Quantcast
More

    Fruit: Apple found by a jogger on a woodland run in Wiltshire turns out to be a new variety 

    'Pale and mottled oddity': Apple found by a jogger on a woodland run in Wiltshire turns out to be a new variety Nature-lover Archie Thomas...

    Donald Trump’s tiny desk sparks hilarious memes as he finally admits he will leave the White House 

    'Donald Trump was moved to the kiddie table this Thanksgiving': The president's tiny desk sparks hilarious memes as he gives testy White House press...

    Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney puts on a busty display in bikini with beau Jonathan Davino in Maui

    Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney puts on a busty display in a black bikini as she packs on the PDA with longtime beau Jonathan Davino...

    Spanish middleman paid £21M in taxpayers’ cash in NHS PPE deal

    Spanish businessman was paid £21MILLION in taxpayers’ cash to act as middleman for Florida-based jewellery designer selling PPE to the NHS, court documents show

    • Gabriel Gonzalez Andersson did ‘very well’ out of deal with Michael Saiger 
    • Jewellery designer Mr Saiger won £200m of NHS contracts for new PPE
    • He approached  Mr Gonzalez Andersson to help find manufacturer in China 
    • Florida court told Mr Gonzalez Andersson failed to help get masks and gowns
    • Government accused of agreeing uncompetitive contracts during Covid crisis

    Jewellery designer Michael Saiger set up a PPE business during the covid crisis – and a middleman he used was handed £21million of taxpayers’ cash

    A Spanish businessman was paid £21million of taxpayers’ cash after he acted as a middleman for a Florida-based jewellery designer who turned to selling PPE to the NHS, court papers revealed today.

    Gabriel Gonzalez Andersson did ‘very well under this arrangement’ with Michael Saiger who won Government contracts worth £197million as British ministers scrambled to buy masks and gowns during the first national lockdown.

    The extraordinary PPE deals done by the UK Government have been laid bare in court proceedings between Mr Saiger and Mr Andersson in Miami. 

    Jewellery designer Michael Saiger, whose Miansai brand has stores in New York, Los Angeles and Malibu, decided to set up a new PPE business as coronavirus spread across the globe in early 2020. 

    Court documents claim Mr Saiger ‘had significant experience in working with manufacturers and distributors in China’ and his links with several Chinese factories led to the British Government agreeing ‘a number of lucrative contracts’ with him for gloves and gowns. 

    It is not known how much money Mr Saiger made from the NHS contracts totalling £197million – but he has failed to provide all the masks, gloves and gowns he promised.

    Mr Andersson was paid more than £21million for his work on two NHS contracts. He was in line for another £15million from three more contracts he is accused of not fulfilling.

    The contracts came at the time where the NHS feared it would run out of lifesaving clothing such as masks and gowns

    The contracts came at the time where the NHS feared it would run out of lifesaving clothing such as masks and gowns

    In March Mr Saiger approached Mr Gonzalez Andersson and his company ‘Glezco’ to provide ‘services’ to facilitate these PPE deals with the Department of Health and help him find a manufacturer in China.

    The court documents allege Mr Andersson did ‘very well under this arrangement, and for his assistance in the completion of two contracts, was paid more than $28 million (£21.1m)’. 

    The new business partners then agreed to fulfill another three contracts with the NHS for 1million boxes of Titan nitrile gloves, 3million boxes of Blue Sail nitrile gloves and 10.2 million surgical gowns. 

    The court documents say: ‘Mr Saiger understood Mr Andersson to be an experienced operator of large-scale distribution projects, similar to the types of projects Saiger LLC was undertaking’.

    And Mr Gonzalez Andersson was to provide ‘services to Saiger LLC, which includes ‘sourcing the manufacturer, due diligence and coordinating logistics’, the papers say.

    But Mr Saiger’s lawyers claim he failed to secure the items from China, leaving him unable to supply the PPE for the NHS.

    They say: ‘Unfortunately, and unacceptably, Defendants’ failure to perform under the contracts caused business interruptions that delayed the delivery of PPE to health care providers and first responders in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic’.  

    The former business partners look set to clash in a Florida court over the failure.

    A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: ‘We have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE, delivering more than 4.9 billion items to the frontline so far. Almost 32 billion items have been ordered to provide a continuous supply, which will meet the future needs of health and social care staff.

    ‘Proper due diligence is carried out for all government contracts and we take these checks extremely seriously.’

    It is not known how much money Mr Saiger made from the NHS contracts totalling £197 million.

    Getting hold of lifesaving clothing for frontline staff became ‘hand to mouth’ due to hold-ups in China and a lack of PPE in storage for the NHS at the start of the coronavirus crisis.

     The British Government began flying in crates of the equipment daily from Shanghai – but some boxes were being offloaded by Chinese officials before take-off.

    Other crates were arriving in the UK with the wrong labels so that rather than containing the much-needed gowns which are currently in short supply, they are filled with masks.

    In May 400,000 gowns ordered by the government from Turkey were sitting in a warehouse near Heathrow Airport after inspectors discovered they were ‘useless’ and fell short of UK standards.

    The shipment was announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on April 18 to much fanfare, with the minister claiming that 84 tonnes of PPE would arrive from Turkey the next day to aid NHS staff in the fight against coronavirus.

    However, an RAF plane that flew to collect the gowns was then forced to wait at a Turkish airport for several days after it was discovered the government forgot to check whether the supplier had an export license.

    Such was the chaos that up stepped Mail Force, a charity set up by the Daily Mail in near-record time and backed by the amazing generosity of its readers. 

    The charity went on to raise more than £11million and to provide millions of pieces of crucial equipment across the UK – from masks to testing machinery for hospitals and care homes. 

    A spokesperson for Saiger said: ‘Our CEO has 15 years’ specialist experience in the production and distribution of high-quality goods sourced at best value from reputable factories in Asia. 

    ‘We have an extensive network of manufacturing and distribution contacts in Asia and we are an agile, nimble firm able to move rapidly.

    ‘These attributes mean that few other suppliers can match us on speed, quality or value to the taxpayer, and we have used this combination to great effect for the benefit of the UK. 

    ‘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 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.

    ‘At no time have we ever used any ‘middlemen’. 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.’

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest Posts

    Oscar winner Natalie Portman proves less is more as she dons a pair of skimpy shorts

    Less is more! Oscar winner Natalie Portman is the definition of cool as she dons a simple white T-shirt and a pair of denim...

    Another 45 dogs rescued from China’s meat trade arrive at JFK Airport to meet their new owners

    Pup, pup and away! Another 45 puppies rescued from China's meat trade arrive at JFK Airport to meet their new adopted owners No Dogs Left...

    Boxing fans fume after Mike Tyson’s return against Roy Jones Jr is called a draw

    'Can’t believe they robbed Mike Tyson': Boxing fans fume at judges' scorecards after Iron Mike's return against Roy Jones Jr is called a draw...

    Jake Paul dominates Nate Robinson with vicious KO in undercard match at Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr

    Jake Paul dominates Nate Robinson with vicious KO in second round of undercard match at Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr... after calling COVID-19...