Greece’s main social security fund, IKA, on Monday ordered its local branch directors to take legal action against any individual found to be claiming the pension of a deceased member of the fund.
The step comes following an internal investigation which concluded last week that more than 3,000 pensions were being paid into the bank accounts of deceased members of the fund six months or more after their death and being collected by relatives or other third parties.
Around 40 million of the illegally claimed 60 million euros has been recovered.
Monday’s order said that legal action should not be taken against individuals who confess to claiming their dead relative’s pensions as long as they come forward within the first three months of the death and return the money obtained.
Meanwhile, in a related development, a police investigation Monday revealed that thousands of prescriptions for medicines had been made out by dozens of doctors over the past few years in the names of deceased pensioners belonging to IKA and the NAT seamen’s fund and redeemed by third parties.
As an indication of the embezzlement’s extent, investigators said that 2,585 prescriptions had been written out in the first three months of 2013 in the names of pensioners who had died, costing the funds more than 150,000 euros