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    A man wears a T-shirt that reads "Where is the money? #HondurasDemands" in Tegicugalpa, Honduras. September 22, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 22 September 2020
Opinion

After auditing the purchase of the masks, the anti-fraud organization found Invest-H paid 649,000 USD over the regulated tariff. 

Honduras’ National Anti-corruption Council (CNA) on Monday accused the state-run company Honduras’ Strategic Investments (Invest-H) for fraud in the acquisition of Personal Protection Equipment.

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The CNA reported that in April, Invest-H made an advanced payment of about 824,685 USD for NH5 masks. After canceling the transaction, Invest-H delayed the restitution of the public capital. After several requirements, the company refunded the money on May 25.

CNA also found the investors accepted an excessive price for the sanitary equipment without legal justification or a quality report. After auditing the purchase of the masks, the anti-fraud organization found Invest-H paid 649,000 USD over the regulated tariff. 

“Under the above, this inquiry has been explained, which contains a series of very important findings that denote certain inconsistencies around circumstances that leave the process and mechanism of acquisition by Invest-H,” the CNA report said.

In all cases, CAN points the commercial transactions were made to the Trade Society Group GYT. The company restituted the investment in a check, using an intermediary instead of making a direct transaction in cash, as ruled.

“Eventually, this was a fact that exposed the lack of financial and logistics of that company, since in principle and according to the inability to return the money received immediately, it was shown that it needed funding from of the State of Honduras, to deal with the purchase order that was extended by the state institution,” CAN said.  

In June, several Honduran healthcare workers started a strike to demand better Personal protection Equipment, as they had to attend COVID-19 patients using makeshift sanitary shoes, gloves, and masks. Over 160 of them have tested COVID-19 positive.

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