911 director sent to Intrant; more irregularities surge in the Intrant saga

Army Colonel Randolfo Oniel Rijo Gomez is the new honorary temporary director for the National Institute of Transport and Transit (Intrant). Rijo Gomez will continue to direct the 911 Emergency Center, his paid position.

Rijo Gomez replaces Hugo Beras Ramirez, who had announced last week he was taking a license without pay. Beras had been named to the job in August 2022. Beras leaves after weeks of scandals filled the media. Recently he embarked on a media tour to defend the contract he had signed for Intrant with Transcore Latam SRL for the modernization of the traffic lights system in the Dominican Republic.

He began the tour after Procurement Agency (DGCP) director Carlos Pimentel ordered the suspending of the Transcore Latam SRL contract on Monday, 27 October 2023 with Resolution RIC-156-202 pointing out major irregularities in the contract.

This is the second traffic lights modernization contract suspended in recent times.

A previous traffic light system modernization contract had been signed in 2019 and then suspended by Beras’ predecessor, Rafael Arias in February 2021 with IControlt, represented by Carlos Ariel Zabala. Zabala complains he is owed about US$2 million on the contract for the works contracted in 2019 for the same purposes as the 2023 contract. Icontrolt sourced its equipment from the Austrian firm of Kapsch Trafficom. The Icontrolt contract signed in 2019 was for US$23 million.

Hugo Beras claimed in his defense of the new contract with Transcore Latam that the system contracted with Icontrolt had never worked well.

Nevertheless, Zabala claims that the new contractors had been painting over the devices his company installed to identify them as being installed under the new contractor (Transcore Latam) and claiming the installation for payment under Transcore Latam. The new contract is for about US$26 million (RD$1.317 million).

The Icontrolt system was never inaugurated. Zabala explained the installation coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic and the change of government.

In an interview in September 2023 with Acento.com.do, Zabala revealed he had taken his complaint of the irregularities to Hugo Beras, when the later was appointed in 2022. He said that nevertheless, Beras went on to sign with Transcore Latam. Likewise, Zabala said he used all channels to communicate the irregularities early on to the DGCP under Carlos Pimentel and to the Presidency of the Republic with no response until the suspending of the new contract by the DGCP in October 2023.

A major scandal, more like a Netflix series, has been in the media in recent weeks as details of the Intrant contracting unfold. For months, Zabala had been telling his story to the media with little exposure. But then when the director of the Procurement Agency (DGCP), Carlos Pimentel went on record suspending the Transcore Latam contract, the mainstream media picked up the story, with gradual findings every week of more irregularities that are shocking, even in a country accustomed to major corruption stories.

One of the findings indicates that the winners of the RD$1.317 million contract may have won the tender by presenting forged documentation of Transcore LP of Nashville, Tennessee, a US traffic lights systems supplier. Lawyers for the American company have distanced themselves from having anything to do with Transcore Latam. Transcore Latam had presented Transcore LP LLC as their supplier of technology.

Meanwhile, an editorial in Diario Libre indicates linkages between Transcore Latam and DeKolor, the company that for years has had the contract to renew driver licenses in the Dominican Republic. The service has been efficient. As the impasse over the modernization of the traffic lights systems is decided, Diario Libre calls for the new director of Intrant to focus on regularizing the motorcyclists and truck drivers whose reckless driving cause almost all traffic accidents in the Dominican Republic.

Read more in Spanish:
El Nuevo Diario
El Dia
El Caribe
N Digital

Diario Libre
Diario Libre
Alicia Ortega
Somos Pueblo
Esta Noche con Mariasela
Esta Noche con Mariasela
Esta Noche con Mariasela
Esta Noche con Mariasela
Las Felicitaciones de Freddy

13 November 2023