Local March 12, 2014 | 8:36 am

U.S. budget cuts could buoy Dominican Rep.-Puerto Rico smuggling

Santo Domingo.- Budget cuts ordered by President Barack Obama’s administration have forced the U.S. Coast Guard to trim patrols throughout the Mona passage to a minimum, which would benefit drug and boatpeople traffickers.

Reports from Dominican Naval Intelligence affirm that drug traffickers exploit that weakness while illegal travel by Cubans and Haitians increased to a lucrative business.

Fewer operations by the U.S. Coast in Puerto Rico have allowed even previously spotted vessels to easily reach the island-nation, as evidenced by a boat with 40 Dominicans which recently arrived at that coast, despite being detected by Dominican Navy patrols and notified to US agencies.

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