The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury announced on Tuesday that it appointed Dominican citizen César Emilio Peralta and the Peralta Organization of Drug Trafficking (Peralta DTO) as drug dealers important foreign narcotics in accordance with the Law on the Designation of Narcotics Traffickers of Foreign Narcotics (Kingpin Law). OFAC designated eight additional Dominican citizens for providing material support, or acting for or on behalf of Cesar Emilio Peralta and Peralta DTO. OFAC also designated six entities in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, including several discos owned or controlled by Cesar Emilio Peralta.
The statement comes at a time when the Attorney General’s Office announced the operation against the related parties.
“César Emilio Peralta and his criminal organization have used violence and corruption in the Dominican Republic to traffic tons of cocaine and opioids to the United States and Europe. The United States Department of the Treasury is targeting these Dominican drug traffickers, their representatives and the nightclubs they have used for money laundering and trafficking of women, ”said Sigal Mandelker, Undersecretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “This Administration continues to systematically attack the strategically important drug traffickers and drug trafficking organizations that feed the drug use epidemic in our country.”
Cesar Emilio Peralta (Peralta) is a Dominican drug trafficker with a long criminal record for his participation in drug trafficking and acts of violence. From their base of operations in Santo Domingo, Peralta and Peralta DTO coordinate the transshipment of tons of cocaine and significant amounts of opioids throughout the Dominican Republic and into consumer markets in the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe. Dominican citizens Ramón Antonio del Rosario Puente (also known as “Toño Leña”) and Kelvin Enrique Fernández Flaquer (also known as “Cotto”), both Dominican drug dealers in their own right, were also designated today for their support of Peralta and to the DTO of Peralta. Del Rosario Puente was arrested in May 2018 by Colombian authorities and is currently awaiting extradition to the United States on charges of drug trafficking conspiracy.
Peralta and the Peralta DTO also coordinate the sending of cash revenues from these drug trafficking activities from the United States, as well as the subsequent laundering of these revenues in the Dominican Republic. A main route for the laundering of these revenues is a series of nightclubs in Santo Domingo, all owned by Peralta or controlled by Peralta through other people as representatives. These nightclubs, which are among the entities designated today, include VIP Room, Flow Gallery Lounge, Aqua Club and La Kuora. Peralta reportedly employs women trafficked from Colombia and Venezuela in these nightclubs. The designation of the OFAC is also addressed to Yader Rafael Jaquez Araujo (a music promoter who uses the name “Jake Mate”) and Carlos Ariel Fernández Concepción, a former Dominican military officer, who plays a role in the management and promotion of clubs at night, property of Peralta.
OFAC coordinated closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to execute today’s designation in accordance with the Kingpin Act. The United States Department of the Treasury is committed to counteracting criminal networks engaged in human trafficking and is a member of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF). .
As a result of today’s designation, all assets in which these persons have an interest in the United States, or in the possession or control of US persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC regulations generally prohibit all US persons, or persons within (or in transit) of the United States, from having any treatment or involving any property or interest in the property of blocked persons.
Since June 2000, more than 2,100 entities and individuals have been appointed in accordance with the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to US $ 1,466,485 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officials can include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to US $ 5 million. Criminal fines for corporations can reach US $ 10 million. Other persons may face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
With information from Diario Libre