Ex-ministers investigated over health funds scandal

Colombian authorities open an investigation into former Minister of Social Protection Diego Palacio and former Trade Minister Luis Guillermo Plata over the alleged embezzlement of public health funds by health insurance (EPS) company Saludcoop, Colombian media reported Wednesday.

The Comptroller General’s Office investigation also targets Saludcoop’s ex-President Carlos Palacino, who is already facing a criminal trial for alleged crimes against public administration.

The Comptroller General’s Office reported that the former ministers and the Saludcoop president were involved in the embezzlement of government healthcare funding. Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos suggested that as much as $1 billion may have been embezzled since 2009.

According to a complaint filed by attorney Jose Luis Mozo, Saludcoop board members and legal representatives illegally authorized investments $321 million in social security funds.

Saludcoop, Colombia’s largest EPS company, was reposessed by the state on May 12 after being implicated in the scandal that first came to light in April.

Related posts

Central Colombia mining disaster kills 21, rescue attempts ended

At least 11 dead, 10 missing after central Colombia mine blasts

Venezuela extradites convicted former lawmaker to Colombia