Coral Operation Uncovers another Pandora’s Box in the Dominican Republic

Major General Adán Cáceres, former head of the Specialized Presidential Security Corps of the Dominican Republic.
Major General Adán Cáceres, former head of the Specialized Presidential Security Corps of the Dominican Republic. Photo: Prensa Latina

Santo Domingo: The development of the anti-corruption operation called Coral today uncovered another Pandora’s box in the country and maintains the attention of the entire Dominican society due to the list of those involved.

And it is a Pandora’s box located in the close circle of former President Danilo Medina, because in this case Major General Adán Cáceres, former head of the Specialized Presidential Security Corps, and current head of his bodyguard, is involved.

In this way, Cáceres joins two brothers of the ex-president, who are accused in two previous operations: Antipulpo and Caracol and await the corresponding trial.

The current operation, which began last Saturday with 27 raids in different provinces, is complicated by the day and adds people who surprise the public.

Such are the cases of the former head of the National Directorate of Drug Control (DNCD), Félix Alburquerque, and that of the Specialized Body for Tourism Security (Cestur), Brigadier General Juan Carlos Torres.

The latter put his position at the disposal of President Luis Abinader, through a letter in which he wrote that he made the decision with the purpose of facilitating the Public Ministry to advance, without any obstruction, the ongoing investigation.

In Torres’ case, the Public Ministry suspiciously sees that he rents an apartment for three thousand dollars a month to use it “sporadically”, at least that is how it was reflected in the request for a measure of coercion requested for the military.

The situation in Albuquerque is different, the Special Prosecutor for the Persecution of Administrative Corruption (Pepca) pointed out that he was part of the coalition headed by Cáceres.

He is attributed, among other challenges, links with the association Asociación Campesina Madre Tierra from which the DNCD received a deposit, without any records of the payment.

But as if that were not enough, the former deputy director general of the National Police Neyvi Pérez is also among those mentioned by the Public Ministry in his case file.

So far, in addition to the aforementioned, Pastor Rossy Guzmán has been arrested in the case; Corporal Tanner Antonio Flete, son of the nun; the police colonel and accountant, Rafael Núñez de Aza, a member of Medina’s security; the lieutenant colonel of the Police, Raúl Girón, and the sergeant of the Navy Alejandro José Montero.

La Pepca, who prides himself on having a ‘fulminant’ file against allegedly corrupt, advanced among the most important elements, that the Major General appointed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in Cestur and in the Specialized Presidential Security Corps and paid them salaries with the agreement to receive up to 80 percent.

Another modality through which the network obtained funds was through the fees that different units and state security agencies had to deliver.

All of the above, together with the investigation into how the military man managed to increase his assets in such a way, since he owns farms, houses, apartments, luxurious cars and bank accounts and it was suggested that between him and Guzmán they created an entity to presumably acquire goods but without operations, because their only objective was to make them appear lawful.

On the other hand, the Public Ministry in the request for a measure of coercion presented to the court, stated that those involved used religious organizations as a shield, in a maneuver typical of organized crime, which seeks to disguise million-dollar money laundering operations, through noble goals.

Finally, it also appears in the file that the group diverted funds which were for expenses of intelligence operations, fuel, distributions of food rations and per diem, presenting fictitious expenses to defraud the Dominican State.

The Coral Operation, like the Antipulpo and Caracol, are three ongoing anti-corruption processes on which the eyes of the citizens were turned; however, the fact that it has so many ramifications imposes a waiting period, perhaps a long one, until a final outcome.

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