The president of Colombia’s social security program issued arrest warrants for 30 individuals accused of extorting as much as $1.13 billion from social security.
Silvia Elena Ramirez, who directs the national social security program, said that an auditing process detected 41 new cases of fraud in the health care system.
She reported that the fraud took two forms. Ramirez said that she found several cases of healthy Colombians receiving benefits for disabilities by presenting false documents that claimed they were disabled. Ramirez noted that other Colombians had succeeded in claiming social security at a prohibitively young age by presenting false birth certificates.
Ramirez noted that none of the suspects were social security officials.
Colombia’s health and social security system has come under increasing scrutiny this year. As he announced stiff new penalties for fraud in the medical system, Assistant Prosecutor General Juan Carlos Foreno noted that according to early audits many Colombian’s who are currently dead appear to still be receiving health payments.