Local December 17, 2012 | 7:44 am

Dominican Republic was traffickers’drugs-dollars revolving door

Santo Domingo.- The group of Colombians, Venezuelans and Dominicans arrested by National Investigations Department (DNI) agents smuggled large amounts of money with double bottom suitcases through airports, to pay South American traffickers for the drugs sent to Dominican Republic, says the indictment.

Officials estimate that during its five years operating in the country the ring shipped around US$70 million to Colombia and Venezuela, using "mules," especially from South American nations.

The "mules" carrying the money would come to the country with a tourist visa, stayed a few days, during which they stuffed suitcases with $300,000 dollars each prior to returning.

The heads of the ring have been identified as Huber Oswaldo Buitrago Ruiz (alias Julio, El Negro y El Burro) and Ángel María Buitrago Vacca (alias El Rubio and El Mono).

In Venezuela the money was received by a person identified as Diego Maria Guzman Arango (aka Mara and Maradona).

The Colombian Ginaliz Quintero Flores and the Dominican Pedro de Jesus allegedly helped recruit people for the network.

It also accuses the Colombian Pedro Julio Cardenas (aka El Constructor) and Marcos Tulio Vivas Sanchez to build caches in properties acquired by the ring to store large amounts of money and drugs, such as an industrial building in the sector Engombe, Santo Domingo West, the Invi in Santiago, and in a villa near Jimenoa falls in Jarabacoa.

The authorities accuse the Venezuelan Javier Carillo and the Colombians Clara Maritza Romero Jaimes, Monica Carolina Jaimes Romero, Cesar Escalante Bautillo Lizarazo, Diana Milena Alfonso and Jaime Alberto Muñoz Delgado of transport money in suitcases and charged between 10,000 and 13,000 dollars for each trip.

The DNI began to track the group after the arrest of Humberto Rodriguez Buitrago on 17 September.

Arraignment

National District judge Amauri Marcos Martinez set the arraignment of the group for 6pm today, after the hearing was suspended Saturday, when several defense lawyers claimed they haven’t had time to study the case.

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