Spanish mogul case reveals Dominican Republic’s most corrupt province
Santo Domingo.- The Altagracia province Penal Court on Tuesday acquitted Juan José Hidalgo, head of Spanish tourism giant Globalia, in a land ownership case began nearly two years ago.
Quoted by Efe, Hidalgo said he’ll file a "strong complaint" in the coming days for damages. "There have been many physical and moral setbacks" prior to the second ruling in the "Sandalio case" began in July, 2012, when Cuban-American Sandalio Suárez filed a claim over "a 629-square meter piece of beach " at Cabeza de Toro, next to Punta Cana’s Hotel Be Live, owned by the Spanish investor.
The case also sheds light on Altagracia’s dismal record as the most corrupt province on land disputes, as evidenced by Hidalgo’s assertion of “unclear ownership” over the beachfront property. Suarez claims having paid around 400 euros ($550) for the lot in 1988 and sought to sell it to Hidalgo for two million dollars.
He said judge Andres Rijo’s ruling "means taking the bother of coming to court off my head and rescheduled hearings for any reason."
The Spanish mogul also faces disputes over land bought from Dominican entrepreneur George Nader, to build a resort at Uvero Alto, but which were subsequently declared unsuitable for hotels.
Hidalgo, who calls himself "an investor in good faith," says he expects on a favorable outcome.
Globalia, one of Spain’s biggest hospitality groups, reports annual earnings of more than 4 billion euros and a 25,000 employee workforce.