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Mexico charges 22 health officials with fraud


MEXICO CITY, Aug. 11, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency ) — Mexico’s Public Duties Ministry (SFP) and Attorney General’s Office had prosecuted 22 health officials for faking qualifications, the SFP said Wednesday in a statement.

Those charged worked for the Health Ministry, the state health provider Mexican Social Security Agency (IMSS), the State Workers Social Security Agency (ISSSTE), the National Prenatal Institute, the National Medical Arbitration Commission, the National Rehabilitation Institute and the General Hospital.

The 22 face up to six years in jail, the loss of their jobs and bans from future government employment. Eight of them work for the IMSS, while six work in the Health Ministry, and three in the Commission.

During the past two years, the SFP has radically restructured itself to crack down on potential fraud in public sectors.

So far this year, it has exposed a series of high-profile corruption cases, the largest of which was the fraudulent purchase of thousands of miles of rail as scrap during the privatisation of the nation’s railway system. The fraud cost the government 1.8 billion Mexican pesos (about 140 million U.S. dollars).

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