Stolen? I don’t thinks so. The 6M coronavirus masks for Germany is nothing but an official scandal
Kenya is on the International News headlines with coronavirus, this time for stealing coronavirus masks that was meant for Germany. According to Reuters, ” German customs officials are attempting to track down about 6 million face masks ordered to protect health workers from the coronavirus which went missing at an airport in Kenya”.
It is not clear how the masks went missing, with two possibilities being speculated at the moment. One possibility which I do not want to buy into is that the masks were stolen. The second possibility is that custom officials in collision with manufacturer decided to let the final destination of the masks to be Kenya as the manufacturer could get high returns if the masks were sold in Kenyan.
“What exactly happened, whether this a matter of theft or a provider who isn’t serious, is being cleared up by customs,” said a government source.
AFP via the Daily Nation has also given the two specuations. ““Insiders therefore suspect that after the deal with the German procurement office, the manufacturer might get a better price for its goods and sell the masks there (in Kenya). But it is also possible that criminals stole the delivery at the airport and now sold it profitably in Kenya.”
I do think it’s possible that a whole 6 million consignment of cargo could just be stolen without a trace. There is no way that’s possible with the technology and logistics for tracking in place on earth today; given that Germany is probably the world’s leading country in advanced technologies. Insurance and other International Regulations for shipments can also not allow for a shipment the magnitude of which are talk about here could go unnoticed.
What I suspect is that either the government of Germany decided to ‘donate’ the masks to Kenya given what is coming, or the suspicion that the manufacturer changes its mind hence decided to sell the masks in Kenya for higher profatiblity could be the case.
But even a scenario where the manufacturer decides to sell the masks locally when there is a contractual obligation to deliver them to Germany still doesn’t make sense. Can’t Germany sue that manufacturer in the manufacturer’s jurisdiction? Given the many other questions that can raised around this, it is logical to conclude that the only way the coronavirus masks could have gotten lost is if Germany decided to lend those masks to Kenya, maybe at a fee.