General, senior officers charged with smuggling 220 guns
Santo Domingo.- The JusticeMinistry on Tuesday requested pretrial detention against seven military officersincluding one general, charged with smuggling 220 guns of various calibers, throughthe Defense Ministry´s Weapons Dept.
It said the charges stemfrom a months-long investigation by Intelligence agencies, which found thatsince 2012 many new permits were being issued for expensive weapons such as Glockand Sig Sauer, which cost as much as RD$300,000 each
The Santo DomingoOffice of the Prosecutor said despite that the import of all types of guns is banned,several raids turned up the weapons smuggled by general Bienvenido CorderoBatista, officers Félix Francisco Pérez Artiles, Esteban Marrero Ruiz,Francisco Mercedes Medrano, Edwin Rafael Almonte Camacho and José Miguel TorresRodríguez,
It said Torres, who heldsenior posts with over 20 years in the military, is connected with Pedro ManuelGuzman Escarramán, owner of the store where the guns were sold.
It said Army Lt. Col PerezArtliez was in charge of registering and the storage of all weapons.
The Justice Ministryadds that the investigation found that Army major Marrero Ruiz was the link inthe processing of all sales in all gun shops and for issuing licenses to carryand possess weapons, whereas Army captain Francisco Mercedes Medrano was incharge of filing the registration forms.