US$100M embezzlement case ‘tests Dominican Republic’s rule of law’
Santo Domingo.- The Justice Ministry’s Anti-Corruption Dept. (Pepca) on Sunday said the indictment against former State Works Supervisory Engineers Office (OISOE) director Felix Bautista is a case which tests not only the country’s system of justice, but also the rule of law in the Dominican Republic.
It said after year-long intense investigation the Justice Ministry has all the evidence to open a criminal trial against those linked to one of the country’s biggest corruption cases and which have been treated benignly in previous proceedings, in clear violation of taxpayers’ rights to openly know how their funds are used.
In a statement, Pepca said in the following days, they’ll present evidence as to how Bautista, now a Senator, “managed to amass an exorbitant fortune while head of OISOE, for which he did not hesitate to look to his closest allies to use as proxies."
It said society in general through the justice system needs clear answers on how the whole structure created by the accused managed to steal tens of millions of pesos, among jsut five of his closest collaborators and partners.
"Such is the case for example of one of his closest collaborators, Mr. José Elías Hernández García, who in the period from 2004 to 2010, managed to make movements in one of their bank accounts for more than 9.4 billion pesos, and reflect in 2010, income of more than 1 million US dollars, where deposits consist of accounts from Felix Bautista’s several companies," Pepca says.
"Another case that shows how the laundering operation led by Bautista network are movements by Carlos Manuel Ozoria Martinez, who in his accounts in local currency, bank transactions accumulated more than 241 million pesos, as well as other transactions, over one million US dollars. That’s just to name two of Mr. Bautista’s partners and associates, where it can be clearly seen how they operated to avert procedural transparency which any official must assume, in granting the works built with money from the Dominican people."