Local January 6, 2016 | 7:52 am

Dominican Republic bank fraud case widens as Venezuelans still on the run

Santo Domingo.- NationalDistrict assistant prosecutor Ysidro Vásquez Peña was arrested Tuesday on abench warrant issued by the Appellate Court Special Penal Chamber.

The arrest reveals awidening case in which the Venezuelan bankers José Luis Santoro and GabrielJiménez Aray have been declared fugitives and their whereabouts unknown.

Vasquez faces charges ofconspiracy and extortion on accusations by Nelson Rafael Cabral, voiced duringtestimony at a hearing in the case of the collapsed Peravia bank.

Lead prosecutor BolivarSanchez heads the investigation together with National District Court ofAppeals general prosecutor Jose Sepulveda and Anticorruption Office (pepca)director Laura Guerrero.

Justice ministerFrancisco Dominguez said the prosecution of the case would avert thedeteriorated credibility of the country’s justice system, which in his view, “isthe pillar and foundation of any democratic state.”

"We will not allowcases like this in our tenure under any circumstances, since it harms the honorof the hundreds of men and women who bravely and in a responsible manner risktheir lives to fight crime in all its manifestations. We´ve said on otheroccasions, when in pain but without hesitation, we had to indict members of theJustice Ministry who’ve made mistakes.”

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