The Director General of the Civil Guard presents the Face Mask operation where more than 300,000 expired masks have been seized since 2014

María Gámez stressed that "this research becomes even more relevant because it was produced at a time of great demand for medical equipment and where there was difficulty in acquiring it.

14 people have been arrested for the crimes of fraud, money laundering, against public health, documentary falsification and membership in a criminal organization

The dismantled network took the masks out of their boxes and distributed them with a transparent bag in which the expiration date was no longer stated.

Gloves, medications, syringes, oxygen therapy equipment or expired drain bottles have also been operated

Based in Valencia, the organization has sold expired material to companies in Valencia and Zaragoza

The Civil Guard has arrested 14 people for selling face masks and expired medical supplies. So far, more than 300,000 face masks that have expired since November 2014 have been seized.

Detainees are charged with crimes against public health, money laundering, fraud, documentary falsehood and membership in a criminal organization.
In the registers practiced in Valencia, Zaragoza and Gipuzkoa, the Civil Guard has also found a large quantity of expired sanitary material such as gloves, medications, syringes, oxygen therapy equipment or drainage bottles.
In addition to expired material, 64,525 euros have been seized and 33 bank accounts have been blocked. In 16 of these bank accounts 80,000 euros have been blocked
To avoid being discovered, the now detainees changed the original containers in which the expiration date was indicated. To this end, they took the masks out of their boxes and put them in transparent bags in which there was no longer any date.
The FACE MASK operation began just after the declaration of the state of alarm when the Civil Guard learned of a transport of 252,000 expired masks between Andoáin (Gipuzkoa) and Pobla de Farnals (Valencia).
María Gámez stressed that "this research becomes even more relevant as it was produced at a time of great demand for medical equipment and where there was difficulty in acquiring it." It is in this context that the dismantled network bought the expired material from a company that in turn obtained it from another, located in Valencia, in a bankruptcy process.
They also had other sanitary material that lacked the corresponding required documentation, and which they later falsified to put it on the market.
Said falsification consisted of supplying alleged certificates from the notifying bodies, which had not been carried out. On other occasions, they made changes to the manufacturer's EU declarations of conformity.
Once the sanitary material was in the distribution warehouses located in the province of Valencia -Náquera, Museros, Castellar-Oliveral and Puig-, it was transferred to different locations in Spain.
Detainees acted as commission agents selling the product, sometimes providing an invalid certificate from other countries and other times selling the products with manufacturer's notified body certificates or EU declarations of conformity that did not correspond to those products or falsifying them.
Also, and because they could not distribute the expired masks with their corresponding boxes in which the expiration date was recorded, they removed the surgical masks from the boxes and put them in transparent bags, to later put them in larger boxes where they no longer The manufacturing date and expiration date were not recorded.
Likewise, the managers of the aforementioned company preferred to distribute the expired masks to companies for their employees to use, rather than distributing them in pharmacies, since in these there is greater control both of the packaging and of the documentation that covers the manufacture, trade, distribution and sale to the public. To distribute them, they put a pack containing gloves, a mask and hydroalcoholic gel in a small box, all expired.
During the investigation it was also found that they tried to buy and sell these sanitary products or Epi, s to Countries such as Portugal, Italy, Colombia or Turkey
The expired material was distributed to companies in Zaragoza and Valencia as well as through the Internet. The researchers have also found that they tried to export them to countries such as Portugal, Italy, Colombia and Turkey.
The FACE MASK operation has had the support of technicians from the Valencian Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (INVASSAT) and pharmacy inspectors from the Ministry of Health of the Generalitat Valenciana.
The proceedings have been made available to the Court of First Instance and Investigation No. 1 of Massamagrell.

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