Local March 14, 2014 | 9:17 am

Mystery shrouds notorious Dominican drug trafficker’s whereabouts

Santo Domingo.- The whereabouts of the country’s most notorious drug trafficking convict Quirino Paulino has become shrouded in mystery as conflicting information say he’s a free man in the U.S., while a major Dominican newspaper reports that he’s still being held in New York.

Paulino’s former attorney Carlos Balcacer on Friday revealed that relatives informed him of the convict’s release just five days ago, and that the former Dominican Army Capt. is suffering from a serious infection that would prevent him from returning to the country. “I have Information via his relatives here and in the U.S. They told me that he was suffering from an acute infection in the inner ear, and needs surgery within two months.”

Balcacer said Paulino will require at least seven months convalescing in the U.S. after the surgery, but for now, “no airline will allow him onboard under his condition.”

When asked why major newspaper Listin Diario refute that he’s been released, Balcacer reiterated that he was informed of his release, “just five days ago.”

Resigned as attorney

Balcacer said once the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administraion (DEA) put Paulino on the plane, “I immediately ceased being his attorney.”

Interviewed on Hoy Mismo Channel 9, the attorney also noted that “it’s my understanding” that Paulino’s vast assets “are in the hands of the Justice Ministry,” and called Justice minister Francisco Dominguez, “un-bribeable.”

He reiterated that he resigned as Paulino’s defender and is no longer the attorney for any of his relatives. “Eddy Olivares is his lawyer now.”

The convict’s splendor

Balcacer also called Paulino’s generosity “splendid,” and declined a response when asked how much he was paid, but, “with what Paulino paid me, I bought the house I live in, worth US$200,000.”

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