Dominican officials arrested after a ton of cocaine disappears

2015-01-14 07:34
 (File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Santo Domingo - A court in the Dominican Republic has ordered the arrest of three prosecutors and 21 police officers accused of not reporting drug seizures involving more than a ton of cocaine that has since disappeared.

Among those accused is the former director of an anti-narcotics unit, who is among the dozen of suspects that have been arrested. Authorities are still seeking to arrest the remainder.

"In one way or another they became drug traffickers," said General Prosecutor Francisco Dominguez. "This type of situation is unacceptable."

One of the three drug seizures occurred in September near Santo Domingo, where 950kg of cocaine were discovered but never turned over to authorities, he said.

Dominguez said he believes some of the drugs were sold, adding that some suspects have turned over the cash from the alleged transactions. Authorities are still investigating whether some of the drugs were returned as part of a bribe.

The investigation began in December after police chief Manuel Castro noticed the missing drugs.

The arrests are the latest in an ongoing crackdown on corruption in the Caribbean country's police force.

A 2011 Amnesty International report found that some 12 000 police officers were accused of corruption between 2007 and 2010. It is unclear how many of those cases were tied to drug trafficking.

Read more on:    dominican republic  |  narcotics

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