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Codelco files lawsuit over alleged US$22M insurance contracts scam

Chile's Codelco filed a lawsuit over an alleged insurance contracts scam, which had inflated premiums for life and personal accident insurance costing US$22 million between 2005 and 2018, drawn up by unions for workers at the Chuquicamata and Radomiro Tomic mines, Reuters reported Jan. 15.

Half of the costs for the scam were borne by the company, with the other half by its workers.

The report said that the alleged fraud came during the time when the relations between Codelco and unions at the Chuquicamata mine were already strained by its transformation into an underground mine from open cast, with an associated reduction in headcount.

The unions, meanwhile, said in a statement sent to Reuters that all insurance agreements were signed off by the state-owned copper miner's human resources managers.

Newspaper El Mercurio earlier reported that an audit conducted by Chile's Copper Commission Cochilco showed that the premiums were as much as 68% higher than the standard market rate.

El Mercurio mentioned that at least two unions would have received payments for contracting policies offered by insurance broker Gestion y Servicios.