Due to the allegation of the delivery of inferior FFP2 masks, there have been several house searches. It is about the allegation of serious fraud. In the course of the investigation, the investigators from the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Economic Affairs and Corruption (WKStA) came to the purchasing subsidiary of the Red Cross, ÖRK Purchasing and Service GmbH (ÖRK E&S). The Red Cross itself and its subsidiary are not being investigated. It was just to collect evidence.
The Causa is about twenty million FFP2 masks that were withdrawn from circulation at the beginning of the pandemic. The reason: The army found out at the time that the masks did not fit properly. Even with small movements, it slipped and therefore no longer offered the necessary protection. The masks were bought by the subsidiary of the Austrian Red Cross on behalf of the Republic, the seller was the Südtiroler Oberalp AG.
Investigations have been taking place in Italy for more than a year: Among other things, the office of Governor Arno Kompatscher was searched. As the “Standard” reports, the process is now intensifying in Austria: Margit Draxl, spokeswoman for the Austrian Red Cross, confirms the house search.
However, she emphasizes that the investigations are not directed against the Red Cross: “The managing directors of a subsidiary of the Red Cross are listed as witnesses. The Red Cross is interested in rapid clarification, has already provided comprehensive information in the past and will continue to cooperate with the authorities.”
According to reports, it is also about financing the masks – for this Oberalp is to take out a loan in the millions from Bank Austria. The financial prosecutor is said to have also turned on to examine the financial damage to the republic.