How Gringos get hunted for money – the latest Sosua-Cabarete raids (commentary)
Last week, the Immigration Police carried out intensive raids hunting for illegal residents and tourists who overstayed their 30 day welcome in the DR. The DGM officers raided streets of Sosua and Cabarete, entering randomly restaurants, businesses, supermarkets Pola and Playero, sweeping the beaches, and creating road blocks throughout the highway, they even knocked on doors in some residential areas.
These outrageous actions caused panic and confusion in the local community, and have been discussed on social networks and in the streets. Some were canceling their tickets to DR, diverting their trips to another country, some simply refused to show up on the streets etc. And like always the blunt end was received by the unsuspecting tourists.
Here’s only some of unprofessional and barbaric behavior of DGM officers that the residents and tourists of these northern towns had to experience and witness. Just to name a few:
- The officers stormed into local restaurants and bars, targeting gringo persons and asking for documents like passport or ID with a date of entering. Of course in most cases, people didn’t carry the documents, so they were taken on the “jail bus” to Puerto Plata Immigration office. These people were given no chances to return to their hotels and provide the documents. Hey! who carries the important documents on them in this area? Most obviously don’t out of fear of being robbed or losing them!
- The elderly couples got stopped by the exit from Pola supermarket and apprehended, the rental vehicles of some folks were taken too.
- Backpackers didn’t have their lucky day either, and got thrown in the “bus”.
- Someone in Cabarete witnessed a guy being dragged along the asphalt scratching his knees. The officers didn’t have any mercy for poor people, and they twisted their arms behind their back. Hang on… Isn’t it what you do when you catch a thief in your backyard?
- One elderly lady nearly had a heart attack, she was terrified by being caught, and then thrown in the ‘jail bus” like a highly wanted criminal, such a drama just for staying a bit past the 30 days in her case.
- Then the ‘kind hearted’ officers left nearly 50 detainees inside the bus, with locked doors and windows, in the scotching sun, and went for their “well deserved” lunch, which lasted an hour.
- There’s more… they happened to arrest a tourist from the Cruise ship, who dared to venture outside the port area and visit Sosua, unfortunately, this passenger forgetfully left the cruise liner pass back at the port. Now do the math… how this could both upset and cost the cruise line corporation a lot in lost business if potential passengers get put off by such on-land bullying and captivity risks.
and the list goes on…
Most of the detainees did turn out to be tourists, and proved their legal stay, but did they ask for this stress and trauma in the first place? Will they ever return to Dom Rep? We don’t think so! The others were released after paying hefty fines up to 30,000 pesos.
Hey! The high season is going too good, let’s mess it up, and go back to low season again!!
Many of the expats and local Dominicans didn’t see any logic or reason in what was happening in Sosua and Cabarete in the past days.
Now local lawyers and authorities inform us that this harassment is finished, we should go back to our normal lives, and pay fines at the airport. Does it make anyone feel relieved? Probably only till the next wave of attacks!
The situation about the immigration Police hunting foreigners, potentially boils down to the fact that the “money till” in the immigration department, could be running low – and why is that?
Well one thing the Government seems to forget, is that foreigners are very computer and communication savvy and spread bad news fast. Foreigners generally don’t mind paying for something that seems simple and fair. So when the DR immigration rip them off and look at them as ATM’s, keep their immigration website “grey” on prices – rules and rights, waste people’s time, treat foreigners unprofessionally, make them travel far or multiple times to Santo Domingo to get various permits and invasive medical tests, promising PERMANENT residencies only to renege on such promises and milk the foreigner for large sums of hard earned money every two years, lose people’s original birth certificates, demand people to re-start the process from scratch based on new corrupt rules, making people fly overseas again at further expense to the Gringo to obtain further documents, which was never requested earlier, increased lawyers fee’s, etc… etc…
After such inhumane and degrading treatment, most foreigners simply lose total respect for these conniving moochers in the Santo Domingo Immigration services, and lose any desire to keep feeding this selfish, controlling, unproductive “money hungry parasite”, and much prefer the “legal tourist overstay program”, where you simply pay the required fine as per the airport immigration’s transparent chart.
This “Island Government” seems to forget where most of the advanced knowledge, technology, tools and investment came from in the 1′st place! and despite such evolutionary help from foreigners, the Government and many supporters, still wish to treat foreigners like crap and bully every short term buck out of us – which only displays that despite them wearing nice uniforms and fancy suits, in fact they are nothing more in neither maturity or intelligence, than the desperate street hustler who lies and bullies to “get the deal today!” at any cost!! – sad but true.
Feb 5, 2017
Category: DR News |