Dominican Customs uncovers major fraud, ex official indicted The Customs Agency filed charges against an ex administrator of East Haina Port  and two others who allegedly defrauded the entity out of millions of pesos, by cashing the checks paid by merchandise importers .

The main accused is Alberto Daniel Hernandez Peña, former head of Haina’s Bulk Merchandise Department, whom the Justice Ministry says illegally cashed eight checks from several companies, one of them for RD$9.6 million.

It also accuses Rafael de Jesus Pineda of knowingly depositing the checks issued by the companies to pay the import taxes on merchandise and that Hernandez received the forged Customs payment receipts.

Customs says it began the probe when on November, 16, 2007, East Haina Port administrator Héctor Manzueta informed that Ventura Maria de los Santos, of the importer Mejía Comercial, went to his office to ask why the tax payment on two imports figured RD$2.19 million with a check, but showed the collector a copy for RD$2.2 million.

It said that the payments were issued to Customs by the company Industrias Nacionales on 6-6-07, from its checking account, a situation which Customs noticed and began the investigation, because Mejía tried to pay two imports with funds from a second company, in this case, Industrias Nacionales.

“When Mejía was asked how he received the check, he said that on 15-11-07, Ruddy Moreta offered that he buy the check no. 007793, for RD$2,22 million, issued to Hernandez, Pineda, Lenin Frias, Jiménez, Antonio Cabrera Diaz and Juan Carlos Espinal Diaz, Customs agent of  the company Industrias Nacionales,” Customs said.

It adds that the check was to be sold to the company for RD$2.0 million, pocketing the difference of RD$229,847.75.

The accused will appear before the National District First Collegiate Court, whose judges set the hearing for February 26.

Go back | Date: 18 Feb 2010
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