THE HAGUE, Netherlands 

European law enforcement agency Europol said Tuesday that it had foiled an attempt to cheat German health authorities by selling them millions of euros worth of non-existent face masks amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.   

Europol said in a statement that two companies were contracted by the German government last month to buy face masks valued at 15 million euros ($16.4 million). 

The companies, based in Hamburg and Zurich, got in touch with a supplier firm registered in Spain to purchase a total of 10 million medical masks. 

When the sale failed to materialize, the two companies

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