GEL 5.7 million Social Insurance Fraud
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, February 15The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Finance arrested sixteen employees of a sub agency of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Care and representatives of insurance companies, on February 14. All are suspected of abusing their positions and misappropriating 5,700,000 GEL allocated for social-insurance programmes for the vulnerable funded by the government of Georgia.
Insurance companies: Alfa, Imedi l, Irao, Aldagi BCI, IC group, Archimedes’s Global Georgia and GPI holding, together with officials of the social services agency are accused of being involved in the crime.
According to the investigation, the suspects forged and used insurance documents to evade the terms of the governmental programmes. They did not distribute the insurance policies intended for the vulnerable and therefore avoided providing medical service to the beneficiaries.
“The agency and the insurance companies were getting money from the authorities on time to make and deliver health insurance polices to people living below the poverty line on time. The companies were making the policies but late and sometimes did not give them to the insured people at all,” stated deputy Prosecutor, Davit Sakvarelidze.
The investigation also presented the scheme of how the agency representatives and the insurance companies acted. “Firstly the money was delivered to the agency and via it to the insurance companies, who then thought how to delay the delivery of the policies to beneficiaries and used that money for their own interests.”
A regional representative of the insurance company, Alfa, Konstantine Grdzelidze said, “The main reason why we were late in delivering the policies on time was because we received them too late from central office.”
The Chamber of Control also expressed its interest in the issue as before this they have accused insurance companies of “misusing money allocated from the state budget”, to which the response of insurance companies has been that the Chamber of Control “negative represented the information to the society and created danger for one of the most successful projects.”
The people who suffered as a result of the situation have stated that due to the non-existence of the policies they could not receive adequate treatment and the situation was especially serious when they needed urgent operations. In several cases many of Georgia’s most poor have had to pay for medical services from their own pockets. The investigation and questioning of the arrested people continues.