Corruption bombshell stuns Dominican Republic’s ruling party
Santo Domingo.- Justice minister Francisco Domínguez on Tuesday said ruling PLD party senator Félix Bautista developed a far-reaching circuit which sought to hide assets allegedly obtained with money of dubious origin and “give them the appearance of legality.”
The announcement comes just hours after economist Jaime Aristy revealed that he and Bautista had reached “an agreement to desist from litigation” in a Miami court.
Dominguez’s revelation also sets the stage for a showdown within Dominican Republic’s ruling party (PLD), headed by former president Leonel Fernandez, who’s considered Bautista’s mentor.
He warned that the liens placed on real estate owned by the lawmaker aim to make the probe into alleged corruption and money laundering public knowledge, and its possible effects, "even forfeiting them entirely," by a definitive ruling handed down by the judicial authority as a result of the process.
Quoted by diariolibre.com, Dominguez notes that since his tenure as head of the State Works Supervisory Engineers Office (OISOE), Bautista has developed a complex, corporate and financial engineering network, which managed "to hide and disguise a sumptuous wealth, which has been placed and concealed, in part on the Dominican economy, through the opening of accounts in dollars, as well as through the acquisition and development of luxurious real estate and other properties."
In a 51-page case file submitted to Supreme Court special justice Frank Soto, Dominguez affirms that Bautista maintained a level of spending far beyond his legal income as a public servant
As evidence found in the investigation the official lists the realtor Rofi, S.R.L, one of the more than 40 companies allegedly used "in a direct way to provide a platform that allowed him to hide and disguise a sumptuous heritage of dubious origin, obtained while serving as director of the OISOE."
"Proof of this is that through such a business, as well as others controlled by him, were bank accounts with deposits in the millions, precisely during the referred period," Dominguez said, adding that among Bautista’s close collaborators in the realtor Rofi figure Bolívar Antonio Ventura Rodríguez, José Elías Hernández García, Soraida Antonia Abreu Martínez, Carlos Manuel Ozoria Martínez, Gricel Araceli Soler Pimentel and Bienvenido Apolinar Bretón Medina.