SANTO DOMINGO – Dominican authorities said on Monday they were deepening their investigation into a powerful international drug-trafficking ring that acquired some $50 million worth of assets in this Caribbean nation.
The drug mob, which has already been dismantled, was made up of Colombians, Dominicans and Cuban-Americans, according to a statement by the DNCD counternarcotics agency.
One of the ring’s alleged leaders was Colombian German Miguel Salgado Arroyo, who was apprehended last Friday in Santo Domingo along with compatriot Gabriel Leon Soriano and Dominican Amanda Conde Sosa, the statement said.
The detainees are allegedly linked to a shipment of 25 packages of a substance – apparently cocaine or heroin – that was seized a day earlier from five men who were planning to conduct a transaction at a parking lot in Los Rosales, east of Santo Domingo.
The ring also has been linked to the seizure last November of a Venezuelan-registered plane that landed in the eastern town of Higüey with a shipment of drugs, the DNCD said.
Colombian pilots Pedro Gabriel Alonzo and Alexander Vasquez Gil, along with Dominican Wilkin Conde Sosa, arrived on board the plane and were arrested by anti-narcotics agents.
Salgado Arroyo and other suspects avoided arrest during that operation, carried out with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the DNCD said, adding that in addition to the aircraft the gang leader also left behind three vehicles, firearms, fuel containers and lights to illuminate runways, among other items.
Five Colombians, two Dominicans, a Mexican and a Haitian were prosecuted in connection with that incident.
The head of the DNCD, Rolando Rosado Mateo, said the dismantled ring has investments exceeding $50 million in the Dominican Republic, mainly in the eastern part of the country.
The suspected drug traffickers bought beachfront properties, more than 100 apartments, boats, vehicles and other assets in that region, the official added.
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