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Senator points out forgery in a document used by the government to refute allegations of irregularity in the purchase of Covaxin

Senator points out forgery in a document used by the government to refute allegations of irregularity in the purchase of Covaxin Photo: Edilson Rodrigues/Senate Agency

Senator Simone Tebet (MDB-MS) said on Tuesday, 6, she believed that the document used by the government of Jair Bolsonaro to refute allegations of irregularities in the purchase of the Indian vaccine Covaxin was falsified. To Covid's Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI), Tebet identified 24 errors in the so-called “invoice” (an invoice with payment data) presented by Minister Onyx Lorenzoni on June 23, when he threatened to sue the complainants.

PDF document.

With an image of the document, Tebet pointed out spelling errors, English errors and lack of information in the invoice that would have been sent by Need Medicines to the Ministry of Health, for the purchase of Covaxin, in March of this year. “There is clear proof of falsehood of a private document. We are talking about an ideological falsehood formulated by someone”, said the senator.

Among the errors pointed out by Tebet are the mismatched brand and logo of the company –“they are not aligned in some points, as if it were an assembly”–; English errors such as “prince” instead of “price”; “airpor” and not “airport” (airport); mixture of Portuguese and English, what the senator called “Portinglês”; difference in the number of vaccine doses from one field to another; lack of bank details and signatures/authorizations.

The document was released for the first time by the Ministry of Health, Luis Ricardo Miranda, and his brother, Deputy Luis Miranda (DEM-DF), as proof that there was an irregularity in the purchase of Covaxin. In the version presented by the two, the "invoice" provided for advance payment of R$ 45 million for 3 million doses of Covaxin, which was not provided for in the contract signed between the Ministry of Health and Need Medicines, intermediary of the business. Under the agreement, payment will only be made after Brazil receives the vaccine, which has not yet occurred.

Another point raised by the brothers is that the company receiving the payment is Madison Biotech, an offshore company headquartered in Singapore that is not included in the contract. According to Necessidade, the company is linked to the Indian laboratory Bharat Biothec, manufacturer of Covaxin.

On June 23, Onyx and the advisor to the Civil House and former executive secretary of Health, Colonel Élcio Franco, made a statement at the Palácio do Planalto in which they accused the Ministry of Health server and his deputy brother of forging the document to suggest irregularities. According to Franco and Lorenzoni, the government had received two versions of the invoice, but none of them corresponded to the one presented by the Miranda brothers. The document presented by the brothers, however, is in the Ministry of Health's system.

“How come no one sees a bogus document like this, a document presented by Onyx and Elcio, photographed by us and the press?”, said the senator.

The Ministry of Health closed a purchase contract for 20 million doses of the immunizing agent on February 25 this year for a total amount of R$1,6 billion. Each dose will cost US$ 15, the highest value among the immunizing agents purchased by Pasta.

During the CPI session, the senator questioned whether Madison had produced a document “with so many errors in English”. “There are so many errors pointed out – 'of' which is not common, it usually has an apostrophe; the wrong corrected airport name; Brazil with “z”; and airport in Portuguese”, he pointed out.

According to her, the most serious error was related to the number of doses. The quantity expressed in the invoice was different in two document fields. “The doses they put there are 300 boxes with 16 ampoules each, each ampoule is enough for one dose. If I were to multiply by this, what Brazil would have to receive is 4,8 million doses and not 3 million, as it is here,” he said. "It is a document that says that Brazil will now receive 4,8 million doses of the vaccine, which will now receive 3 million doses."

Wanted by the report to explain the errors pointed out by the senator, Onyx and the Ministry of Health did not respond to questions.

See the errors pointed out by Simone Tebet.

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Last modified on Friday, 16/07/2021

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