Local August 28, 2012 | 2:54 pm

Alleged bribe lands recently replaced Prisons chief in jail

SANTO DOMINGO.- Justice minister Francisco Domínguez on Tuesday announced the arrest of ex Prisons director Mario Acosta, charged with receiving a bribe of more than RD$1.0 million from a money laundering network allegedly headed by Pascual Cordero (El Chino).

Dominguez said dozens of court-ordered tapped phone conversations allegedly were made by the former official to Cordero, through the also inmate Jose Alexis Jimenez, who is now being held for manslaughter in the subdivision Villa Mella.

Cordero (El Chino) and 15 others are accused of being part of an alleged criminal organization dedicated to commit crimes of various natures, among which include drug trafficking and money laundering of more than RD $ 250 million.

He said Acosta was arrested 10am Tuesday and taken to a jail in the Ciudad Nueva Courthouse for arraignment.

Dominguez said an investigation determined that Cordero allegedly paid money to be transferred from the prison at Higüey to the La Victoria Penitentiary.

Acosta was named to the post in February after Roberto Obando was fired, and replaced by Thomas Holguin August 16.

The official said Cordero was taken to La Victoria on a court order, but Acosta was able to transfer him to the Najayo prison’s cellblock for extraditables.

According to the taped conversations Jimenez told Cordero that Acosta "is ours, from here to La Victoria and from there to my house."

The Justice Minister said the Higuey prison confirmed that Acosta met privately with the alleged money launderer, who was told by the ex Prisons director to mention a supposed disease to manage the transfer.

In addition to Jimenez’s alleged brokering he visited Cordero in Higuey, where he was instructed to raise his alleged health problem.

At a news conference, the official also announced the arrest and the filing of charges against Villa Altagracia (central) mayor Hector Balcácer, on alleged corruption.

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