Forfeiture bill would end grim reality that lets drug traffickers keep billions

A report in El Dia on 12 July 2021 reveals the accumulated wealth drug traffickers have been allowed to keep and enjoy in the Dominican Republic once reaching deals with US justice authorities.

The El Dia report highlights that the drug dealers get short sentences in the United States and then return to the DR to enjoy their wealth.

The passing of an extinction of domain bill would enable the forfeiture of illicit assets but has languished in the Dominican Congress for years. It did not pass when the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) was majority in Congress. The ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) is the new majority in Congress and the bill has again been sent to committee for review.

El Dia reports that some of the notable beneficiaries of the lax Dominican laws for accumulating wealth through illicit means are: Quirino Ernesto Paulino Castillo, Ernesto Bienvenido Guevara Díaz (Maconi), Carlos Rossó Peña, Miguel Antonio Suárez Silfa, Francisco Antonio Hiraldo Guerrero, José David Figueroa Agosto, Ramón Elías Tavárez Lebrén, José Arismendy Almonte Peña (Joselito.com), Antonio del Rosario Puente (Toño Leña), Julio de los Santos (Julito Kilo) and Jesús Cabrera Ruiz.

The report says these have been able to keep luxury villas, farms, yachts, houses, apartments, luxury vehicles, watches and large tracts of land that the state would have seized if they had been tried while the bill was in effect.

El Dia points out that Paulino Castillo alone was able to keep around 75% of his RD$2 billion fortune amassed in his years of drug trafficking.

Read more in Spanish:
El Dia

12 July 2021