Pubdate: Tue, 02 Jan 2007
Source: Dominican Today (Dominican Republic)
Copyright: 2007 Dominican Today


SANTIAGO. - Most Dominicans who face judicial processes  in Jamaica
are for alleged drug trafficking, and for  that reason the Dominican
consul in that nation Jose  Arturo Tatis blames the proprietors of the
boats on  which they work as fishermen.

The consular official said that there are currently 11  Dominicans
waiting for court charges against tem, after  being linked to drug
transfers on the high seas. They  are free on bail and have hearing
pending on the 26th  of this month.

Tatis affirmed that that group was arrested together  with people from
other nationalities, when the  Jamaica-registered boat where they work
was caught  loading drugs from another boat on the high seas.

"Our embassy in Jamaica as the well as the Dominican  Foreign Ministry
have followed up on that case,  providing them all the legal
facilities and we expect  to demonstrate their innocence in a trial,"
he said.

According to the Dominican consul in Jamaica, that type  of transfer
has become common, and reiterated his blame  of the boats' owners,
alleging that the crews don't  know what they are embarking, "but it's
them who end up  being arrested, whereas the owners of the business
are  not bothered."

Tatis said that many Dominicans, especially from Puerto  Plata and Rio
San Juan were contracted to fish for  conch.

The Dominican consul added that drug transfers and  smuggling have
become commonplace in Jamaica's  territorial waters, illicit
activities in which boats  registered in different countries take part. 
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