Company fined for creating “fire cartel” Confederate hired to fight wildfires in Valparaiso through 2024

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Conaf adjudicó a la multada por colusión Pegasus South America.

In January 2022, the Free Competition Court (TDLC) accepted the first of three requests filed by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE) against Pegasus South America (formerly FASA). The company was fined for colluding with Martínez Ridao Chile to win tenders from the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf), which contracted tanker aircraft to combat and extinguish forest fires between 2009 and 2015.

TDLC’s decision was approved by the Supreme Court in July 2023, with Pegasus South America and Martínez Ridao each sentenced to a fine of 1,900 UTA (approximately $1.44 billion).

Just a month later, the TDLC again delivered a verdict of collusion against Pegasus and the company Inair Helicopters. The ruling confirmed the existence of a single and continuous collusion agreement between its executives Ricardo Pacheco and Rodrigo Lizasoin to influence bidding processes convened by CONF and two forestry companies during the years 2006 and 2013.

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Confederate paid $407,694 for a helicopter service during the 2023-2024 wildfire season, with its base of operations being Rodelillo in the Valparaiso area.

For this reason, Pegasus was ordered to pay a fine of $3.33 billion, and Inair was ordered to pay $1.97 billion. However, the companies fined went to the Supreme Court to reconsider aspects of the decision from TDLC, and have since been awaiting the final decision.

In any case, the collusion convictions have not affected Pegasus, which continued to win tenders from CONF during the period in which it was investigated by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office and its request was processed at the TDLC. .

In this sense, the last purchase order for Pegasus South America registered on the public market is from January 4, 2024.

Records show Conf had paid $407,694 (about $360 million) to service AgustaWestland Type A119 helicopters for its operations at the Rodelillo base in the Valparaiso region during the 2023-2024 wildfire season.

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This order was created from tender 633-34-LR21, which contracted helicopter service for the transportation of personnel and extinguishing wildfires to various communities in Metropolitan, Valparaíso, Maule, Biobío, Los Rivers, Los Lagos and – called “lots”. Magellan. Among them, Pegasus was awarded the Valparaiso and Biobio lots.

Since Pegasus was first found guilty of collusion by the TDLC in January 2022, the company has received 54 purchase orders totaling $17,487 million.

Another recent purchase order is dated December 28, 2023. CONF again paid Pegasus $2.4 million (about $2,214 million) for helicopter service to the Angola base, Araucania region.

This time the contract comes from a recent tender (633-69-LR23), which was awarded in November 2023, the month in which TDLC failed in one of the collusion requirements against Pegasus. In this sense, the fining company provided helicopter services in three communes of Araucania

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Now, in total, since TDLC first indicted Pegasus for collusion in January 2022, the company has received 54 purchase orders worth a total of $17,487 million.

In this regard, it should be noted that the fire cartel has its origins in Spain, where a group of companies dedicated to fighting and extinguishing forest fires colluded between 1999 and 2017 to divide the market geographically. Ki, the year in which they were discovered and placed. Investigation is going on. by the Spanish justice system.

Currently, the fire cartel conspiracy is in the trial stage in Spain. So far, Justice has discovered not only rigging in tenders and the distribution of operational areas, but also bribery of public officials and the landing of cartels in other countries, including Chile.

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