Authorities catch mafia taking migrants abroad
The Specialized Prosecutor’s Office Against the Illicit Smuggling of Migrants and Human Trafficking (PETT) launched Operation La Ruta on Saturday, dismantling a transnational organized crime network dedicated to the smuggling of migrants. The Attorney General’s Office indicates that in the operation they arrested Juan Bautista García, Felipe Sánchez Vásquez, Williams Batista Peña, Brian Rosario Fernández, Manuel Castillo Coronado, Justino del Carmen Abreu Romero, and Victoriano Aracena Tapia, who along with Henry Reyes Muñoz (fugitive), headed this organized crime network. It accuses that network of using falsified travel documents to smuggle migrants through the routes of Haiti, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, the Virgin Islands (Trinidad and Tobago), and Guatemala; having as its final destination the entrance to the United States of America.
“For this transnational illegal trafficking operation, the members of this network charged amounts of up to 15,000 dollars for each migrant,” explains a note from the Attorney General’s Office. It adds that when they were arrested in the 12 raids carried out in the provinces of La Vega, Espaillat, Sánchez Ramírez, and Santiago, those investigated were seized with fraudulent passports, visas from different countries, vehicles, computers, cell phones, firearms, and ammunition that prove their direct participation in this structure of organized crime. People linked to criminal acts frequently used the services of this organization to leave the country and thus evade criminal prosecution.
The head of PETT, Yoanna Bejarán, pointed out that the operation is part of the actions directed against organized crime under the guidelines of the Attorney General of the Republic, Miriam Germán Brito. Bejarán also thanked the Sánchez Ramírez Prosecutor’s Office for their collaboration in carrying out this operation, in coordination with the Specialized Division for Investigation against Immigration Crimes (DEIDEM), commanded by the National Police Major, Lidavel Pérez Beltré, as well as the Central Directorate of Investigations (DICRIM), of the Central Directorate of Prevention, Special Operations and the Department of Sensitive Intelligence (DIS) and of the other Specialized Investigation Agencies of the National Police.