In the spring of 2020, at the time the transaction was made, it was already known that one type of ventilator did not meet the requirements of safe use and that its faults could even endanger patients’ lives.
As stated in the article of 24.hu, the Hungarian government bought Chinese ventilators from Malaysian businessman Vinod Sekhar for a total of HUF 178 billion (EUR 501 million) during the first wave of the coronavirus. The shipment of 6,258 machines arrived in Hungary via GR Technologies, a company owned by Sekhar.
According to the MalaysiaNow news portal,
at the time of the huge purchase by Hungary, it was already known that one of the models sold by Sekhar did not meet the requirements of safe use and that its defects could even endanger the lives of patients.
The aforementioned model is the Shangrila 510S. In the UK, a 60-page report was published on the investigation into the machine. Following concerns raised in the report, the Department of Health withdrew 750 ventilators from use.
According to the article of MalaysiaNow, the SH300 model also included in the Hungarian shipment was reported in Colombia for having serious issues as well. According to reports in the country,
at least six people were killed by the model, as the machines unexpectedly stopped on multiple occasions and transmitted incorrect data.
24.hu says that it is not known exactly how much Sekhar eventually made from the Hungarian deal, but shortly after he delivered the ventilators, he bought a luxury yacht and a Bombardier BD-700-1A10 private jet.
Also in November last year, MalaysiaNow reported that Malaysian authorities had raided the offices of Sekhar’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. According to the paper, the billionaire businessman was under investigation on the suspicion of money laundering.
As reported in mfor.hu’s article, in Hungary, the majority of the 16,000 ventilators purchased during the epidemic are in storage facilities, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started selling and giving away the surplus.
Source: 24.hu, mfor.hu, MalaysiaNow