Tuesday. 28.05.2024

On Monday morning in an interview with Yle Janne Känkänen, the interim CEO of the Security of Supply Center (Huoltovarmuuskeskus, in Finnish) said that all the protecting equipment ordered from the businessman Onni Sarmaste appear to be unusable to fight the coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish) epidemic.

The Security of Supply Center said on Friday that the protective equipment that arrived in Finland from China has been banned, as some of them have caused allergy symptoms and some have been found to have an abnormal smell. The equipment was banned until the cause of the allergy symptoms could be determined.

Känkänen was asked whether the protective equipment trade, which caused a lot of noise, proved to be useless. “This is what it looks like now,” answered Känkänen.

According to Känkänen, Security of Supply Center is now working with the police to find out how much the purchase price can be recovered.

There is a dispute over part of this 10 million euros and we will see how much of the money we can recover for the state. But it is premature to comment further.”

In March, the Security of Supply Center ordered various protective equipment suitable for hospital use for almost ten million euros from the businessman Onni Sarmaste and the beauty entrepreneur Tiina Jylhä. Subsequently, however, Security of Supply Center acknowledged that the backgrounds of the suppliers were not reviewed. The companies of Sarmaste, known for the fast-loan business, have a lot of debts and Jylhä was once charged of financial crimes.

Masks arrived in Finland two weeks ago and were previously found to be unsuitable for hospital use. The authorities assumed that they could be used in care units.

Submitted to VTT

The first protective masks have already been submitted to VTT for examination.

On the other hand, Olli Sarmaste, who has provided masks, wants to test the masks for allergies.

“The masks have not been returned to me and I have not been able to test them for allergies myself,” said Sarmastre.

On Friday it emerged that the National Bureau of Investigation (Keskusrikospoliisi, in Finnish) was looking into the purchase. They suspect aggravated fraud involving the 10-million-euro purchase.

Money laundering investigation helped

Superintendent Tomi Taskila of the NBI said, "At this stage, we are focused on the recovery of funds. This has been hugely helped by the fact that the money laundering investigation unit froze more than two million euros of funds in Finnish accounts last week."

Security of Supply Center: all Sarmaste equipment is useless