WorldFrom motoboy to senator, CPI da Pandemic reaches the final stretch with...

From motoboy to senator, CPI da Pandemic reaches the final stretch with new characters and focuses of investigation

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Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), vice-president of the CPI for the Pandemic, celebrated on a social network that the Ministry of Health has unilaterally terminated the contract with Need Medicines, the company responsible for intermediating the purchase of the Indian vaccine Covaxin. “The CPI prevented a coup of more than 1 billion reais from the Brazilian people! Ahh if it wasn’t for the CPI, huh?”, wrote the senator on Twitter. In response, he received a provocation from deputy Luis Miranda (DEM-DF). “Thanks only to the CPI? Have you forgotten about the Miranda brothers?”, replied the deputy, who, together with his brother, public servant Luis Ricardo Miranda, denounced “unusual pressures” within the Health portfolio to speed up the purchase of the Indian immunizing agent against covid-19.

The public dispute for the narrative of heroes of the CPI —if they even exist“ comes at a time when the commission is moving towards its final chapters. The CPI rapporteur, senator Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL), said this week that the report will be ready by the end of September, despite the deadline for completion being November 5th. The senators’ strategy of investing in accusations of corruption in the purchase of vaccines seems to have worked to pressure the Bolsonaro Government, which is currently negotiating another slice of power for the Centrão and is trying to mobilize the streets on September 7 to show strength. Initially, the CPI bet on reflecting on the Executive’s errors, irresponsibility and omissions in the fight against the pandemic.

Until Friday, August 27th, the CPI of the Pandemic promoted 52 meetings, heard more than 40 testimonies and listed 18 people investigated. But to follow the thread of corruption, new characters will still enter the scene next week. One of them is the motorcycle courier Ivanildo Gonçalves da Silva, suspected of being an intermediary at VTCLog —company hired by the Ministry of Health to take care of the storage and distribution of medicines and vaccines“, who will testify on Tuesday, 31. Silva is appointed by senator Randolfe Rodrigues as “apparent intermediary in dubious schemes of the company VTCLog”. The motoboy, who earns around 2,000 reais a month, would be responsible for about 5% of the atypical movement made by the company, accused of having negotiated a value with the former director of the Ministry of Health’s Logistics Department, Roberto Dias. 18 times higher than recommended by the technicians of the Ministry of Health.

VTCLog handled around 117 million reais in the last two years, according to a report by the Financial Activities Control Council (Coaf), and the motoboy was responsible for withdrawing 4.7 million reais, the majority from the cashier, in this period. It remains to be seen, however, whether Silva will have the same importance for the Pandemic CPI as the housekeeper Francenildo dos Santos Costa had in the Bingos CPI ―the first major scandal of the Lula Government, which toppled then Finance Minister Antonio Palocci―, or even the driver Eriberto França, who did the courier work for PC Farias to pay bills for former president Fernando Collor. But, as a precaution, the CPI command decided to ask the Federal Police for protection from Ivanildo Gonçalves da Silva.

place at the table

The Government continues with its hands tied in the CPI of the Pandemic. At the end of July, senator Flávio Bolsonaro (Patriotas-RJ) got a seat on the committee as an alternate to Luiz Carlos Heinze (PP-RS), who took the seat on the committee in place of Ciro Nogueira (PP-PI), after he was invited to command the Civil House. President Jair Bolsonaro’s eldest son has asked for access to classified documents received by the commission, including those involving the name of the president, but has faced resistance.

Magazine article This is This week shows signs that Flávio Bolsonaro participated in a parallel negotiation for the purchase of a North American vaccine, Vaxxinity, which is still in the testing phase. The magazine had access to an exchange of e-mails between Stelvio Bruni Rosi, a lawyer and owner of an inn in Itacaré (BA), and the senator. In the message, dated June 9, the businessman is trying to confirm a meeting between the congressman and the laboratory responsible for producing the vaccine. Rosi claims that it is an “opportunity for the Government to obtain preference to request the reservation of a batch of vaccines”.

O modus operandi it is the same identified in other complaints: a suspicious intermediary tries to negotiate with a member of the Government, who is not responsible for the direct purchase of vaccines against covid-19, and the process, somehow, is ongoing in the Ministry of Health. case, according to the publication, “in a reserved character”.

Before embarking on a new theory, however, the CPI will have to find answers to the currently investigated schemes, such as the one involving the company Needs Medications. Last Thursday, August 26, the senators presented their thesis on how the bribery model worked at the Ministry of Health, during a statement by businessman José Ricardo Santana, former executive secretary of the Medicines Market Regulation Chamber, who participated in the dinner between police officer Luiz Paulo Dominghetti and Roberto Dias, in which the then director of logistics at Health would have asked for a dollar in bribes for each dose of vaccine. Protected by a habeas corpus, Santana refused to answer most of the questions and ended his testimony as the newest investigated.

Based on documents received by the CPI, the senators also detailed the scheme that disqualified the companies Abbott and Bahiafarma, winners of bidding processes for the sale of covid-19 tests, to the benefit of Necessidade. According to senator Randolfe, two groups acted together, one of which is part of businessman José Ricardo Santana, and that of Necessidade, represented by lawyer Marconny Faria, company owner Francisco Maximiano, director Danilo Trento and other names in the company. Roberto Dias, on the other hand, appears to be largely responsible for enabling fraudulent schemes within the ministry.

With information from the Senate Agency.

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