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.