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Dominican and Venezuela officials bust prostitution ring and shutter motels

Santiago.- The Justice Ministry said Friday that it shuttered the sex motels Helios and Galaxy, owned by Juan Antonio Fernandez, who also operated the closed strip club Casa Blanca last May, charged with money laundering, human trafficking and possession of illegal weapons, and will be held for 18 months to await trial.

Anti-Money Laundering officials raided the motels located on the Duarte highway near La Vega (central) Thursday morning, and at 1pm closed the Helios, which has 56 cabanas and a restaurant. An unspecified time after, the officials said they also shuttered the Galaxy, which has 40 cabanas and a restaurant.

It also emerged yesterday that prosecutors try to locate other properties owned by Fernandez, from who the authorities last May seized US$800,000 and 11 million pesos in cash, luxury cars and guns of various calibers, during the raid at Casa Blanca, where officials “rescued” 45 Colombian and Venezuelan women, presumably prostitutes.

On that occasion a Santiago Judicial District court sent Fernández, Grismelda Amarilis Jolvert Merejo and Venezuelan Jose Ramirez to 18 months in prison, whereas Mary Magdalene Batista and Jairo Correa were released on RD$2.0 million bail each.

The group is charged with money laundering, human trafficking and weapons violation.

Santiago prosecutor Luisa Liranzo said Friday that the Venezuelan Johnny Eliexer Cordero Belisario, arrested by Interpol in a sting dubbed Spartacus III carried out in 25 countries, was being sought for his alleged link to club Casa Blanca.

A red alert for fugitives was issued for Cordero, wanted on charges of luring hundreds of Venezuelan and Colombian women to travel to the Dominican Republic where they were allegedly forced into prostitution.

Liranzo said Cordero was linked to 45 foreign women who were allegedly sexually exploited in Casa Blanca, adding that Santiago and Venezuelan prosecutors worked jointly to achieve his arrest. “The Venezuelan and Dominican authorities are immersed in the prosecution of the accused under arrest.”

Source: DT

July 30, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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