SANTO DOMINGO – Jose Luis Santoro, a high-level executive at failed Banco Peravia and the subject of an international arrest warrant on fraud charges, has been arrested in Venezuela, the Dominican National District Attorney’s Office said.
Authorities received “official confirmation” of Santoro’s arrest in Caracas and prosecutors will “immediately” start the process to obtain the suspect’s extradition, the DA’s office said.
Santoro faces bank fraud, theft, document falsification, criminal conspiracy and money laundering charges in the Dominican Republic.
Prosecutors allege that his actions contributed to Banco Peravia’s collapse.
Officials estimate the bank’s failure involved embezzlement of 1.5 billion pesos ($33 million).
Santoro’s arrest was first reported in the Dominican Republic by a lawyer representing victims of the suspected embezzler.
International arrest orders were also issued by Interpol in response to requests by Dominican courts seeking the capture of Santoro’s daughter, Maria Cristina Santoro, and Venezuelan citizen Gabriel Arturo Jimenez Aray, a high-level Banco Peravia executive.
Banco Peravia collapsed in mid-2015 and attorneys representing bank customers allege Jose Luis Santoro transferred some $100 million to accounts in Panama, Curacao, the United States and Switzerland.
The bank fraud case also targets Dominican brothers Nelson, Carlos and Jorge Serret, who are in custody, and other individuals.