HomeNewsBriefDominican Anti-Drug Chief Accused of Stealing Cocaine
BRIEF

Dominican Anti-Drug Chief Accused of Stealing Cocaine

CARIBBEAN / 13 JAN 2015 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The head of the Dominican Republic's anti-narcotics police has been charged with stealing over a ton of cocaine, leading to allegations that the institution is so corrupt it is now one of the country's leading drug dealing operations.

On January 12, Carlos Fernandez Valerio, the head of the country's anti-drug police, known as the DICAN, was charged with stealing 1.2 tons of cocaine. The drug shipments were seized during several police raids but never turned in as evidence.

Also named in the indictment were two prosecutors, a police colonel, a number of low-level police officers, and several civilians, reported El Nuevo Diario.

The scandal first broke in December 2014, when investigations into missing cocaine hauls led to Fernandez's suspension and eventual arrest.

According to reports by El Nacional, Fernandez is believed to have headed a group of at least 21 corrupt officials, who stole drug shipments then either sold them back to transnational drug traffickers or to local drug dealers supplying the Dominican market.

In the wake of the scandal, one Dominican senator labeled the DICAN the country's largest micro-trafficking cartel, while another called for the agency to be dismantled.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Dominican security forces are no stranger to corruption scandals. Both the police and the military have previously been implicated in transnational drug trafficking and micro-trafficking.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Dominican Republic

However, such incidents have usually involved low and mid-level officials who were bought off by drug traffickers.

In contrast, the latest scandal involves the very leaders of the agency tasked with halting the flow of drugs through the country, which is a key transit point for South American cocaine shipped into the United States. It also involves corrupt security forces running their own theft and resale operations rather than accepting the bribes of criminal organizations. Given the amount of cocaine involved, the DICAN criminal network would have been raking in significant profits.

If the allegations prove true, then the DICAN would have gone far beyond the typical low-level corruption that pervades security agencies across the region, and may now no longer be fit for its purpose.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CARIBBEAN / 17 JAN 2019

A string of brazen homicides in Puerto Rico, some in broad daylight, has shocked residents and drawn attention to the…

COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

Corruptible customs officials and porous borders facilitate the smuggling of migrants and drugs from Ocotepeque into Guatemala, along with flows of…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 16 MAR 2017

The government of Jamaica has announced a rise in seizures of illegal weapons as part of a long-running gun control…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.