Another reason not to invest in Dominican Republic!

By Royle Smith   / Pesonal letter/article in DominicanToday.com

When I’ve first arrive in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, they told me “WELCOME TO PARADISE” and I thought: it is PARADISE!  I just felt in love with it!  I made just one mistake, TO INVEST IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!

I was a visitor of DOMINICAN REPUBLICand I got to know different places and people; warm weather, beautiful landscapes, amazing sunrises and sunsets but, like many other foreigners, I realized that the quality of life of Dominican families were (mostly) below the human rate...! So I decided to connect to people and see how I could share some of my fortune with the natural beauty that surrounded them, and maybe create a balance in which they will forget their poor living condition,the suffering to get medicines, the unfortunate deceased of a family member just because the first medical aid was a six hour distance if they had the chance to get some transportation ... HOW WRONG I WAS...

I’ve lost millions of dollars in a project in Punta Rusia through my company, Cayo Arena.  My company, Cayo Arenaand I hadreceived support from the government and everything seemed to be going perfectly by the book.It wasn’t!  I was deceived and have lost everything and now I have to borrow money to see if my lawyers can recovermy land but, MY MISTAKE, as a business person, I should not trust my FORMER lawyer, WILTON ELVI ROMERO AYBAR! That’s the conclusion! Anyhow this article I am not going to elaborate on the fraud and corruption Wilton Romero and his associates along with the legal system have done towards my Cayo Arena Project, it will just show ANOTHER REASON NOT TO INVEST IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC! And you’ll understand if you continue reading...

Because my investment project was taking place in the Northern Coast of Dominican Republic, I bought a condo in Sosúaaround 2003, nothing too fancy but well located, 110 m2, ocean view, nice place... I furnished it and lived there everytime I was working on my project. But after I had realized that the same people I was trusting (Wilton Romero, his associates and including government institution’s people), were ILLEGALLYtaking control of my company and all my land investment, Idecided to leave the country in February 2011 for my personal safety until legal issues get cleared and my investment recovered,....I WAS WRONG AGAIN but, at least, I’m still alive.

I did contract a law firm from Santo Domingo, Dr. HiginioEchavarria to represent with my company investment.But, surprise, surprise ... On the 23th of November, 2012, my condo was illegally forced open and everything was taken; furniture, appliances, air conditioners, ceiling fans, batteries/inverters, safeboxes with money, motorbike, handgun, absolutely everything...and the interior was severely damaged. When I was informed, I called Lic. Luis Paez (foreign lawyer), who had power of attorney to act on my behalf in front of any person and in anything related to the condo and all of its contents since February of 2011, because I didn’t know when I was going to come back, and because he was a person recommended by several other foreigners in town.  Lic Luis Paez investigated and informed me that an “embargo” took place and the person producing it was WILTON ELVI ROMERO AYBAR, my first lawyer and friend in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC! The person that I trusted as my notary lawyer to all my investments..!!!

Here are the facts:

1)      They have produced a “pagaré notarial” supposedly sign by me but, the fake paper belongs to the protocol of Juan Rafael Reyes Nouel (Notary of Santiago), a person that I’ve never met and, according to his own daughter, it’s been more than ten years since he signed a paper, because he’s 80 years old and is too ill to handle any paperwork!

2)      They notified a “mandamiento de pago” knowing that I was not in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC and setting formal address in Santiago, when the Law says that you must set formal address in the place of the embargo (Sosúa), worse yet, when they produced the embargo, they setthe address in Santo Domingo!!! All that was approved by the “Procuradoría Fiscal of Puerto Plata” (ChiefProsecutor), who wassupposed to have reviewed all the legal process before authorizing the public force to proceed.

3)      They set up a guardian for all my belongings (Gerardo García Vásquez) and set the sale for public auction, which was stopped with legal actions by Luis Paez but, WHERE ARE MY BELONGINGS...??? The guardian who was supposed to take care of it, instead gave aninexistent address in Puerto Plata and everything disappeared!

4)      Luis Paez becomes my formal lawyer in this particular case, since he had power of attorney to represent me, and deposits formal papers in the office of the Prosecutor, requesting an investigation to be opened and find the missing belongings, which includes motorbike,handgun, cash andall other items mentioned above.  The chief prosecutor produced a few citations to get an answer from the guardian, who didn’t show up, challenging the law system, and an order of arrest is produced, which seems to be normal procedure!

5)      What doesn’t seem a normal procedure is that the Prosecutor in charge (Mag. Juan Carlos Hernandez Castro), after verifying that the guardian didn’t want to express where the belongings are, ask the Judge for an economic guarantee of RD$10,000.- (¡!??), when the furnishingsthat disappearedare valued in more than a million pesos! Worse yet, the Judge agree that the guardian got into an infraction of law but, determines that RD$5,000. - is enough guarantee to continue the investigation!

6)      My lawyer then provided the “Procuradoría Fiscal of Puerto Plata” (Prosecutor office) with enough evidence that the legal papers they were using were 90% fake, those papers had to be addressed to the chief of the fiscals (Mag. Alba Nuñez) because the PROSECUTOR in charge was not answering calls or facing my lawyer to get the new evidence... Civil parallel processes were started to review the paper work used on the embargo and to cancel the whole process.

7)      Happy with the answers of the chief of the fiscals (Mag. Alba Nuñez), who was visited in five different occasions for the same matter, there is nothing else to do than wait for action of the legal system... Yeah Sure!!! After one year of the disappearance of all my belongings in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, after requesting the civil tribunal of Puerto Plata for change of the guardian, which was refused because the Judge said we couldn’t show any damage to the belongings!!! How? We couldn’t even find it!!! After requesting the “Juez de la Instrucción” (first superior of the PROSECUTOR during the investigation) special orders for the PROSECUTOR to follow, which were denied because the Judge said it’s a civil issue!!! When the same tribunal declared that there was a penal fault in the guardian acts... Check!! So the lawyer deposits formal request of special instructions, the same ones promised in verbal by the chief of the fiscals (Mag. Alba Nuñez), to find out now that the file was “archivado” (released into a box to be forgotten!).

8)      But, here is another surprise, meanwhile the chief of the fiscals was promising a proper investigation and future trial against the guardian, the PROSECUTOR in charge (Mag. Juan Carlos Hernandez Castro) CLOSES THE FILE!!! Believe me it’s all documented. The “archivo” of the file was produced on October the 28th of 2013 by Juan Carlos Hernandez, the Special requests were deposit by Luis Paez in November the 9th of 2013, and they notify the “archivo” on January the 8th of 2014 ...

9)      Now, since we have wasted one year of investigation, the next legal step is to reactivate the case, for what we need a decision of the “Juzgado de la Instrucción”, the sametribunal that fixed RD$5,000.- as guarantee after agreeing that the law was broken by Gerardo García, as the guardian of my belongings, same tribunal that refused to give special order to the PROSECUTOR that did absolutely nothing in one year; now is the tribunal to decide if there are motives to re-open the case...!

10)  First hearing ... was cancelled because the secretary of the tribunal couldn’t locate Gerardo García in the addresses given by him, so they set a new hearing ..., with special orders to locate the guy at least by phone;  In the new hearing they ask Luis Paez for his quality to represent me in the case, which Luis had since 2011 when I left the country with a POA as general as possible for all my belongings in the Condo, including to sell the condo, but the Judge decided that the POA is not good enough, because it was prior to the case and she didn’t understand how a person can have legal representation for a case that didn’t exist!!!

11)  Here we are, seventeen months after all my belongings disappeared with fake papers, and the Judge is asking Luis Paez for a power of attorney..!! After I’ve spent more than US$5,000. -in the different legal processes, in which nobody have compared yet my signature in the fake document which they made me look like a DEBTOR! Having an order of arrest for WILTON ELVI ROMERO AYBAR (the supposed creditor and my first lawyer), which nobody seems to be able to execute (Sentence 00355/2013 Juzgado de Ejecución de la Pena de Puerto Plata)! With an obvious fault of the guardian, GERARDO GARCÍA VASQUEZ, who is only the guardian and supposed to inform me, the owner, is even able by law to request a fee to keep my belongings in shape, but it’s obvious that he sold all my belongings and is being protected by the law system, the same way they protect WILTON ELVI ROMERO AYBAR, there is no other explanation! Meanwhile, everything that belonged to me is gone.

Believe you me, when I’ve first arrive in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, they told me “WELCOME TO PARADISE” and I thought: it is PARADISE!WHAT A MISTAKE…DO NOT INVEST IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!

But you know what, I’ve lost most of my money, I’m involve in numerous legal processes that seem to be endless, I’m afraid to go back to DOMINICAN REPUBLICbut, I’M STILL ALIVE! Several others are not, and their cases will never be solved, just make a small research.  My good friend, Dirc Weber was murdered this year and is the German lawyer listed in one of the links below.

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Dom_Rep_sentences_couple_to_30_years_in_prison_for_killing_Belgian_tourist

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Another_Chinese_businessman_murdered_in_Dominican_Republic

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-US_man_killed_in_his_home_in_Sosua%2C_Dominican_Republic

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Tourist_STANISLAO_LYTWYN_killed_in_Punta_Cana_

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-4_arrested_for_killing_German_in_Sosua_on_the_North_Coast_of_Dom_Rep

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Prostitute_stabs_Canadian_man_20_times_in_Dominican_Republic%2C_American_Woman_killed_in_Bar

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Italian_man_beaten_to_death_with_iron_pipe_in_Dominican_Republic

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Tourist_Murder_no_26%2C_French_national_hanged_on_his_yacht_in_Samana_Dom_Rep

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Dutch_tourist_murdered_in_her_home_in_Cabrera%2C_Dominican_Republic

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-TRAVEL_WARNING%2C_Two_tourists_killed_in_Puerto_Plata_and_Santiago

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-U.S._citizen_found_dead_in_Puerto_Plata%2C_police_suspect_foul_play

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Swiss_woman_killed_in_her_house_in_Puerto_Plata

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-German_lawyer_is_foreigner_%2334_to_be_killed_in_Dom_Rep_in_recent_time

-          http://dominicanwatchdog.org/dominican_news/page-Ukrainian_woman_gunned_down_and_robbed_in_Sosua_over_2_small_yogurt

And the worst is that none of these cases are solved. The system is useless. Nobody really investigates. I see it in my cases, it’ll be easy to determine who is guilty if they do investigate but, no! In my case they just have to ask the guardian where my belongings are, in seventeen months nobody did it yet!!!

Save money, stay alive, DO NOT INVEST IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!

PS: I have records and documents that prove all my efforts to get a legal answer, whoever is interested in it, I can provide it, just e-mail me at cayoarena@earthlink.net

Royle Smith / CAYO ARENA

April 28, 2014

Go back | Date: 10 Jun 2014
Proud to be the most
factual DR news site!
We keep the stories
& investigations alive
that cozenage groups
want to hide or forget
rssFacebookTwitterFlickr
Facebook
Quick Search – All Articles
Video about DR's Sugar Barons
The horrible conditions of Haitian sugar cane workers in the Dominican Republic

The truth about Leonel
Must Watch This Video About President Leonel's DRUG CONNECTIONS!!

Top Stories
Most Read Stories
"This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research or any other non-commercial purposes."
Please support our work
1000 of hours are being
spend yearly on collecting
articles, investigations and
answering emails.