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Anti-corruption probe into $300 million social security (CSS) scam


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OPINION: Stink  of corruption in Social Security

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The Social Security Fund (CSS) is the largest budget institution in the Panamanian State.

Its funds come from the contributions that workers, companies, and taxpayers, make to the operation of the entity to through the central government. That’s why it hurts that the miasma of corruption and bureaucracy that dominates the internal processes of the CSS allowed the irregular affiliation of people who should not be insured They passed themselves off as domestic servants, car washers, and other honest trades very possibly with dark and dangerous ends. The highest authorities of the CSS, including its board of directors and its general director, must conduct the investigations, audits, and complaints to save the institution from those corruption networks that have captured some of the key functions of the CSS. Although investigative journalism contributes to documenting acts of corruption, only permanent surveillance and good care of the resources of the CSS by its own staff can ensure that this valuable entity does not sink into the swamp of negotiated opacity.
Silence is always an accomplice. … LA PRENSA, Mar. 15

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/opinion-stink-of-corruption-in-social-security

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Anti-corruption probe into $300  million social security scam

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The Public Ministry (MP) has initiated an investigation into Panama’s latest corruption scandal: the embezzlement of $300 million in employer-employee contributions to the Social Security system (CSS).

The opening of an investigative office was recorded on Friday, April 13, says an MP release.

After conducting several audits, the CSS discovered an embezzlement of almost $ 300 million, where employers and civil servants would be involved, They took advantage of the system of income and economic benefits. The results indicate that they erased debts and changed salaries in their statements

The Anticorruption Prosecutor will be in charge of the investigations.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/anti-corruption-probe-into-300-million-social-security-scam

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Comptroller moves on $300 million worker insurance scam

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The CSS administrative center
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Panama’s comptroller, Federico Humbert, sent  a letter on Thursday, April 19 to Social Security Fund (CSS), Director  Alfredo Martiz, asking for delivery  “as soon as possible” “the internal audits that revealed the possible evasion of $300 million in missing worker quota payments managed by employers.

Humbert said they will then proceed to carry out their respective audits and if they confirm what Martiz has denounced they will be forwarded to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for investigation. Fourteen companies are already under the microscope.

The CSS  has denounced that since 2012 when it started operating the Income and Benefits System (SIPE), which allowed employers to pay the employer’s contribution electronically, an evasion scheme was created.

Martíz indicated that, once they became aware of the situation, they have applied greater security, which has obviously caused discomfort due to the delay in processing time

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/comptroller-moves-on-300-million-worker-insurance-scam

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First heads roll in $300 million Panama Social Security scam

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The first officials allegedly linked to a $300 million embezzlement plot within Panama’s Social Security Fund (CSS) were fired on Friday, May 4 said the authority’s director Alfredo Martiz.

He didn’t reveal the names of the officials as they are under investigation by the Public Ministry.  (MP) for the respective investigations.

On Thursday, four complaints were lodged with the MPAnti-Corruption Prosecutor of the MP for failures within the CSS.

The injury to the State was carried out through the Integrated Economic Benefits System (SIPE), used for the affiliation of  CSS policyholders

Martiz said he made the presentation about the embezzlement that has caused so much “stress” in the population and must be resolved by the MP.

He added that it was the first presentation of criminal complaints, and more are expected when the internal audit is completed.

The major contributors to the massive fraud case are Panama businesses who created a way to manipulate the online registration system. Like the  Odebrecht bribery scandal and the Blue Apple investigation, it underlines collusion between state employees and the business world.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/first-heads-roll-in-300-million-panama-social-security-scam

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