Operation Squid: Stolen money was for the campaign

Operation Squid: Stolen money was for the campaign

According to the judicial search warrant at the request of the Special Prosecutor for the Persecution of the Corruption Administrative (Pepca), as part of the investigation against the defendants in the Operation Squidamong whom are former ministers Donald Guerrero, José Ramón Peralta and also former presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo, the alleged embezzlement from the State was part of a conspiracy to finance the political campaigns of 2019, against Leonel Fernández, and in 2020, against President Luis Abinader.

The Public Ministry states in the cited document that in 2019, before the Primary Elections of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), the then Constitutional President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina Sánchez, He called a meeting in his Office in the National Palace, in which there were several high-level members of his team, among them the investigated Donald Guerrero, José Ramón Peralta, Simón Lizardo, Francisco Pagán“among other senior officials; at this meeting, former President Danilo Medina Sánchez instructed his closest officials, heads of Ministries and General Directorates who were present, to seek money for the 2019 political campaigns, (internal to the PLD) and that of the 2020, knowing that this search was illegal”.

They searched for a contractor who had debts to collect

Always citing the aforementioned document, after that meeting today detained José Ramón Peralta, requests the Director of the Office of Supervising Engineers of State Works (OISOE) Francisco Pagán that he convene one of the main builders of the Dominican State, the engineer Bolívar Ventura, who at that time had what he understood were debts of the Dominican State, to go to his Office in the National Palace. Pagán summons engineer Bolívar Ventura to a meeting in his office at the OISOE, who attends and then travels to the National Palace with Pagán, which facilitated access and allowed Bolívar Ventura to avoid the bureaucracy of the System of Security of the headquarters of the Dominican Government.

Allegedly, at that meeting, the investigated José Ramón Peralta tells Bolívar Ventura, that he had to make a contribution to the campaign and that in exchange he would be made some payments of debts that he had with the State and that for purposes of coordinating the payments he had to go to the Minister of Finance Donald Guerrero.

Donald Guerrero would have proposed bribery

At the meeting coordinated by Francisco Pagán, with the Ministry of Finance, the investigated Donald Guerrero, the latter tells Bolívar Ventura, who need funds for the internal elections of two thousand and nineteen (2019), that in exchange for the delivery of those funds, they would pay him a part of the debt that the State had with him; resources that supposedly would go to the internal campaign of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), specifically in support of the then candidate Gonzalo Castillo, which according to the Public Ministry “evidently constitutes a structured bribery operation.”

In this context Mr. Bolívar Ventura indicates that he had many debts and that what he could do was give two hundred million (RD$ 200,000,000.00). This proposal causes them to continue discussing the amounts, since the investigated Donald Guerrero, claimed to Bolívar Ventura that he could give more. Finally, at the insistence of ex-minister Donald Guerrero, they concluded that Bolívar Ventura would deliver the sum of five hundred million pesos, which in reality rose to the total sum of five hundred twenty-seven million six hundred ninety-four thousand eight hundred thirty-eight pesos (RD$ 527,694,838.00).

They made false takeoffs

The investigated Donald Guerrero, José Ramón Peralta and Gonzalo Castillo, along with others to which the preliminary accusation of the Public Ministry refers, the aforementioned five hundred twenty-seven million six hundred ninety-four thousand eight hundred thirty-eight pesos are combined to distract from the State (RD$527,694,838.00). To achieve this, they get the investigated Víctor Encarnación, Technical Director of the OISOE, to make false volumetrics of even closed works, which had been carried out by the companies of Bolívar Ventura. “These false volumes, as this investigation has proven, constitute a scam against the Dominican State,” the file says.

The Public Ministry indicates that those investigated Donald Guerrero, José Ramón Peralta, Gonzalo Castillo, Víctor Encarnación Daniel and Omar de Jesús Caamañothey commit these actions, diverting millions of dollars through adulterated volume measurements which were supported by a debt acknowledgment, which the builder had not requested and carried out on a non-existent volume.

According to the document, these operations are carried out in 2019, but most of the documentation dates back to 2018, according to the evidence, this in order to justify the payment as a public debt, since a 2019 debt does not it could be paid in 2019, under this concept.

Those investigated are

The Specialized Prosecutor for the Prosecution of Administrative Corruption (Pepca)has opened an investigation against those investigated: Ángel Donald Guerrero Ortiz, José Ramón Fco. De Jesús Peralta Fernández, Gonzalo Castillo Terrero, Daniel Omar de Jesús Caamaño, Luís Miguel Piccirillo Mcabe, Claudio Silver Peña Peña, Aldo Antonio Gerbasi, Fernández , Princess Alexandra García Medina, Oscar Arturo Chalas Guerrero, Julián Omar Fernández Figueroa, Andrés Guerrero, Ángel Lockward Mella, German Fernando Mateo Andújar, Alejandro Antonio Constanzo Sosa, Roberto Santiago Moquete Ortiz, Ramón David Hernández, Yajaira Brito Encarnación, Marcial Reyes, Ana Linda Fernández de Paola, Emir José Fernández de Paola, Rafael Parmenio Rodríguez Bisonó, Agustín Mejía Ávila and Víctor Matías Encarnación Montero.

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