Montenegrin company was intermediary in suspicious Chinese ventilator deal

NEWS 07.05.2020 17:16
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Source: N1

Documents obtained by N1 reveal that a Montenegrin company was the intermediary in the suspicious procurement of ventilators by a Bosnian fruit and vegetable processing company which won the government contract without ever having dealt with medical equipment before.

The first contract was signed between Shanghai ChangQi Medical Technology Center and the buyer, BTL MEDICAL MONTENEGRO for the purchase of 100 ventilators, model ACM812A, for 30 million Yuan.

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An annexe to this contract, signed the same day, lists Bosnian raspberry farm FH Srebrena Malina LTD as the end buyer of the same amount of ventilators under the same price. The date of delivery stated is April 21.

“BTL Medical had nothing to do with the company Srebrena Malina,” N1 Sanja Lekic, the director of the Montenegrin company, told N1.

“We received a request from Srebrena Malina, which wanted to buy (the ventilators), but we couldn’t provide them. So we gave them the contact of the seller,” Lekic said, adding that she did not want to be the seller.

“There were no transactions,” she said, adding that she forwarded all the documentation she had to Bosnia’s Prosecutor’s Office, which has launched an investigation.

Vijesti reported on similar contracts from March 28 and 29 between BTL Medical Montenegro and Sinofarm, a company based in Belgrade, Serbia.

According to these contracts, the purchase and delivery of 400 ventilators cost €8,9 million, VAT excluded.

This means that according to these contracts, one of these ventilators cost about €22,000 on average.

According to the contract signed by Srebrena Malina, however, one ventilator cost some ¥300,000, or €39,135 (76,636.67 Bosnian Marks).

Bosnia’s Indirect Taxation Authority said that 1,078,878.87 Bosnian Marks in VAT was paid for the 80 ventilators that have already arrived in Sarajevo. FlyBosnia airline charged 297,286.81 Bosnian Marks for the transport and according to documents obtained by N1, the Beijing airport charged 17,531.81 Bosnian Marks.

When everything is added up, the procurement cost 9,054,853.84 Bosnian Marks, excluding minor expenses.

The government contract with Srebrena Malina was worth 10,53 million Bosnian Marks, which means Srebrena Malina made just short of 1,5 million Bosnian Marks from the deal.