A state of emergency was declared in Lithuania in February 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a lockdown was introduced on 14 March. To diagnose people who had contact with individuals confirmed to have COVID-19 or who likely had it, a decision was made to immediately procure serological tests, which, as the investigation determined, were not meant to diagnose COVID-19 but to check whether a person had already recovered from COVID-19.
The Prosecutor General’s Office suspects that the former deputy minister of health abused office and on 18-20 March 2020 made unjustifiable and unlawful demands on the director and staff of the National Public Health Surveillance Laboratory (NVSPL), which is accountable to the Ministry of Health. They were instructed to perform unlawful actions and thus it is believed that the deputy minister unjustifiably granted privileges to the company Profarma and because of this the state and the Ministry of Health incurred significant pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses.
Based on the purchase-sales agreement, the Laboratory acquired 510,000 units of rapid serological testing kits in violation of imperative norms of the Law on Public Procurement. The company was paid EUR 6,050,000 from the state budget for the testing kits.
The Court of Appeal concluded that Lithuanian companies acted dishonestly and sought to take advantage of the situation in order to receive disproportionate profits and thus the Court awarded the Lithuanian state EUR 4,142,600.