Brazil planes graft scandal explodes in Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo.- Former Defense minister, Maj. Gen. ® Pedro Rafael Peña Antonio, and active Air Force colonel Carlos Piccini were arrested Wednesday in connection to the alleged US$3.5 million bribe for the purchase of eight Super Tucano combat planes in 2009.
Picini and Peña were handed over b the Office of the Anticorruption Prosecutor y military authorities at the San Isidro Airbase.
A National District judge on Tuesday has issued an arrest warrant against former Defense minister, Maj. Gen. (r) Pedro Rafael Peña Antonio, which revives the scandal around a US$3.5 million bribe in the purchase of eight Super Tucano aircraft in 2009.
The warrant is also against active Air Force Col. Carlos Piccini, in the case that fuels allegations of government corruption during former president Leonel Fernandez’s three terms in office.
National District instruction court judge Jose Alejandro Vargas also ordered the arrest of businessmen Daniel Aquino Hernandez and his son, Daniel Aquino Mendez.
Anticorruption prosecutor Laura Guerrero said several lawmakers and around four companies are under investigation
Local media report that both Peña as well as Piccini resisted arrest, and sent a missive to inform her that they didn’t appear before the Office of the Prosecutor because they are military.
When the intercept planes were bought, Piccini was the Dominican Air Force’s Special Projects Manager.
Brazilian authorities and the Justice Ministry have been investigating the alleged bribe since 2013, linking civilians and military and government officials during Fernandez’s administrations, with the Brazilian giant Embraer, that sold the Super Tucanos.
The first two aircraft arrived in the country in December 2009, while Fernandez was still in office, and were received in a widely celebrated event, “to strengthen surveillance and prevent the violation of Dominican airspace by drug traffickers’ aircraft.”
Aug 10, 2016
Category: DR News |