DL English|18 abr 2011, 12:00 AM|POR Diario Libre

Cibao Cartel shipped 1,000 kgs. of coke to US in 11 months

SAMANA. The so-called "Cibao Cartel" whose main members were arrested and arraigned supposedly exported more than 1,000 kilos of cocaine over the last 11 months, just from the Dominican Republic to the United States, according to reports given to Diario Libre.

When the organization was trapped last 28 March, they had already made nine shipments with cocaine from two important cartels based in Colombia and Mexico.

In the meantime, yesterday agents from the National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD) and representatives of the Justice Department arrested another person tied to the international network.

The person arrested, whose name has not been revealed, was interrogated for several hours by the prosecutor of the Samana Judicial District, Juan Medina de los Santos.

The accusation drawn up by the Tribunal of Permanent Attention of the Judicial District of Samana indicates that the cartel trafficked cocaine that came from Colombia and Mexico, using the Dominican Republic as the bridge for sending it to Florida and other destinations in the United States.

Moreover, it indicates that the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Agency), the Dominican Air Force and the DNCD were following these operations since September 2010.

The accusation indicates that the cartel also used the Turks & Caicos Islands and the Bahamas as an intermediary point for receiving the drugs, which was picked up most of the time in yachts and fast boats.

Among the persons arrested in the case, are the lawyer Fausto Ramirez Collado, the businessman Ivan Miguel Tineo Paulino, who directed the group at the international level, Rey Ureña, Luis Alvarez, and Nadin Peguero Bezi who each were sent to preventive custody for a year.

According to the accusation, the function of lawyer Ramirez Collado, was to provide and find the money to finance the operations of international drug trafficking.

The charges also say that the lawyer was in charge of bringing the money from the United States with "mules" and then deliver it to the dealer and exchange houses.

The accusation indicates that Ramirez Collado laundered money from drug trafficking through restaurants, villas, boats, luxury vehicles, jewelry, and other illicit operations.

Last week, the authorities searched the offices of the lawyer located on Texas Avenue at the Plaza Metropolitana, in the Jardines Metropolitanos of Santiago where they seized different documents..

After the assets

Meanwhile the investigators of the DNCD and other intelligence agencies are on the trail of the assets belonging to the persons implicated in the Cibao Cartel.

According to the preliminary investigations, among the properties acquired with the money from drug trafficking, by some of the accused in the cartel, there are tourist motels (cabañas), motor launches, yachts, luxury vehicles and other properties.. The group is tied to the shipment of 157 kilos of cocaine seized at the end of March by the DNCD agents and other state agencies. The gang is led here by Nadin Peguero Bezi.

Officials of the National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD), together with members of the DEA, are leading the investigations. It was revealed over the weekend that several Dominican officials are in permanent contact with the DEA, with the idea of determining the connections of the gang with Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers. At the same time, the DNCD deepened the investigation in Samana, Santiago, Puerto Plata and other important cities of the northern region of the country trying to arrest other persons implicated in the criminal organization.
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