Local December 16, 2011 | 7:42 am

Major drug bust, arrests, extraditions rock Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- Thursday’s bust of 1,077 kilos of cocaine, the biggest thus far this year, came just a few days after the arrest of alleged Puerto Rican kingpin Miguel Rivera Diaz, and just hours before yet another suspected narcotics baron was being whisked off to that island by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents to face charges in major drug shipments there and to the U.S.

The spokesman for Dominican Republic’s antinarcotics agency, DNCD, said the drug found in 20 suitcases early morning Thursday in La Romana International Airport was headed to Europe.

in a press conference last night Roberto Lebrón the DEA collaborated in the case, in which at least 15 people are being held, among them the Dutch Nicolass Joannes Maria and the Briton Rowson Edgard.

He said agents of Airport Security, Immigration and even several of the DNCD itself have also been arrested, in what he called “a very important” drug trafficking structure which ships large amounts of drug by air from the country’s eastern region, to the United States and Europe.

Dominican Air Force pilot, captain Humberto Pércival Peña de Marchena, was also detained for questioning, allegedly in connection with the “chartered” plane loaded with the cocaine bound for Antwerp, Belgium.