Italian Media: Macedonian Govt so corrupt, they included a Fake Co. in Vaccine purchase


The Italian La Verita newspaper, which did some of the most crucial reporting on the major Racket scandal in Macedonia, reveals that it has received communications sent by Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce to the Chinese manufacturer of coronavirus vaccines. The messages show that Filipce who is seen as extremely corrupt in the eyes of the public, was trying to get a company registered online in Hong Kong to serve as an intermediary in the major procurement deal of 200,000 vaccines, but because the company was not credible, the entire deal fell apart.

Macedonia was hoping to receive the vaccines by the end of February – as Filipce and Zoran Zaev promised a number of times. But instead, it was revealed that the Sinopharm company actually returned the advance payment the Healthcare Ministry made. Zaev and Filipce insisted that this was all very normal and that the vaccine deal is not canceled, but the vaccines are nowhere to be seen and La Verita reports that the stubborn insistence to use a highly suspicious intermediary firm torpedoed the contract.

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The fact that a private company, which, after initial examination, was found not to have a stable foundation, was involved by the Macedonian Government as an intermediary left doubts in Beijing that they are facing a clear fraud. This led to the deal being canceled, La Verita reports. The company was shown to have sufficient funds to guarantee the deal deposited in Deutsche Bank, but this, according to the Italian paper, only heightened suspicions that officials in the Macedonian Government are simply using a fake firm to profit and potentially create negative publicity for Sinopharm and official Beijing.

La Verita reports that Filipce repeatedly demanded that the company is used for the deal in both of his communications, dated in late December and late January. Filipce was also unable to conclude a deal with Pfizer, and one of the theories spread in the public was that this is because he also insisted to use an intermediary company that will procure the vaccines – and reap a handsome profit for himself and people close to him.

Filipce has extensive personal ties with major players in the pharmaceutical importing business, and has been investing heavily in real-estate in a very expensive part of Skopje, in deals that surpass his salary 1000s of times.

Macedonia is currently facing a strong new wave of the pandemic, and has almost no vaccines. The Zaev criminal junta insisted that it will only purchase Western manufactured vaccines and rebuffed offers from Russia and China. After months, it became clear that they are unable to get any Western vaccines, ostensibly due to low production volume but possibly also because of their demand to insert suspicious intermediaries in the deals, Zaev and Filipce were forced to turn to Russia and China, but in the meantime prescious time was lost. It’s still unclear what quantity of Sputnik V vaccines can Macedonia expect – 3,000 doses were were delivered recently but that won’t go far. The Chinese shipment of 200,000 doses was supposed to be the first serious quantity of vaccines used in the country and its delivery date is now uncertain.