State phone company says it was defrauded out of about $200,000

Judicial agents said Thursday that a subcontractor of the state telephone company  defrauded the firm by initiating excessive telephone calls.

Agents detained five women and two men in a series of raids in Atenas and in El Coyol de Alajuela.

Agents said that the firm was contracted to provide 900 line service for the telephone provider, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

The subcontractor was supposed to receive a commission on each 900 line call it handled. But judicial agents said that between March 2014 and last April there were 85,000 calls that the telephone company said were irregular.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the persons associated with the company called the 900 line to generate commissions. The agency said that the loss to the state phone company was 105 million colons or nearly $200,000.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said the fraudulent calls were detected by its own systems.

The 900 line service is a marketing device for various professionals and companies.

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