The Prosecutor's Office recorded that masks are being sold in the country for $12 USD, when they should have cost $4 USD. The same is happening with body bags, which are being sold for more than $148 USD and should be worth $12 USD.
Meanwhile, baskets of food products are almost double their value and other similar cases are also currently under investigation by the Prosecutor's Office.
"Ecuador will not allow acts of corruption. I demand the full weight of justice for those who steal public money in purchases of medical supplies," the country's president, Lenin Moreno, said.
Corrupción; el virus que supera una pandemia ➡ En Ecuador, Perú y Honduras, entidades estatales vienen siendo investigados por inflar los precios de productos sanitarios, contra la COVID-19, en hasta un 150% por encima de su precio normal. https://t.co/KI9s4lDRDc
The first scandal that broke out was the process of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS) buying overpriced medical supplies to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
In late March, Ecuador's attorney general, Diana Salazar, ordered a preliminary investigation into the case.
This institution was known to have intended to acquire 131,890 N95 masks at $12 USD each, when their price was around $4 USD. The purchase was for a total of $1,582,680, when it should have been $514,371.
The State Comptroller General's Office reported that in this case there was a loss to the State of $1,068,309 USD.
Subsequently, Salazar confirmed, following the report by the Office of the Comptroller and the searches carried out, that the Attorney General's Office had evidence to bring charges.