Failed airline points to Dominican Government’s 2nd major scandal(Update)
Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Anticorruption Alliance (Adocco) on Wednesday filed a request for the Justice Ministry to investigate ex Tourism minister Felix Jimenez (Felucho), of the use of taxpayers money to create the Air Dominicana airline, in which US$10.0 million was alleged embezzled.
Adocco coordinator Julio Cesar de la Rosa also called on Justice minister Francisco Dominguez to investigate Spanish mogul Juan Jose Hidalgo (Pepe), who’s "lobbying" the government to resume the failed project where he contributed just one Boeing 737 jet “plagued with flaws and never flew Dominicans skies.”
Adocco ‘s request to probe Jimenez, current head of the Dominican Petroleum Refinery (Refidomsa) and the Spanish businessman came with a warning for president Danilo Medina, that he should be aware of those people, who in its view, have defrauded the country and must held to account.
Adocco attorney Rigoberto Rosario noted that while Air Dominicana’s joint capital of RD$191.6 million, or 30% of the initial investment gave the government a majority stake in 2007, followed by Hidalgo’s company, but the then Tourism Minister leased a first aircraft for US$75,000 to start operations, but the plane never flew because of mechanical problems.
The alleged embezzlement could become the second major scandal to rock the fledgling Administration of Danilo Medina, just two months after Banks superintended Haivanjoe NG was force to resign for self-appointing a generous pension despite not being eligible.
Felix (Felucho) Jimenez on Wednesday said he’s willing to cooperate in a Justice Ministry investigation into the case and denied the handling of funds in the creation of Air Dominicana.
He said as then tourism minister he promoted the project for Dominican Republic to have its own carrier, as a country which receives more than four million tourists each year.