US officials help investigate possible new drug cartel in Dominican Republic
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — U.S. federal agents are helping Dominican authorities investigate an apparent drug cartel that has formed in the country's northern region, officials said Friday.

One of the two accused leaders arrested this week, Nadim Bezi, is nephew of the mayor of the popular coastal city of Samana, according to the National Drug Control Agency. The other suspect was identified as Silvio Pena.

Agency spokesman Ramon Rodriguez described the group as extremely dangerous and said they work with cartels in Mexico and Colombia. The Caribbean nation is a popular location to ship drugs to North America and Europe.

He said the group is tied to the seizure of 157 kilograms (346 pounds) of cocaine in late March in Samana. Four people were arrested.

The group — dubbed the "Cibao Cartel" — operates in the northwest and the northern Cibao region, a lush agricultural valley where the two most important cities following the capital, Santiago and La Vega, are located, Rodriguez said.

Rolando Rosado, director of the country's drug control agency, said he asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for help because it is such a broad investigation.

He declined to provide details about the group.

"We're in a phase where any out of line or improper statements can ruin or compromise the investigation," he said.

Copyright © 2011 The Canadian Press


Related article to the extreme drug problems in DR:

Presidency’s Adviser warns judges, officials, reporters on hired killers

The Presidency’s Adviser on Drugs Thursday revealed the presence of powerful structure of hired killers working for drug trafficking in the country, which can attack officials, especially of the judicial area, who handle delicate cases related to drug trafficking.

Marino Vinicio Castillo cited Monday’s assault against Supreme Court Justice Julio Aníbal Suarez, calling it “extremely grave,” and that those structures can just as well proceed against journalists who confront the country’s drug trafficking. "That incident (the assault on Suarez) is extremely grave, and must draw our attention, because powerful structures of contract killers at the service of drug trafficking exist in the country which are ready to act against judges, Justice Ministry officials and journalists, who fight that activity in diverse ways.”

The official, speaking with journalists prior to the launch of the National Ethics and Anticorruption Commission’s Campaign for “Transparency and Values,” added a warning to reporters. "You, the journalists, could also be the targets of the structures of contract killers that operate in the country at the service of drug trafficking, for which you must protect yourselves and be on the alert.”



Dominican Watchdog note:  What we see is a clear result of the current PLD government and their extreme corruption and possible involvement with drug lords during the last 6 years. Soon DR could end like Mexico and then it will be too late to fix. Slowly the drug cartels will take over the corrupt justice system. That will hurt the tourists industry too as in Mexico !


Largest Caribbean drug case points to high level corruption in Dominican Republic

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