The Ministry of Health together with Sywert van Lienden proposed the mouth-mask deal, agreed to it orally, prioritizing it in the amount of 100.8 million. This is due to media pressure, politics and the prevention of “problems with China”.
This is evidenced by a report by forensic accountants and additional research conducted by NOS. Only ten months after the oral agreement between a senior official and Van Linden, the permission was confirmed in writing by the ministry.
In April of last year, Van Linden secured a promise of €100.8 million to purchase face masks through his BV Relief Goods Alliance and Auxiliary Forces Alliance. At that time, there was a severe shortage of personal protective equipment in the Netherlands. Van Lienden said he wouldn’t make a profit selling the mouth covers, but in the end the deal resulted in €28 million for Van Lienden and his business partners.
The deal in question was approved over the phone by then-in-chief Mark Fren. Then he worked temporarily in the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports. This ministry had to approve every transaction worth more than €5 million, frequency confirms to NOS. These deals are sometimes agreed to in writing, by application, but also orally.
NOS spoke last week with Mark Frequin and Rob van der Kolk, the former coordinator of the LCH (National AIDS Federation) who purchased the masks on behalf of the department. Both say that pressure from politics and the media weighed heavily in concluding the deal with Van Linden at the time.
This is also evident from the accountants’ report. They cite emails between the ministry and LCH. It states that we had better be friends with Van Lienden. Send someone from the ministry via email: “Maybe it’s better to get him inside the tent to pee outside the tent than to pee outside the tent.”
Van der Kolk said earlier Tomorrow’s goal That the deal with Van Linden was not necessary. There were already enough mouth covers at that time. At the insistence of the Ministry, the agreement was concluded with it.
Political desire outweighed
The accountants also noted this in their report. “This is how political desire trumps economic analysis of necessity,” they wrote. And: “Selling ‘no’ for the second time may lead to political and social outrage.”
Accountants write that the deal with Van Lienden should be treated with priority and priority under pressure from the ministry. This happened because the order “go through a long preparatory phase” and “to avoid problems with suppliers, but also with the Chinese government.”