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Mask deals: A million dollars for a dubious mask seller

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Status: 07/28/2022 05:00

With incorrect information, Enlipa GmbH received orders for masks worth millions. Particularly successful in Bavaria, as BR– Prove research. The matter should be a subject in the U-Committee of the state parliament.

Claudia Gurkov, Manuel Mehlhorn, BR

A few fake customer references, logos used without permission or alleged collaboration with scientists: At the start of the pandemic, the textile retailer Enlipa from North Rhine-Westphalia tried to sell protective masks nationwide.

In e-mails, an advertising brochure and on the website, the Enlipa company advertised with alleged customers. So also with the state of Hesse. But who has never ordered masks from Enlipa. The German Red Cross, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Integration of Baden-Württemberg and the University Hospital of Cologne made similar statements on request. After the Bavarian Radio (BR) contacted customers in spring 2022, the logos disappeared from Enlipa’s homepage.

An importer with a question mark

At the end of March 2020, Enlipa will deliver a total of 150,000 surgical masks to North Rhine-Westphalia. However, the company will not be registered in the commercial register until April 9, 2020. Nevertheless, Enlipa wrote in its advertising brochure, which was sent to the Bavarian Ministry of Health at the time: “We have been working with our producers for over ten years old. Enlipa states in the brochure that it has a “cooperation with a project at the RWTH University of Aachen”. The university denies this on request.

In April 2020, the Free State of Bavaria ordered two million masks from Enlipa GmbH for approximately 8.8 million euros including tax. This is apparent from internal documents of the State Office for Health and Food Safety (LGL). This even exceeds the invoice of the Swiss company Emix Trading to the Free State of Bavaria.

Among other things, the Mask Inquiry Committee of the Bavarian state parliament is dealing with this mask case. Among other things, the panel is examining whether MPs confused their mandate with business interests. Some sizes of CSU had received millions in commissions from mask shops – such as Alfred Sauter, Georg Nüßlein and the daughter of former General Secretary Gerold Tandler, Andrea Tandler.

Former Minister Huml forwarded the offer

In the case of Enlipa, commissions are out of the question. However, it comes down to the question of how reputable the state government’s business partners were, how carefully bids and suppliers were checked, and whether the costs were reasonable.

In April 2020, Enlipa reached out to then-Minister of Health Melanie Huml (CSU). The e-mail to the politician’s PM address has the subject “Initiative: Help German companies – Respiratory protection tested by DEKRA”. A ministry spokeswoman wrote to him. BR Currently, the minister has forwarded the mail to resume the process without any assessment. The Department of Health does not comment on content issues. The State Chancellery and the current Minister for Europe, Mélanie Huml, react BR-Ask no.

Multiple defects in delivered goods

On May 23, 2020, Enlipa GmbH will deliver the ordered masks, but these will be immediately blocked due to labeling defects, as confirmed by the LGL. The same goes for the second delivery a few weeks later. Enlipa’s third delivery will only be accepted at the end of June 2020, which is two million masks from manufacturer Hunan EEXI Technology & Service Co., Ltd.. According to LGL, 520,000 of these masks are currently in the central Bavarian pandemic warehouse. . At a price of around 4.40 euros per mask including tax, this corresponds to a value of almost 2.3 million euros.

Enlipa admits his mistakes

Enlipa GmbH focuses on BR– Request that it be a reputable company. The management admits that there was no cooperation with RWTH Aachen: “In 2020 there were around 65 different versions of this advertising brochure and unfortunately the first versions had some errors.” Customer references are all correct.

Enlipa firmly rejects quality defects, there have never been any complaints. When asked about the alleged customer, Cologne University Hospital, it was said that it was unhappy with the fit of an FFP3 mask and that the values ​​did not match internally preferred values. The University Hospital writes: “The FFP3 masks tested by our hospital hygiene department did (not meet) the criteria required according to the standard. Since the standard specifies minimum requirements, the mask was not allowed to be used .”

Enlipa becomes a subject within the commission of inquiry

The Bavarian opposition describes the case of Enlipa GmbH as “exemplary” for the purchase of protective equipment in Bavaria. Deputy Chairman of the Inquiry Committee, Florian Siekmann (Greens), says: “We have an announced offer with questionable references. We have a contract that was not delivered on time in the quality promised. And we missed the timely cancellation and complaint.” An image that is found again and again in procurement processes.

The investigation committee now puts the case of Enlipa GmbH on its agenda. The first witnesses have been named, including the management of Enlipa GmbH and the former Minister of Health, Melanie Huml.

Source www.tagesschau.de

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