Arturo del Tiempo, Torre Atiemar and 1200kg of cocaine sent from the Dominican Republic to Spain is the probably just the top of the iceberg behind the recent years construction boom in Santo Domingo. What's more interesting is that President Lionel Fernandez has stated that this project was a model for foreign investments in his country.
Local authorities asked Spanish pars for information on the confiscation of 1,200 kilos of cocaine from Dominican Republic, as unconfirmed reports attribute it to Arturo del Tiempo, owner of the luxury condo building Torre Atiemar, located in the upscale Esperilla sector, and who is being held in Spain allegedly in connection to the case.
The Justice Minister Radhamés Jiménez and the National District Prosecutor Alejandro Moscoso said they await a report from the Spanish authorities, to conduct a joint investigation.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Drugs Control Agency is revising the list of buyers of condos of the Torre Atiemar, which is under guard by antinarcotics agents.
Del Tiempo’s other investments in local real estate are also under investigation.
The Spanish authorities suspect a powerful international network of large drug shipments is behind the case and which launders money by investing in the construction of residences and apartments.
The photo to the left is President Leonel Fernandez who invited Arturo del Tiempo and his son to the President Palace!! The photo to the right is the building Torre Atiemar.
Santo Domingo.-National District prosecutor Alejandro Moscoso said Wednesday afternoon that the owners of the 1,200 kilos of cocaine seized last week in the port of Valencia, Arturo del Tiempo and Núñez Cebria, are now being held in a Barcelona jail.
He said del Tiempo is “an investor” in the 12 floor condo Torre Atiemar and that both Spaniards are accused of money laundering and drug trafficking
Moscoso said they have other investment in the country, but didn’t specify
Atiemar residents say aside from the Chief of Police, some apartments are owned by other government officials, but refused to identify them.
They also affirm that a Police colonel is in charge of the building’s security and that on Friday afternoon DNCD agents arrived and searched it.
In the search an engineer in charge of the construction and two drivers were detained but later released, and residents say as many as six antinarcotics agents are guarding the building.
Atiemar’s owner has been identified as the Spaniard Arturo del Tiempo, now being held is in his country in connection with the confiscation of 1,200 kilos of pure cocaine allegedly shipped from Dominican Republic.
News Update March 12:
Judge orders luxury condo building confiscated
DominicanToday.com - Starting today Friday the National District Office of the Prosecutor will physically and legally control the luxury condo building Torre Atiemar, whose owner, the Spaniard Arturo del Tiempo, is being held in Madrid for the case of the 1,200 kilos of cocaine shipped from Dominican Republic and seized in Spain.
The Justice Ministry assumes the custody of the building on a ruling issued last night by Instruction Courts Coordinating judge Rosalba Garib, which authorized its confiscation.
A source close to the investigation told newspaper Listin that since last night all the titles to the apartments would be verified to determine if they were bought in good faith. It said if the investigation determines that an owner cannot justify the source of the money to buy an apartment “they’ll have problems with justice.”
News Update March 15:
Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Government’s “pathologically corrupt” official paid 1.8 million dollars (RD$65 million) in cash for an apartment in the now confiscated luxury building Torre Atiemar, revealed the journalist Maria Cristina Rodriguez in Telemicro’s program Zona 5.
Hector Rodriguez Pimentel, head of the agrarian reform agency IAD, figures in the list of apartment buyers in Atiemar, whose owner Arturo del Tiempo is at the center of a probe in his native Spain for 1,200 kilos of cocaine seized in Valencia.
Zona 5, quoting a source, said buyers were attracted to the low prices of the posh apartments and include the plastic surgeon Hector Cabral, Janet Rivera, of the business group Pedro A. Rivera, Jangle Marco Antonio Vásquez, owner of the companies Nativa and Credigás, who paid cash, and the journalist Guillermo Gomez, who bought a penthouse.
The source added that several colonels and other show business and media figures also bought apartments, whose prices ranged from 1.3 million to 1.7 million dollars.
With this case denunciations of corruption allegedly involving Rodriguez Pimentel rose to eight, for which Anti-Corruption Department director Otoniel Bonilla described the official as “pathologically corrupt,” after investigative reporters Nuria Piera and Alicia Ortega uncovered practices in every agency he has directed, the Hydraulic Resources Institute (INDRHI) and the Dominican Consulate in Haiti, in addition to the IAD.
Rodriguez Pimentel heads a faction of the opposition party PRSC, allied to the ruling PLD.
Recently several South region organizations including the Diocese of Barahona asked to the Controller General and the Accounts Chamber to conclude the audits conducted on Rodriguez Pimentel’s tenure in INDRHI and to publish the results, mainly on the alleged overvaluation of more than one billion pesos in the construction of the Monte Grande Dam, as denounced by the Government’s own Ethics Commission director, Marino (Vincho) Castillo.
One of Atiemar’s owners, del Tiempo’s son Arturo, who is also being investigated, promotes a concert by the singer songwriter Joaquin Sabina in Santo Domingo and Santiago, through his Facebook account.
News Update March 18:
Spanish cocaine case investigators are told to go mum
DominicanToday.com - The Justice Minister said Wednesday he instructed investigators to be discreet when divulging information in the case of Spanish businessman Arturo del Tiempo and the luxury building Torre Atiemar.
Radhamés Jiménez said the measure stems from the Spanish justice request out of concern that information filtered from Santo Domingo affects the oingoing investigation in that nation.
The Spaniard is the main stakeholder in the luxury building Atiemar and being held in his country in the confiscation of 1,200 kilos of cocaine two weeks ago, since which the case has taken another twist with the release del Tiempo’s photo with president Leonel Fernandez and because of a loan for the construction obtained from the State-owned Bank Reservas.
News Update March 20:
Atiemar taken over by BanReservas
The District Attorney of the National District has designated the Banco de Reservas as the judicial trustee for the Atiemar Tower. The luxury apartment building was seized from jailed accused drug trafficker Arturo del Tiempo Marques, who is linked to the detection of 1,200kgs of cocaine in Spain on 2 March. District Attorney Alejandro Moscoso Segarra said that he issued an order handing over control of the building to the state-owned bank, because it is the first creditor of the building. "What does this guarantee? The payment of the tower and it guarantees also that it does not depreciate in value", he said.
He outlined the procedure that the prosecutors are carrying out with the people who have acquired apartments there. "We are interviewing them and checking them out", the official said. He promised that the names of people who had acquired apartments at US$1.3 million each would be released by next week. Moscoso Segarra said that he would release the names of the people who purchased their apartments in good faith.
The 36-apartment Atiemar Tower is on Pedro Henriquez Urena Street in La Esperilla section of the National District. Its principal promoter and builder is in custody in a Barcelona jail and has a judicial process pending on drug trafficking. One of the other alleged partners, German Eduardo Duque Garcia, is in jail in Najayo.
News Update March 23:
Spain Defense chief visits Dominican par as cocaine probe widens
DominicanToday.com - Spain’s Defense minister made a surprise visit to Dominican Republic yesterday while an expanding investigation into 1,200 kilos of cocaine seized in her country and shipped from Dominican Republic links the drug to Arturo del Tiempo Marques, arrested in Barcelona.
Carmen Chacón made a temporary stop in the country on her way to Haiti and met with Armed Forces minister Pedro Rafael Peña and other officials.
The Spanish authorities conduct a high level investigation into del Tiempo’s alleged drug trafficking network including the millions of dollars in investments, such as the luxury condo building Torre Atiemar.
He’s also been linked to another shipment of 935 kilos of cocaine seized November 5, 2009, in the Caucedo Multimodal Port, hidden in a container consigned to the company Hisdomine in Spain, in which del Tiempo figures as administrator.
Immigration Agency registries show he traveled to Spain on October 22, 2009, just 13 days before the confiscation, and returned on November 9, just four days after.
Although there were no reports of arrests for that cocaine shipment, the Drug Control Agency said then that it knew the name of the container’s consignee company and possible suspects and pledged to detain them in the subsequent hours.
The registries also show that Arturo del Tiempo Manzarbeitía, son of del Tiempo Marques, traveled to Spain on November 6, 2009, just one day after the seizure and returned the November 9, just four days after the bust.
He also traveled to Spain on March 3, two days after the seizure of 1,200 kilos of cocaine taken to the port at Valencia from Dominican Republic.
Del Tiempo Marques also made two other trips to Spain in January, coinciding with the arrival to that country of two other shipments being investigated on suspicion they were used to take other cocaine loads. The flights to Madrid on Iberia Airline occurred on January 4 and 29.
Related articles in DominicanToday on March 23:
Drug money takes root in Dominican economy
Three decades of complicities and silence has protected and paved the way for drug trafficking’s unfettered evolution in Dominican Republic, from providing a bridge for international rings to forging an operational structure between the 1980s and 1990s.
It’s consolidation in the last decade created an internal market and local networks which with macro and micro traffic permeated all social strata.
Colombian, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, Spanish drug lords established links in the country, penetrating economic, political and social groups and recruited key allies even in Dominican Republic’s National Police and Armed Forces, to operate with very few fissures, sporadic denunciations, and the occasional arrest for many years.
Impunity opened the doors to the most unprecedented crimes, from spectacular sums of laundered money to even routine contract killings.
Drug trafficking’s advance without major hurdles has created fabulous fortunes, contributing to the boom of the 1990s, as its laundered money seeped into the banks, invigorated the real estate sector and construction industries, while tainting the economy with the billions of dollars invested in ostensibly prosperous businesses, villas and mansions, and the streets filled of SUVs.
Accused surrenders in Dominican Republic’s biggest drug case:
The businessman Faustino Perozo, who’s wanted in the United States in connection with the ex Army captain Quirino Paulino case, turned himself in today in the National District Office of the Prosecutor.
Perozo’s lawyer Néstor Victorino handed him over to prosecutor Alejandro Moscoso, and was immediately taken to a cell in the Ciudad Nueva Courthouse to await extradition.
Several properties were seized from the accused, among them the motel Ecstasy on the San Isidro highway and a business place on Venezuela avenue.
Upon arriving at the Office Prosecutor Perozo said he turned himself in because he has nothing to do with the Quirino Paulino case of 1,387 kilos of cocaine seized on December, 2002.
Although the Supreme Court had issued a warrant for his arrest in 2004 the Police weren’t looking for Perozo on the belief he had fled to Colombia.
Following Paulino’s extradition on February, 19, 2004, Police colonel Lidio Nin Terrero have been extradited to the United States, among others, in the biggest narcotics case said to involve even generals.
News Update March 24:
Properties seized nationwide in Spanish cocaine case
Santo Domingo.– The National District Office of the Prosecutor on Tuesday afternoon seized a villa, a yacht and a luxury apartment allegedly owned by Arturo del Tiempo Marques, being held in his native Spain on charges of trafficking 1,200 kilos of cocaine shipped from Dominican Republic.
The villa and the yacht were seized in Casa de Campo, La Romana (east), where del Tiempo Marques also has real estate properties, just three days after the confiscation of an apartment in a tourist zone in Samaná (northeast) on Saturday, property of his son, Arturo Marques Manzarbetia.
The Assistant DAs proceeded under court order and have seized four properties including the luxury condo building in Santo Domingo, Torre Atiemar, among other belongings.
News Update March 25:
More properties seized in Spanish cocaine case
Assistant prosecutor Frank Soto revealed on Wednesday that the National District Office of the Prosecutor will seize the land where the twin towers Margot would be built, “at any moment,” as the number of properties said to be owned by the Spaniard Arturo del Tiempo Marquez grows by the day.
He said the planned structures, on the corner of the upscale Anacaona and Privada avenues are owned by del Tiempo, being held in his country in connection with 1,200 kilos of cocaine shipped from Dominican Republic.
The official also denied that a villa in Casa de Campo, La Romana (east) has been seized in connection with the del Tiempo case, and clarified that the house searched Tuesday night isn’t the Spaniard’s property but just rented it.
Soto confirmed that the yacht and the Torre Atiemar do belong to the drug trafficking suspect, adding that there are many of his assets have yet to be seized.
Spain’s Chief Prosecutor arrives to deal with major cocaine case
Santo Domingo. - The Chief Prosecutor of Spain’s National Audience said Thursday night upon arriving in the country that he expects the Dominican authorities will solve the Atiemar case, whose main suspect is the Spaniard Arturo del Tiempo.
Javier Zaragoza arrived at the country accompanied by Dominican par Radhamés Jiménez, with whom he met in Spain to complete the details on the case.
Del Tiempo, proprietor the millions of dollars worth of properties in the country including the luxury building Torre Atiemar, is being held in Spain on charges of smuggling 1,200 kilos of cocaine shipped from Dominican Republic.
Zaragoza arrived at the Las Americas Airport, where he expressed his confidence the case will be solved and stressed the close work to meet that goal. “We are confident that the authorities will take this case to its very end.”
News Update March 27:
Dominican President met cocaine suspect as partner in Spain’s top power company
SANTO DOMINGO. - The Presidency’s Chief of Staff revealed on Thursday that the Spaniard being held on charges of importing 1,200 kilos of pure cocaine to his country was introduced to president Leonel Fernandez as a partner of the Spain based global power company Union Fenosa.
Cesar Pina Toribio said Arturo del Tiempo, who’s being held in Barcelona after the Spanish authorities uncovered the drug aboard a ship, was presented as an executive of the transnational company after the Government’s intelligence agencies conducted a background check which established that the foreigner was “solvent.”
The widening scandal in the case of del Tiempo broke when blogs and news sources published several photos with Fernandez, especially a groundbreaking ceremony for the now confiscated luxury condo building Torre Atiemar.
Although investigators have yet to release the names of the possible financial links and the accomplices which provided the bridge to obtain the President’s presence in the groundbreaking, the same blogs and local news sources report of the involvement of senior government and military officials.
Del Tiempo is accused of owning the cocaine found on the ship docked in the port of Valencia which set sail from Dominican Republic.
News Update March 31:
Dominican police detain Del Tiempo associate
Santo Domingo.- The National District Prosecutor’s Office announced yesterday that it arrested Spanish national Juan Antonio Hidalgo de Moya, administrator of the Startmarble company that was registered as responsible for having dispatched a container with 1,200 kilos of cocaine to Spain. Arturo del Tiempo Márquez is currently in detention in Spain for receiving the drug consignment.
The authorities have seized documents that link the company with Prado Universal, the company that owns the 1,200 kilos of cocaine confiscated in Spain.
District Attorney Alejandro Moscoso Segarra said that they would determine whether to seek coercion measures against Hidalgo de Moya in the next few hours.
Meanwhile, the Third Hall of the Penal Chamber of the National District Court of Appeal has decided to keep Colombian Eduardo Duque García in prison. Duque is accused of drug trafficking and money laundering in the Del Tiempo Márquez case.
News Update April 9:
Feisty senator wants probe of Spanish drug trafficking suspect’s Police “buddies”
DominicanToday.com - Senator Wilton Guerrero yesterday demanded a full investigation into who in the National Police provided the honorary member card which allowed the Spaniard drug trafficking suspect to remain in organized crime’s networks undetected.
The legislator said he sees "ominous signals” on the country’s future since organized crime’s ramifications have set deep roots in Dominican Republic.
Guerrero called on society to demand a transparent Justice, military, Law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the war on drug trafficking and crime in general.
“I feel it’s important to investigate, to clarify who are mister del Tiempo’s buddies in the National Police which provided him with an honorific membership,” Guerrero said in reference to the Spaniard being held in Barcelona for allegedly shipping 1,200 kilos of cocaine from Dominican Republic to the port at Valencia.
News Update April 9:
“Honorable” members are often needed, Armed Forces chief says
DominicanToday.com - Armed Forces minister Jose Rafael Peña revealed today that 4,731 civilian employees work for the military, including the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The issue of “honorable” members of the military has been a scandal for years in the country, and again brought to the fore in the case of the Spaniard Arturo del Tiempo, who was reportedly issued an “honorary member” card the National Police, but who is now being held in Barcelona on charges of shipping more than 1,200 kilos of cocaine from Dominican republic.
He said that group includes honorary “assimilates,” who provide service to the Armed Forces without pay, adding that they are necessary from time to time and are activated and deactivated according to need.
News Update May 3.
Spaniard shipped 2 containers of marble hiding cocaine monthly
DominicanToday.com - Spain’s General Prosecutor estimates that Arturo del Tiempo Marques, who doesn’t have any recognized business activity in that country, "exported" at least two containers of "marble" to that nation monthly.
It’s suspected that cocaine and other drugs were disguised in those shipments consigned to the owner of the luxury building Torre Atiemar, whom the Spanish authorities are convinced also owned the container in which 935.5 kilos of cocaine were seized on November in the Port at Caucedo, Boca Chica.
The accused in the confiscation of 1,200 kilos of cocaine seized March 2 in Spain is being held in Barcelona, where he’s to be processed together with his alleged associate Arturo Núñez Sebria.
It’s estimated that at least two containers were transported monthly with drugs disguised as marble for construction for more than two years, whereas the investigation points to the Colombian German Duque Garcia, held in the jail at Najayo as the local contact.
The Spanish authorities investigate five people including one who was released on bail and in Barcelona, while in Santo Domingo the Torre Atiemar, built by del Tiempo, is under court-ordered management, as is a yacht and a lot, where a twin tower was to be built.
News Update May 7th.
DR1.com - In an op-ed piece in El Caribe, lawyer Leila Mejia wonders why, when there were "evident connections" between Spaniard Arturo del Tiempo Marques and cocaine trafficking prior to the inaugural of the Atiemar highrise, Del Tiempo was not arrested by the Police. She says the point is made in a news story published online in Spain.
Del Tiempo Marques, who was arrested in Spain on 2 March, is being held on suspicion of drug trafficking. In Santo Domingo he was known as a successful real estate developer and his company was responsible for the recently inaugurated Atiemar luxury high rise with its 450m2 apartments worth US$1.3 million each, but which is now under investigation for money laundering by the Dominican and Spanish governments.
On 5 November 2009, the Dominican police confiscated a 935-kilo cocaine shipment detected at Caucedo Port on board a freighter ship that had arrived from Venezuela. The drugs were hidden in a consignment of polished granite and their final destination was Valencia. The cargo was being sent to Hispano Dominicana de Importaciones y Exportaciones, based in Madrid, and set up by Del Tiempo in May 2009 for the import, export and trading in marble and natural stones. "Despite the evident connections between the cargo and the businessman, who had even traveled to Spain days before the confiscation, supposedly to receive the cocaine, the Caribbean police did not arrest him," writes the Spanish publication.
Leila Mejia says this is a shameful matter for Dominicans because it "demonstrates at an international level the many irregularities that surround government in this country".
Mejia comments that last week the Prosecutor General in Spain revealed that Del Tiempo Marques, who was not known for his business activities in Spain, had "exported" at least two containers a month of marble from the DR to Spain for the past two years.
She also recalls that two months ago District Prosecutor Alejandro Moscoso Segarra said that he would shortly announce the list of the people who had purchased apartments in the Atiemar high-rise. However, she says, the prosecutor appears to be suffering from selective amnesia. www.publico.es/internacional/309527/narcoempresario/espanol/entraba/palacio www.blogs.elcaribe.com.do/articulistas/leila-mejia/4856-del-tiempo-y-los-dominicanos.html
News Update May 22nd.
Cocaine found in Del Tiempo's vehicles and yacht
DR1.com - The Isabela yacht confiscated from Spanish real estate developer Arturo del Tiempo Marques has tested positive for traces of cocaine. Del Tiempo has been under arrest in Spain since March, when he was picked up on charges of drug trafficking of 1,213 kilos of cocaine in a shipment of marble into Valencia. As reported in El Dia, the authorities now believe the yacht was used to transport the drugs.
Traces of cocaine were also found in the back part of the three vehicles confiscated from him and his family - an Infiniti FX-45, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo and a BMW X-5.
El Dia reports the tests on the vehicles were carried out on 17 March and the test on the yacht on 31 March.
El Dia says that the Spanish authorities are investigating the local ties that enabled him to act with impunity.
Prior to his arrest in Spain, Del Tiempo was known as a prosperous real estate developer. His Atiemar residential tower block on Av. Pedro Henriquez Urena was considered one of the most luxurious addresses in the DR. The tower was financed and promoted by the governmental Banco de Reservas.
News Update August 6th.
The Atiemar Tower case
DR1.com - Clave newspaper, in its last issue, publishes new details on the investigation into the Atiemar Tower money laundering case against Spanish businessman Arturo del Tiempo Marques. Del Tiempo Marques, who was arrested in Spain, has been accused of smuggling 1,211 kilos of cocaine in shipments of construction materials from the DR. The case against Del Tiempo includes investigations into the finances of the purchasers of 15 of the luxury apartments at the Atiemar Tower. The tower was confiscated after Del Tiempo was arrested.
According to Clave's sources, the list of apartments being investigated by the authorities includes 19E purchased by Ada Rivera, 13W and 13E in the name of Macao Investments Corp represented by Francisco Saez, 21W, 22W and 11E in the names of Hector Cabral and Estela Milagros Cabral, and 10E by Jean Mellik Issa represented by lawyer Mayra Tavarez.
They go on to list 19W in the name of Zeobeida Rodriguez Bautista, 17E of Itzhak Peschach, 16E in the name of Jangle Marco Antonio Vasquez Rodriguez, 20E purchased by Macedonia Business Corp represented by General Rafael Guillermo Guzman Acosta, 12E of Luis Martinez Toro, 21E of Bidgood Development S.A., 15W of Juan Rafael Peralta Arias, 14E, Promax Financial Corp, represented by Aura Peralta Arias.
In March, District prosecutor Alejandro Mosco promised the press he would reveal the names of the people who had bought apartments in the tower located on Mexico Avenue. He has yet to do so.
Recently, Colombian German Eduardo Duque Garcia was released on bail. According to accusations made by the District prosecutors he was "openly" dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering in the DR. The district prosecutors had said he was a partner of Del Tiempo. His ID 7900704 identified him as a member of the Colombian military reserves. The high-rise luxury apartment building was financed with a US$13 million loan from the governmental Banco de Reservas.
Clave says the authorities have questioned engineer Christian Michael Bonnet Pichardo, owner of the lot at Km 15 on Duarte Highway where container GSTU9464219 was stored. It was loaded with marble when it was confiscated in the Spanish port of Valencia on 25 February 2010.
The Ageport shipping agency told investigators that Del Tiempo had exported freight containers on ten occasions, seven of them through Prado Universal Corp and three through Star Marble. They said that Del Tiempo had paid in cash and said they should not worry about the receipts.
Last week Clave published the transcripts of an interview with Ruth Sanchez Vargas, Arturo del Tiempo's son's girlfriend, who assured that the chief of the Police General Rafael Guillermo Guzman Fermin had a close relationship with Del Tiempo. In a statement from his spokesman Nelson Rosario, Guzman Fermin denied having ties with Del Tiempo. Also present at the questioning was Army Major Roberto Soto of the DNCD Information and Joint Coordination Center. Clave reveals that he has since been dismissed. Clave also reports that a news source said that the dismissal took place days after the authorities completed an investigation into 52 kilos of cocaine confiscated on a Jetairfly plane that was due to travel to Europe from Punta Cana.
News Update September 2nd.
Judge allows a lien on detained Spaniard’s luxury building
DominicanToday.com - A judge authorized the construction company Deconalva, which built the luxury condo building Atiemar owned by the Spaniard Arturo del Tiempo, to register a lien against its 34 apartments.
Del Tiempo is being held in Spain charged with smuggling 1,213 kilos of cocaine.
The company benefited by the ruling handed down by National District 3rd Civil and Commercial Chamber judge Yokaurys Morales Castillo, registered the lien on all the tower’s apartments last Friday because they are still under the name of Universal Prado Corporation, headed by del Tiempo.
The measure also reveals that none of Atiemar’s alleged buyers has made the title transfer on the property, now under the Judicial Management of the State-owned bank Reservas.
The judge’s ruling stems from a 3.7 million dollar debt claimed by Deconalva from the Universal Prado Corporation.
Del Tiempo was arrested in Spain charged with trafficking the cocaine seized in the port of Valencia aboard a ship which came from the Dominican Republic, whose authorities have seized several of his properties, among them Atiemar, located in the upscale sector La Esperilla.
Deconalva’s lien registry proves that none of the apartments’ 16 alleged owners had managed to transfer the deed of property to their name so far.
News Update November 26, 2010
Jailed Spaniard’s luxury building to the auction block today
Santo Domingo.- The State-owned bank Reservas will today auction 24 of the 36 luxury apartments of the Torre Atiemar, seized from the Spaniard Arturo del Tiempo, being held in Barcelona charged with importing 1,200 kilos of cocaine on a boat from Dominican Republic.
The proceeds from the sale of the condos, evaluated at more than RD$1.0 billion, (US$20 million) will go to a special account of the National District Office of the Prosecutor. The condo tower was built by the company Prado Universal, headed by del Tiempo.
Prosecutor Alejandro Moscoso said all of the condos in the tower have been confiscated and it was determined who bought in good faith, as stipulated in a list sent to Reservas with the names and the manner in which they paid.
"The bank is going to sell the building in public auction after the of real estate lien process expired and from that sale will take what corresponds to del Tiempo, and will freeze it in an account of the Office of the Prosecutor," the official said.
News Update 19 - March 31, 2011
Prosecutor to start probe of Spaniards' ritzy condo building
National District prosecutor Alejandro Moscoso Wednesday announced the start of an investigation on money laundering against the owner of the luxury condo Torre Atiemar, Arturo del Tiempo, and his son Arturo del Tiempo Manzarbeitia.
He said the case the country will also include to the Colombian German Duque Garcia, who was declared a fugitive of the court, for fleeing after his release on bond.
The del Tiempo case has gained notoriety after a former head of the State-owned bank Reservas, and an ex Chief of Police we allegedly wined and dined by the Spaniard, now being held in his country, charged with smuggling more than 1,200 kilos of cocaine, shipped from Dominican Republic.
News Update July 27, 2011
Alleged Spanish drug trafficker amassed Dominican properties
Spanish prosecutor Javier Zaragoza revealed Tuesday that most of the real estate property of alleged narcotics trafficker Arturo del Tiempo are in Dominican Republic, while those in Spain are few.
He said del Tiempo, being held in Barcelona apparently used Dominican Republic to launder the money from his illicit activities.
Interviewed by newspaper El Dia, Zaragoza affirmed that together with del Tiempo “another person” who belonged to his organization is in jail in the case of the 1,200 kilos of cocaine. “The Spanish process serves as the central axis for the financial investigation and assets in the Dominican Republic.”
He said Spain will prosecute del Tiempo for drug trafficking, while Dominican authorities should follow the “dirty” money and confiscate it. He declined however to provide details, alleging that the process is currently in the secret phase.
The Spanish official, who’s in the country for the seminar for judges on money laundering, added that the current phase can last up to four years (because the sentence for this crime is 16-20 years in Spain).
Locally the authorities have seized the luxury condos Torre Atiemar (transferred to the state-owned Reservas bank), in addition to other real properties and several vehicles valued at 10 million dollars.
Background comment from Dominican Watchdog: It's 100% sure that the government has no interest in following the dirty money! In previous cases the confiscated properties has been taken over or used by top political figures!
What will happen to the profit from the auction? Who will bebefit from special connections.....
This is not the first real estate development to be seized by the DNCD or other local government agencies in the DR due to money laundering or drug related activities. Recently another developments in the Dominican Republic was seized on behalf of the Spanish government (read more here), unlucky foreign buyers was only weeks away from receiving their apartments!
Those who have paid deposits stand to lose their money if they are not protected by escrow accounts or title guarantee companies. Dominican Republic do not offer any protection or malpractice insurance from estate agents or lawyers!
Buyers have no way of knowing if the developer behind the project is doing illegal activities or maybe even protected by some corrupt government officials. In the case of Torre Atiemar, the project had the backing of the President. Dominican Watchdog is very interested in what will happen to those apartment/condo buyers in Atiemar who trusted the developer and the local governments backing of the project as a model for investments in the Dominican Republic.
Domincian Watchdog urge all buyers of real estate in the Dominican Republic to use escrow accounts or even better - American Tittle Guarantee company(www.stewartdr.com) to protect their investments until the law in the DR can protect foreign investors.
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