|DominicanToday.com - Four Customs employees and an unspecified number of businesspersons in Santiago are under arrest and being questioned today by in connection with a fraud of more than RD$100 million, and for alleged bribes paid to dodge import taxes.
Santiago prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reinoso(picture) didn’t reveal the businesspersons’ names.
Santiago Felipe, Customs collector in Cibao International Airport; Adalberto Rosa, son of the ruling PLD party deputy elect and current director of the National Tobacco Institute, of the same name; Miguel Angel Lazala and Gérard Estévez Cabrera were notified by the Office of the Prosecutor to be questioned today, after several searches by Customs inspectors, the Justice Ministry and the Police.
Lazala is the son of Petra Canela, director of the Blackoutw Reduction Program and a senior member of the PLD, whereas Moronta was campaign chief for the Senator elect and Chamber of Deputies president Julio César Valentín.
Other sons of PLD leaders in Santiago are reportedly involved, but news source elnacional.com.do reports that the information wasn’t confirmed.
Searches were carried out in the sectors Los Hidalgos, Vista Linda, Las Colinas and La Moraleja, Reynoso said, adding that others will continue in different parts of the country today.
SHIPPING COMPANIES RAIDED
New source hoy.com.do reports that the offices of the companies Papo Shipping and Salcedo Shipping were searched and merchandise including weapons have been seized.
Customs director Rafael Camilo on Tuesday said the fraud consisted in dispatching merchandise without verifying in exchange for “strong sums” of money and warned those responsible that “if you did the crime, do the time.”
He said another shipping company, Now Logistic, was also searched, whereas José Ignacio Zapata, president of the consolidator Papo Shipping, has also been detained.