ROSEAU, DOMINICA- Authorities in the Dominican Republic have dismantled a criminal network that tried to smuggle three Dominican nationals to the United States after a truck crashed in Mexico, killing 56 migrants.
On Tuesday, security forces executed simultaneous raids in Baniand Santo Domingo, the capital, and arrested Guillermo GuzmánMarcano; Leonel Antonio Méndez Arias; Román Alberto Casalinovo Trinidad; Saint Francisco Vizcaino Guerrero; and Jesus Antonio Martinez Diaz.
The network charged at least $20,000 per person and used the profits to buy real estate and luxurious vehicles.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, each individual was charged with “promoting, inducing and financing the illicit trafficking of persons.”
Each of the five defendants has been ordered to be detained for 18 months pending trial. It is expected that they will appear before a judge on Wednesday or Thursday.
Investigators found that Dominicans were trafficked to the U.S. from Santo Domingo via the smuggling ring.
Migrants were sent on flights from Santo Domingo to Guatemala, Panama, and Mexico, among other countries, then packed into shipping containers and shipped across the Mexico-United States border.
Currently, Mexican authorities have identified only six Dominican nationals as having been killed, a Ministry of the Interior spokeswoman confirmed to DailyMail.com.
In the December 9 crash, seven Dominicans were reported to have perished, according to media outlets.
It has been reported that seven persons traveling in the cargo box have gone missing as well as three injured.
A speeding tractor-trailer collided with a pedestrian bridge on a highway in Chiapas, southern Mexico, and overturned, ejecting many migrants across the road and trapping others inside.
There were 107 migrants injured as a result of the tragic accident.
To prevent migrants from becoming exposed to the dangers of traveling in caravans, the National Institute of Migration has since October offered migrants humanitarian visas. On Tuesday, 17 visas were granted.
15 Guatemalans were granted permanent resident cards in Mexico, including three unaccompanied minors, one Colombian, one Dominican, and one Colombian.
It was confirmed by a spokesperson for the National Institute of Migration that the three children are currently in the care of the National System for Integral Family Development.