A business cartel that fixed prices of military rations defrauded Colombia’s armed forces for more than $16 million (COP47 billion), according to the country’s industry watchdog.
The Superintendency for Industry and Trade (SIC) filed charges against seven firms and 11 executives for allegedly conspiring to rip off the security forces since 2011.
The cartel agreed to fix prices in at least 10 bidding processes over the past seven years, which cost the military approximately $16 million, according to the SIC.
Companies charged with price-fixing
- Industrias Alimentos y Catering
- La Huerta de Oriente
- Productora Y Distribuidora De Productos Lacteos Y Comestibles
- Inversiones Baalbek
- A.R. Triple A
The industry regulator ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office to file criminal charges against the companies and businessmen.
At least one of the implicated businessmen was already implicated in a corruption scandal in Bogota that resulted in the incarceration of the capital city’s former mayor.
In this case no public officials appear to have been involved in the fraud scandal.
Business cartels are notorious in Colombia. Over the past two years, the SIC discovered price-fixing arrangements between cartels in the country’s cement industry, the sugar industry, the meat industry and even the toilet paper industry.