Inside stunning £2.2m waterfront home of PPE businessman in £21m deal to supply NHS during Covid crisis
A BUSINESSMAN who was part of a £21 million deal for PPE lives in a stunning £2.2m waterfront home on Miami Beach.
Michael Saiger, a Florida-based jewellery designer, landed "a number of lucrative contracts" with factories in China manufacturing gloves and gowns before selling the gear to the NHS.
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Mr Saiger's two-bedroom, two-bathroom home is on one of the Venetian Islands that are linked to the mainland by the Venetian Causeway.
A close neighbour said: “Michael has lived there for many years. As far as I know he is away at the moment, I understand maybe on the West Coast.”
Photos on social media showed the tuxedo-wearing businessman, who runs jewellery firm Miansai, driving classic cars and holidaying across America.
Mr Saiger could not be reached for comment by The Sun last night.
He enlisted the help of another businessman who helped broker £250 million worth of PPE deals with the NHS – funded by taxpayers – during the coronavirus crisis.
Spanish businessman Gabriel Gonzalez Andersson, to act as a go-between for Mr Saiger.
His job was to aid with "procurement, logistics, due diligence, product sourcing and quality control" on deals which had already been brokered.
The duo then agreed to fulfil three more contracts with the NHS which Mr Andersson, who stood to pocket another £15 million, is accused of not fulfilling.
Court documents say that he approached business associate Mr Anderrson believing he was experienced in “large-scale distribution projects”.
Mr Saiger’s lawyers claim Mr Andersson failed to secure the items from China, leaving him unable to supply the NHS.
Court papers also claim that Mr Saiger’s links with Chinese factories led to the UK government to agreeing lucrative PPE contracts with
Mr Saiger's spokesman said his company had “an extensive network of manufacturing and distribution contacts in Asia”.
He said it delivered PPE to the UK “on time and at value” and did not use middlemen but did, when needed, use “short-term contractors for additional expertise and capacity”.
Mr Andersson’s lawyer, Javier Alexander Roldan Cora, told The Sun: “We are not authorised to give a comment.”
The BBC reports a court case in Miami has highlighted the amount of money made by companies supplying the NHS with equipment to protect against the virus.
Documents from a court dispute between the two men describe Mr Andersson as having done "very well under this arrangement", after making £21m on two contracts.
Mr Saiger reportedly signed three more agreements to supply the NHS with millions of PPE items in June.
Mr Andersson would have received around $20m more in consulting fees from those deals, it is thought.
However court documents allege he stopped working for Mr Saiger after the agreements were signed, which led to vital deliveries being delayed.
The Department of Health and Social care published contracts with Mr Saiger's company, Saiger LLC, worth more than £200m.
As well as the court case in the US, campaign group the Good Law Project are set to challenge the deals in the UK, accusing the Government of not paying "sufficient regard" to tax payers' money.
Jolyon Maugham, the project's director, said: "We do not understand why, as late as June, government was still making direct awards of contracts sufficiently lucrative as to enable these sorts of profits to be made.
"The real criticism that is to be made here is of the huge profits that government allows to be generated."
The BBC contacted Gabriel Gonzalez Andersson for comment but he did not respond.
A Department of Health and Social Care Spokesperson could not comment on legal proceedings, but said: “We have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE, delivering more than 4.9 billion items to the frontline so far.
"Almost 32 billion items have been ordered to provide a continuous supply, which will meet the future needs of health and social care staff.
“Proper due diligence is carried out for all government contracts and we take these checks extremely seriously.”
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) varies, but it is the extra layers used to keep the wearer safe from pathogens, chemicals and deadly viruses.
The main goal of PPE is to stop pathogen-loaded airborne particles, like saliva or blood, transferring from patient to medic, like an extreme sneeze guard.
PPE stops those particles getting into the wearer's body through vulnerable points like their mouths, lungs and eyes.
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