At the request of Covid’s CPI, the Federal Police conducts a search and seizure of documents at two addresses of Need Medicines, this Friday morning (17), in São Paulo.
The purpose of the measure is to access the full contract that the company would have signed with Bharat Biotech, pTo provide the Indian Covaxin vaccine against Covid-19 to the Ministry of Health, as well as all documents related to the contract.
According to the president of the CPI, Omar Aziz (PSD-AM), the operation was authorized by the Minister of the STF (Supreme Federal Court) Dias Toffoli and received a favorable opinion from the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras.
Aziz says to sheet that the measure was taken because the company and the Ministry of Health did not reveal the full document or how much the company would profit from the deal, which is being investigated by the group.
The request was made through the law of the Federal Senate, in a confidential manner, at two of Necessidade’s addresses, in Barueri and Itapevi. The agency claimed that “it is beyond common sense and reasonableness that the only document made available by the company is a Memorandum of Understanding”.
“The managers of the Ministry of Health decreed, by generic and empty motivation, the secrecy of the administrative process related to the acquisition of Covaxin; they revoked the investigators’ access credentials to the electronic systems of the Ministry of Health, which had been granted by determination of the Commission Parliamentary Inquiry Committee; and they have offered resistance with regard to meeting requests sent by the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee,” the document says.
The CPI also claimed that “there are repeated delays in forwarding the documents and information requested by the CPI and, what is more serious, the managers of the Ministry of Health have been sending generic information and incomplete documentation”.
“The imposition of secrecy on public documents, which are of interest to the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, the press and, in general, society as a whole, constitutes an evident misuse of purpose, excess of power and abuse of authority. It also denotes a clear intention to prevent the continuity of investigations conducted by the Legislative Power, to the point of representing a serious threat to the functioning of this important democratic instrument,” he said.
Documents, physical or digital files, smartphones, computers, notebooks, hard disks, data storage devices, digital media (DVD, Blu-ray, CD-ROM and similar) and any other objects that, in the reasonable judgment of the executor, were requested of the order, can be used to prove the materiality and criminal authorship.
According to the CPI document, there are “serious indications of contractual and fiscal irregularities in the negotiation of the immunizing agent Covaxin.
“For this reason, it is necessary to produce evidence, carry out investigations, breach confidentiality and seize documents that are capable of clarifying relevant aspects of the relationship maintained between Need Medicines and the Bharat Biotech laboratory”, he said.
The hiring of Covaxin and the suspicions of crime related to this contract became the central focus of Covid’s CPI in the Senate.
The Jair Bolsonaro government signed the contract of BRL 1.61 billion for the purchase of the Indian vaccine Covaxin, without responding in time to a set of ten recommendations made by the legal counsel of the Ministry of Health, formed by members of the AGU (General Advocacy of the Union
The server Luis Ricardo Fernandes Miranda, head of the Ministry of Health’s import sector, reported having suffered atypical pressure to try to release the import of the vaccine.
The commission’s vice president, senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), justified the request in his twitter account. “The CPI tried in every way to obtain this information and was not successful. It was necessary, in order to proceed with the investigations, to use this judicial instrument, he said.
Covaxin’s contract with the Ministry of Health has been suspended and will be permanently canceled, as the Bolsonaro government has already announced. The document had been signed on February 25th. 20 million doses were planned, at an individual cost of US$ 15 (R$ 80.70).
Detected frauds, irregularities and suspected corruption are investigated by the CPI, Federal Police, MPF (Federal Public Ministry), TCU (Union Audit Court) and CGU (Union General Comptroller).
Deputy Luís Miranda (DEM-DF), brother of the civil servant who denounced the atypical pressure in the contract, said he had reported the case to President Jair Bolsonaro, at Palácio da Alvorada, and that he would have said he would inform the PF, which he did not proven.
The contract inspector detailed problems in the execution of the partnership in a document dated March 30, sent to the representatives of the companies the following day. Two of the six risks foreseen in the matrix materialized. All the contractual deadlines were breached.