SANTO DOMINGO – A Cabinet minister is among several people arrested on Monday in the Dominican Republic for their alleged involvement in a bribery scheme involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, a prosecutor’s office spokesman told EFE.
Industry and Trade Minister Temistocles Montas is one of the politicians arrested, ministry officials said.
Andres Bautista, former Senate president and current chairman of the opposition Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), was also arrested, party representatives told EFE.
These are the first arrests made in the Dominican Republic involving Odebrecht, which revealed that it paid bribes to get public works contracts between 2001-2014.
Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez said on May 19 that prosecutors received information from Brazilian authorities on the bribes paid by Odebrecht.
In April, a judge approved an agreement between the AG’s office and Odebrecht under which the Brazilian construction company will pay $184 million, or double what it paid in bribes, to settle the case.
Odebrecht also agree to reveal the names of the individuals who were paid bribes in exchange for its employees not being charged with crimes in the Caribbean nation.
Former Public Works Minister Victor Diaz Rua, former Congressman Ruddy Gonzalez and businessman Angel Rondon were also arrested.
Rondon is a former Odebrecht general manager in the Dominican Republic.
Marcelo Hofke, who allegedly received and distributed $92 million in bribes, is also under arrest.