PGR arrests Gonzalo Castillo, José R. Peralta and Donald Guerrero


Santo Domingo, DR:  The Attorney General’s Office arrested José Ramón Peralta, Donald Guerrero, and Gonzalo Castillo, former administrative ministers of the Presidency, Finance, and Public Works, respectively, early this Sunday.

In the so-called Operation Squid, another 20 people were arrested through 40 simultaneous raids in the National District, Santo Domingo Province, San Pedro de Macorís, and La Romana, in which 40 prosecutors, dozens of investigation technicians, 300 police officers participated National and a large administrative support team.

Peralta, Guerrero, and Castillo will be questioned about alleged embezzlement against the State that exceeds 17,000 million pesos.


The former Comptroller General of the Republic, Daniel Omar Caamaño; the former director of the State Sugar Council (CEA), Luis Miguel Piccirilo; former director of the National Cadastre, Claudio Silver Peña; and former directors of Casinos and Gambling, Oscar Chalas Guerrero and Julián Omar Fernández.

Also arrested are Roberto Santiago Moquete, Agustín Mejía Ávila, Emil Dávila Fernández, Marcial Reyes, Alejandro Constanzo, Yahaira Brito Encarnación and Ana Linda Fernández.

The group is accused of criminal association, embezzlement, a coalition of officials, falsifying public and private documents, bribery and illicit campaign financing, and money laundering.


According to the Attorney General’s Office, it is the most voluminous corruption file in which the Public Ministry works, involving nearly 20 billion pesos.

In the Pepca document, it is indicated that the modus operandi consisted in that, under Guerrero’s instructions, fraudulent maneuvers were carried out to subtract RD$19,653,871,513.80 from the public treasury for transactional agreements, of which Pepca determined that they managed to remove RD$17,300,642,051.07 for operations related to the expropriation of land in protected areas.


Pepca identified other operations to embezzle the State, such as the simulation of purchases and sales of land under the modality of administrative debts.

The Public Ministry faces the challenge of proving the crime in which, in addition to former officials, lawyers and “buscones” who were in charge of detecting old expropriation files are involved.

The original owners received “crumbs,” while the Public Ministry estimates that the structure’s members kept most of the resources.


The file also includes lawyer Ángel Lockward, who was not at his house when it was raided.

Lockward announced that he would turn himself in in the next few hours and considered it unnecessary to raid his residence since he has been willing to appear at the Attorney General’s Office whenever required.

“It was not necessary to raid me to look for me at night because on Friday after the hearing, I offered Miriam Germán, Yeni Berenice, and Camacho to come to clarify any situation” it is a process that is going wrong because it is born from a document that is not correct, but that is what we are used to, “said the lawyer.


This is a mechanism accidentally detected in 2021 to collect billions of pesos from the State for expropriations dating back up to 50 years, which were charged at current prices and which researchers estimate that most of the funds remained in the hands of people linked to the Ministry of Finance of the previous administration.

The case was discovered due to a technicality in preparing the 2021 Budget. When the current authorities assumed public administration on August 16, 2020, the Budget prepared by the previous administration was in force.

The current authorities suspected something was wrong and seized the case from the Public Ministry.


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