Slovenia: Opaque COVID-19 procurement deals hand millions of euros to gambling mogul

Author: Anuška Delić, Matej Zwitter (Oštro), Published on: 19 May 2020

Opaque Coronavirus Procurement Deal Hands Millions to Slovenian Gambling Mogul, 03 April 2020

In recent weeks, Slovenia has introduced strict controls on movement and gatherings, while approving tens of millions of euros worth of bids under emergency measures that bypass open tender measures. In just the last week of March, the government signed deals worth around 80 million euros (US$87 million) in opaque one-day bids...[T]he largest of these deals benefits a powerful businessman with investments in gambling, electronics, and real estate, but no known experience in healthcare. Public disclosures show that Slovenia’s government signed a 25.4-million-euro deal on March 26 with a company called Public Digital Infrastructure d.o.o. to provide unspecified “protective equipment” for COVID-19. Corporate records show that the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elektronček Group B.V., a Dutch company controlled by one of Slovenia’s richest men, Joc Pečečnik...Of the approximately 80 million euros in contracts awarded by the agency in the last week of March, nearly two-thirds went to just four contractors, including Public Digital Infrastructure. The remaining 32 percent was split among another 20 companies. Of the big winners, few appear to have the kind of track record that would pass muster in the usual tender process. Another contract for protective equipment went to a small company, XAN-MAX, which sells mangosteen juice and cannabidiol oil drops...

[refers to XAN-MAX, MD Global Logistics, GenePlanet]

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