Over 500 Dominican Police, Soldiers Dismissed for Drug Ties in 5 Years
(insightcrime.org) - More than 500 Dominican officials have been purged from the country’s police and military in the last five years for ties to drug trafficking groups, a worrying sign for the island as it appears to be growing in importance to traffickers.

 

Between 2007 and 2012, 516 police and military officials were dismissed from their jobs for helping drug smugglers, according to Hoy newspaper. The majority came from the national police and air force, followed by the army and marines.

A number of the arrested officials were caught attempting to transport narcotics at docks, ports, and border crossings with Haiti. More than 100 had been working with the country’s Specialized Airport Security Corps (CESA).

According to Hoy’s report, many of those caught while working for CESA had received their posts with the help of the drug groups’ influence, and some of them had criminal records.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Dominican Republic is an important transit point for drugs trafficked through the Caribbean from South America. Though only around 5 percent of US-bound cocaine transits through the Caribbean, recent indicators suggest that increased pressure in the isthmus has caused drug routes to increasingly shift back to the Caribbean. This is supported by figures from the US Military’s Southern Command, which recorded an increase in aerial and maritime trafficking activity last year through the Caribbean. Dominican authorities seized a record of more than 8 tons of cocaine last year.

In addition to the Dominican Republic’s police and military involvement in the drug trade, there have been recent indications of drug groups’ ties to seemingly legitimate business enterprises. Earlier this month, three air force officials and the owner of a domestic airline carrier were arrested as part of a smuggling ring that transported drugs between Venezuela and an airport 150 kilometers from the country’s capital.

Especially troubling in Hoy’s report is the number of airport officials arrested for their role in drug smuggling. In March this year, the US State Department listed maritime trafficking as its main focus in Dominican anti-drug efforts, listing only one suspected drug flight for 2011. The arrest numbers released by Hoy, combined with the uncovering of the airport trafficking ring, suggest that many Dominican drug flights may have gone undetected.

 

Retired generals need bodyguards because of “mischiefs” committed

DominicanToday.com - Two retired Armed Forces generals on Tuesday admitted as privileges the benefits provided to those retired senior officers, but noted that they need bodyguards because of the “mischiefs” they committed while on active duty.

Air Force (r) Gen. Rafael Percival Peña said those privileges aren’t stated in any stature within the military, for which in his view the “old habits” without any legal grounds should disappear.

He said active members of the military shouldn’t be assigned to retired officers, to be exploited with demeaning chores such as bathing dogs, washing dishes, mopping floors, gardening, babysitting and "being bodyguards for lovers."

"How is it possible that a general who no longer serves in the armed forces has seven, 50 and 60 enlisted and officers in charge, and use them as errand boys?"

Percival Peña also slammed the retired generals who walk around the streets with a squad of soldiers guarding their backs, “as if they were brigade commanders in wartime.”

"There are some of them who’ve done much mischief and have to walk around under guard," the retired general said, adding: “I don’t have or want any soldier of the Armed Forces assigned to me, neither as a driver nor as anything."

 

Dominican Republic Police still can’t count its agents

National Police chief Jose A. Polanco on Wednesday said an investigation is underway to determine how many agents live abroad, including colonels, to fire them for dereliction of duty.

The announcement is the latest Police effort to figure out how many agents are actually on its payroll and what services they provide, an embarrassing admission which spurs mockery among the population.

Although Polanco said a cleanup of the Police payroll is underway, he didn’t specify the number of agents who are abroad.

Interviewed after a meeting with president Danilo Medina in the National Palace, the official revealed that a three-story building will be built in the ??Villa Consuelo sector, to house the National District Police Central Directorate.


Dominican police dismantle international narco-trafficking ring

infosurhoy.com - Dominican Republic – An “enormous” criminal ring that allegedly used the Dominican Republic as a hub to prepare airplanes used to smuggle narcotics out of South America was broken up by counter-narcotics agencies, officials said.

The Dominican National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD) said on Oct. 1 that 15 suspects were arrested, including a lieutenant colonel in the Dominican Army and a prominent businessman who owns a small airline.

The network, made up of Dominicans, Jamaicans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Puerto Ricans, Americans and Bahamians, allegedly brought aircraft into the country and modified them to fly longer distances and carry more cargo.

The group was a key cog in an international ring that used the planes to pick up drugs in South America, principally Venezuela, and fly them north through countries like Honduras and Haiti, according to the DNCD.

In his statement detailing the arrests, Maj. Gen. Rolando Rosado Mateo, the chief of the DNCD, did not estimate the volume of narcotics the organization allegedly helped move under the scheme. But Dominican news outlets on Oct. 3, citing government sources, reported that the criminal band was part of the Norte del Valle cartel, which operates from Colombia and grew in the late 1990s.

The Dominican daily El Día reported the cartel was working with the Mexican Gulf cartel. The newspaper’s story and the array of nationals arrested on Oct. 1 underscore the fears of Dominican officials who have said international criminal groups increasingly have targeted the country.

The Sinaloa cartel, a rival of the Gulf cartel, has established a presence in the Cibao region in northern Dominican Republic, officials have said.

The bust also signals the deep-seated influence drug traffickers have come to wield in the country. Among those arrested were Army Lt. Col. Juan Ramón Rosado Pérez, former National Police officer Carlos Manuel Ramírez and Air Force Lt. Henry Valdez García, who are accused of being paid US$2,500 by the ring to keep aircraft in the country for a month. Army Sgt. Maj. José Antonio Cleto Cruz also was taken into custody for his alleged role in the operation.

The yearlong investigation, assisted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, revealed that soldiers stationed at the small airport in the town of Constanza and the cargo crews in a handful of other airports provided protection for the group.

“This organization managed even to penetrate the airport controls as a result of the assistance received at the cited airports, where they managed to recruit soldiers of different ranks and civilians to conduct their activities without problems or suspicions,” Rosado said.

Agents arrested Rafael Senén Rosado Fermín, the owner of Caribair, a small airline, and prominent businessmen Sergio René Gómez Díaz and José Vicente Figueroa Ortiz. They are being investigated for money laundering.

“Sergio René Gómez Díaz was the brain and he set up the fundamental structure in the Dominican Republic area. His house was the center of operations,” Rosado said.

The DNCD also reported the arrests of Venezuelan José Luis Veras Márquez; Americans Alberto Laureano and Daimon Mario Pérez; Puerto Rican Harry William Nazario; Bahamian Holmer Errol Outram; and Dominicans Víctor Hugo Sánchez Portes, Danny Salvador Ramírez Cabral and Christian Suárez Javier.

The arrests were followed by the seizure of “millions of dollars” worth or property, including six planes, homes, a nightclub, a car wash and an automotive dealership, authorities said.

The investigation took a turn in late September when a small plane crashed in Constanza. DNCD officials said the plane had been brought from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic to be modified to haul large shipments of drugs from South America.

Two men died in the crash, including Police Capt. Anthony Eduardo Leyba, who, it was later revealed, was working undercover. He was allegedly offered US$40,000 to fly the plane to Venezuela. Once loaded with drugs, the pilot and copilot would be paid $250,000 and $150,000, respectively, to fly it to Honduras, officials said.

Investigators identified a second plane for which the group allegedly bought 108 gallons of fuel at the Isabela airport in Santo Domingo. The plane flew to the island of Curaçao on Sept. 25 and then to Venezuela near the Colombian border.

The Cessna 310J plane was built in 1965 and registered to a Puerto Rican address, according to U.S. Federal Aviation Administration records. Rosado said it belonged to Sergio René Gómez Díaz, although it is not registered in his name, according to the records.

Dominican officials continue to search for Luis Alberto Blanco Ascanio, a Venezuelan who allegedly was among the ring’s leaders, and his driver. Officials suspect they are in the Dominican Republic.

InfoSurHoy.com is a one-stop source of news and information about, and for, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is sponsored by the US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM).

 

DEA says, Dominican Republic is a “warehouse” for US-bound drugs

     

 

 

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Caribbean region director, Pedro Janer yesterday said, the drugs go through small Caribbean islands such as Tortola or Antigua, then Dominican Republic, which has become the warehouse for Puerto Rico. The official said the drug goes preferably to the United States east coast whose large populations of Dominicans and Puerto Ricans such as in New York, Florida and other cities make for much more fluid contacts.......

 

 

Dominican Watchdog Note: Ex president Leonel Fernandez appointed hundreds of useless generals because he feared the army. At the same time he "closed his eyes" to their involvement in large scale drug operations during his 12 years as president. There can be no doubt that people close to him knew about the international drug rings. The owner and operator of the above airline was in the police search light 5 years ago for killing an official for inspecting his flights!! If Leonel should not be jailed for letting the DR become one of the major drug points in the Caribbean, then he should be jailed for the PLD's billion dollar fraud and corruption in the electricity business. A failed and useless president must be held responsible, Noriega from Panama is still in jail for less!!

 

WARNING: Too Many Tourists & Foreign Investors Are Killed In Dominican Republic - Body Count: 21, Who Is Next? Canadian Civil War World Blogger Calls DR The World's Most Dangerous Country!

 

Don't lose your money, time and life in Dominican Republic!
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Go back | Date: 14 Oct 2012
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