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The Vilnius Regional Prosecutor's Office said on Friday it had dropped a pre-trial investigation into the alleged theft of anti-COVID-19 protective personal equipment two years ago.
Medicininės veido kaukės
Medicininės veido kaukės
© „Camelia“

Prosecutors concluded that no crime or criminal offense was committed, stating that in the absence of precise information on the quantity of items actually received, it's impossible to establish the exact PPE shortage, if any.

This pre-trial investigation was launched in April, 2021 following a statement from the Health Ministry's Health Emergency Situations Center, saying that following the introduction of a COVID-19 lockdown, a contract was concluded in March, 2020 with a Chinese company for the purchase of PPE for more than 24.6 million euros.

Under the contract, the PPE arrived in Lithuania in March-August, 2020 and was distributed to healthcare establishments based on their specified needs.

In 2021, the center looked into the documents on the goods received and distributed from the supplier and noted a large difference in the number of items, such as goggles, medical caps and masks, disposable gowns and gloves, concluding that items with a total value of more than 900,000 euros might be missing.

However, it was later established that all the goods acquired under the contract had been delivered to Lithuania and customs-declared, with only minor discrepancies identified.

The PPE was calculated using two units of measurement: the number of boxes and the total weight in kilograms. When the number of boxes was calculated, random boxes were selected and the quantity in these boxes was taken as a standard for the remaining boxes.

"It should be noted that the quantity of the PPE in the boxes was neither documented nor actually calculated at the time of receipt, so it's impossible to determine the actual quantity in units," the prosecution service said.

BNS
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