Local September 23, 2014 | 7:34 am

Drug traffickers reign over Dominican Republic’s cockfighting

Santo Domingo.- The head of the Justice Ministry’s Anti-money laundering Unit on Monday warned the “real” cockfighting business leaders (galleros) that drug traffickers have penetrated the activity across the country and called on them to take measures to prevent betting with dirty money.

Germán Miranda said the Unit has already charged seven prominent figures that form part of drug trafficking groups, also linked to the cockpits.

He cited the cases of José Calderón Rijo "La Araña" (The spider) in Bani; Raymundo Antonio Peña, who allegedly forms part of a money laundering and drug trafficking network that include Dominicans, Colombians and Venezuelans, headed by the Colombian brothers Huber Oswaldo Buitago and Ángel María Buitrago. He also cited cases in Santiago and the east region.

He said Winston Rizik (El Gallero), being held at Monte Plata Prison, is very active in several cockfighting arenas and announced the sale of livestock and 700 roosters seized in his various farms.

Miranda added several of Rizik’s employees are being questioned and warned that they should turn in all weapons of his property.

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