Local February 7, 2012 | 1:14 pm

55 boatpeople paid detained captain nearly US$1,000 each for fatal trip

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Navy announced the arrest Monday of the captain of the makeshift boat (yola) that sank with 55 people on board in Samaná bay Friday.

It said David Cepeda Calcaño is a reputed organizer of illegal crossings to Puerto Rico in the zone of Nagua, Samaná, San Francisco de Macorís, Sanchez and Río San Juan, and indicted in 2000 and 2008 for the alleged trafficking of boatpeople.

Recovered thus far have been 22bodies, with 13 people rescued and 20 still missing near the coastal town of Sabana de la Mar.

Cepeda admitted having received RD$40,000 (nearly US$1,000) from each of the travelers, while the authorities are on the lookout for two other men, who allegedly also took part in organizing the fatal voyage.

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