SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic – Two people were arrested Monday in the northwestern Dominican province of Valverde on charges of forging visas for people going to work in Spain, authorities said.
Prosecutor German Diaz Bonilla told reporters that the two men were arrested during a lightning raid in the town of Cruce de Guayacanes after cops were tipped off about a place operating as a clandestine consulate that issued forged visas for traveling to Spain.
Those taken into custody were identified as Andres Encarnacion and Teofilo Silverio Toribio, residents of Santiago, the country’s second-largest city.
The building where the clandestine consulate operated was 150 meters (490 feet) from the police station, but the cops said “they knew nothing about it,” according to Diaz Bonilla.
Confiscated at the scene were 216 passports stamped with visas, the business cards of a supposed Spanish company and a Mexican TV channel, fake car license plates and registrations, a handgun, a computer and forged air tickets to Spain.
“When we got to the place where that was going on, we surprised dozens of people about to pay for fake air tickets for flights to Spain,” Diaz Bonilla said.
Among those swindled were Dominicans, Cubans, Mexicans and Ecuadorians, the police said.
Dozens of people went to the prosecutor’s office to denounce the fraud after hearing about the arrest of the criminals responsible. EFE