Local April 16, 2013 | 7:37 am

Americans linked to major drug bust in swankiest Dominican resort

Santo Domingo.-The authorities seized several villas in the exclusive resort Casa de Campo, La Romana (east) over the weekend, during an operation in which more than US$3.3 million belonging to wealthy U.S. citizens were also confiscated.

In Villa Terraza 4, of U.S. businessman Roger Oruña, the National Drugs Control Agency (DNCD) found US$3.3 million, allegedly handled by Fausto Severino, the manager of the residence.

DNCD president Rolando Rosado said Severino, a former sailor, ran an international drug ring from the exclusive resort . He said the money seized was for drugs the accused allegedly sent to Puerto Rico.

He noted that the dollars were transferred from Puerto Rico aboard the 42 foot boat Maxum, registry DL3939AA, and delivered offshore to the occupants of the catamaran Liquid Road Harbor BR1, owned by Alberto de la Cruz, owner of the Coca-Cola distributor in Puerto Rico and parts of the Caribbean.

Rosado said there’s no link between the businessmen and the drug ring so far, but the authorities are retaining both the boat and De la Cruz’ villa as part of the investigation.

The catamaran’s captain is being held, and the villa was seized because the boat was moored in front of it and it belongs to the same person, the official said.

In that regard, La Romana prosecutor Jose Polanco Ramírez did not rule out that De la Cruz and Oruña will be questioned in connection to the case.

During the operation the authorities also detained several boats and vehicles and arrested seven people.

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