 million just so the people of Manchester could get 80% of the minimum wage…— Femi? (@Femi_Sorry) November 17, 2020