Dutch company allegedly failed to deliver one million facemasks, court hears

A Dublin-based clothing supplier has secured a freezing order against a Dutch firm it claims failed to supply it with one million protective facemasks.
Dutch company allegedly failed to deliver one million facemasks, court hears
A file and unrelated image of someone wearing a face mask
A file and unrelated image of someone wearing a face mask

A Dublin-based clothing supplier has secured a freezing order against a Dutch firm it claims failed to supply it with one million protective facemasks.

Uniformal Ltd secured various orders, including what is known a freezing order against Taurus Gemini Real Estate BV, known as the Gemini Group, based in Bergen, the Netherlands.

The court's order prevents the Gemini Group from reducing its assets below a sum of €250,000.

Uniformal claims its business has been damaged by the defendant's failure to supply the PPE or return the money it paid.

The Lucan-based company has already supplied one million facemasks to various nursing homes and care facilities in Ireland since the Covid 19 outbreak.

Represented by Arthur Cunningham BL, instructed by Peter Boyle & Company solicitors, Uniformal says it had agreed to purchase one million face masks from the Dutch company to be used as PPE.

It was agreed the Irish firm would pay €250,000 in advance, plus an additional €250,000 after the facemasks were delivered.

The delivery was due to take place in late April.

The masks were to be sourced in China, and were to be delivered a few days after the first payment was made.

Uniformal says the masks never arrived.

Initially it was told by the Dutch company that the original consignment from China was very poor quality.

Uniformal said Gemini's CEO informed the Irish firm that it had asked the Chinese manufacturers to send a new batch of facemasks as replacements.

Uniformal was unhappy with this proposal, and asked for its money back.

Over the month of May the parties corresponded with each other on many occasions.

Dublin aiport

Uniformal claims Gemini told it that the masks would be delivered to Dublin Airport on May 10 and then May 22nd.

Uniformal also said that Gemini told it that the masks would be delivered to Dublin Airport initially on May 10th last, and when they didn't arrive that the items would be there on May 22nd.

It says that while the Gemini group were initially opposed to returning the money it subsequently said it was disposed to refund the Irish company its €250,000.

However the masks never arrived and the money was not refunded.

It is also alleged that in relation to the May 22nd date Gemini allegedly provided Uniformal with documents that falsely claimed to be proof of customs clearance.

Uniformal have made a complaint to the Gardaí, and an investigation is underway.

It also sought an injunction preventing Dutch-based company, which the court heard was involved in the oil industry, from reducing its assets below €250,000.

The injunction was granted on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys.

The case will come back before the court next week.

In its proceedings Uniformal is seeking an order directing the defendant to return the €250,000 it paid for the facemasks, in according with an agreement entered into between the parties on April 20th last.

It also seeks various declarations including that the defendant is in breach of the agreement entered into in late April, as well as an order for damages.

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