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Ramon Baez Figueroa during a previous hearing.
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Santo Domingo.-  The commission in charge of liquidating the collapsed bank Baninter has contracted lawyers in Grand Cayman to investigate and to demand the possession  the yacht Patricia which according to the authorities, is one  the assets which Baninter ex- president Ramon Báez Figueroa acquired with the bank’s funds.

Liquidation Commission  director Zunilda Paniagua testified in the trial against Baez Figueroa and 4 other Baninter ex-executives said that it did not have greater details  the actions undertaken in Grand Cayman to recover the yacht. "Apparently an apparent sale was made," said the witness when cross-examined by Juárez Castillo, of Báez Figueroa’s defense.

The news site Clave Digital reports today that when Castillo asked the witness how they could sue for an asset that was not registered to Baninter, she said the data shows that bank funds were used to acquire it.

Castillo immediately produced a document though which Báez Figueroa transferred the yatch Patricia to a company called Intermarin Corporation. With today’s hearings Castillo has cross-examined the prosecution witness Zunilda Paniagua on 10 occasions.

According to the Justice Ministry’s indictment "on the date September 13, 2001, Mr. Ramon Báez Figueroa signed the purchase order with the company Benetti, organization represented by the Azimuth, S. P.A., in turn represented by engineer Vicenzo Poerio, of the Yacht that would denominate "Patricia," for the sum of US$14, 600,000, which should have been handed over on December 20 of the same year. As was to be expected, previous to the delivery of the Yacht, Ramon Báez Figueroa, proceeded to make to transfer said Yacht in favor of a company constituted Offshore in the British Virgin Islands, Inter Marine Overseas, LTD, on the date October 29, 2001. Currently who appears as empowered of the indicated Offshore is the father of Báez Figueroa, Ramon Báez Romano," the Justice Ministry said.

The authorities allege, as Paniagua reiterated today Friday, that the money to pay for the yacht -the down payment as well as the subsequent payments- were taken from Baninter even if Inter Marine Overseas, LTD figures as the supposed proprietor.

Today Friday Castillo entered the document referring to the yacht’s transfer to that company, though the authorities maintain that Báez Figueroa, faced with the bank’s intervention, "hurriedly" sold a large number of assets, including the yacht Patricia.

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6 comment(s)
Written by: Costillo, 28 Apr 2007 12:49 PM
From: SD
My father had his retirement money in Baninter and it is heartbreaking to see the family of Figeroa to literally steal my fathers money in front of our own eyes and in front of the publics eyes.

What has the DR become such that a family such as this can even try to influence the court verdict through a prominent paper called the Listin Dario.

My family message should be clear, and I am sure that my father is not alone.

Written by: Carlos, 29 Apr 2007 8:39 AM
From: SFM
It is nice and comforting to jnow thatthe family of Figeroa is fully enjoying our stolen money.

Ok, so why is it that the very people wjo stole our money are allowed to cheerlead Figeroa through a national newspaper, The Listin Dario ?

Furthermore why is it that the Figeroa family walks free ?

Since the Banater fiasco was the responsibility of Figeroa, then it is the responsibility of Figeroa to make the DR whole by making the peso $17, as well as paying for the other damages.
Written by: Miguel, 29 Apr 2007 9:00 AM
From: Santiago
The real damage incurred by the Baninter fiasco was the falling of the peso. The finacial damage is equivalent to over 50% of the value of the peso which can now never be recovered because of the rapid decline of interest rates.

Figeroa and family owe the DR the difference as they are responsible for the sharp declinf in living standards for the Dominican population.
Written by: JD, 29 Apr 2007 9:46 AM
From: Washington, DC
As an American investor, I will wait to see what the final verdicts are. Clearly, if there is not law & order and punishment for crime then I certainly do NOT want to increase my investments in the RD even if I can buy cheaper PESOS. There are many others like me that require that their investments of SAFE.

The legal system has an opportunity to send a clear message to the WORLD that the RD wants to improve beyond 3rd world with corrupt judges. Que Vida!
Written by: jeffrery, 29 Apr 2007 1:02 PM
From: nyc
all three of the above postings seem to have been written by the same person. look at the style of writing.
Written by: Walter, 30 Apr 2007 11:12 AM
From: NYC
Russia in 1998 had major bank fiascos wjereas the savers lost their savings because of ruble devaluation.

The same thing has happened in the DR. Savings have been reduced by 50%.

What is of particular peculiarity is how the family of Figeroa can walk around freely and even public pro Figeroa press.

If I were a Dominican, I would have their heads on a pole in the courtyard.

This is beyond belief that the DR government is not doing anything about this matter.
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