Coronavirus: Belgium victim of fraud when ordering millions of masks? Turkish company defends itself


Mahmut Öz, the man behind the Mossa company, refutes through his lawyers on Wednesday that there was talk of fraud when Belgium ordered 5 million mouth masks. “If the FPS Public Health had paid on time, the masks would have been delivered”, indicate his advice.

A complaint has been made for fraud

The FPS Public Health had launched in early March an emergency tender for the delivery of surgical masks and FFP2 type, to which had responded the firm of Mahmut Öz, which has appeared in the past on Open Vld lists. His company Mossa, based in Thames, was not listed first among the companies considered suitable for supply, but the first company eventually withdrew. Mossa’s supplier, which operates from Izmir, Turkey, said it could deliver in three days, provided it had cash in its account by March 12. “My client had therefore informed the FPS Health and Public Health of the importance of transferring the funds in an emergency, but the FPS did not do so and the money did not arrive on time with the supplier”, says one of the lawyers. Mahmut Öz assures by the voice of his advisers that he then informed the FPS Health that a delivery on March 13 or 14 was no longer possible. “According to the contract, which stipulated that delivery would take place within seven days of ordering, he still had until March 18 to deliver the masks. He wanted to do everything to honor him but he was arrested on March 13 during of a meeting with the FPS Health. “ A complaint was filed for fraud and the businessman was heard for several hours by the police, before being released the next day. “The police told him that the limit for delivery expired at midnight on March 15, which was not in accordance with the contract. Fearing to be arrested again, he decided to withdraw”, add the lawyers.

My client has been described as a criminal

Mahmut Öz then agreed with his Turkish supplier that the full amount would be refunded. On March 16, 2,968,000 euros were transferred to the FPS Public Health. The advance of 420,000 euros will follow as soon as possible. “My client has always been transparent in her communication with the FPS Health. Minister De Block knew therefore that there was little chance that these masks would be delivered. She announced to the press that there had been a fraud. My client was described as a criminal when there was never any talk of scam or fraud. “

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