Investigations ongoing after surveillance video showed luggage fraud case at PUJ

Carlos Devers, spokesperson for the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) told Noticias SIN that at least four people are under arrest as the case of a 65-year old woman who would have flown to Brussels for medical treatment and was accused of trafficking in cocaine is investigated. A surveillance video would be evidence of how two separate suitcase tags are printed for the same woman, confirmed Devers.

The arrested are the 65-year old ticketed passenger Julia Benoit, who will now need to appear in court and was released with a ban to leave the country. The others are Moises Lizardo, who is also released with the order to appear as needed in court. Sauri Martinez and Carlos Soriano were ordered to serve three months preventive detention.

Julia Benoit’s son traveled from Brussels to assist his mother in the case, but the defense lawyer was not able to secure the simple release of the mother on the grounds of the evidence in the video.

The case made rounds of social media after Punta Cana International Airport surveillance camera video made the serious irregularities very apparent. The surveillance cameras captured the happening and will is a major tool in establishing what exactly happened in court.

Cachareo journalist Elin Rosario was the first to release the video and said that the woman would have traveled to Brussels for medical treatment, but now is subject to appearances in court.

The video of the case has gone viral on social networks. The video shows how an employee of TUIFLY airline checks in passenger Julia Benoit with her black luggage and blue carryon. Then it shows how another employee, supposedly a supervisor, prints two more tags that he puts into his pocket and then leaves the area to walk towards a vehicle parked outside. The tags are presumed to be those that would appear on two red suitcases that K-9 dogs in a routine sweep would discover with drugs. Since they were tagged to Julia Benoit, the woman was arrested before boarding her flight and accused of trafficking with drugs. The defense presented evidence that Benoit had only purchased a ticket for transporting of the onboard luggage and carry on that were those she came to the counter with.

The surveillance video is part of the security services offered to airlines and passengers by the Punta Cana International Airport.

Read more in Spanish:
Noticias SIN
Diario Libre
Jose Peguero
DR1 News

27 September 2022