SAMANÁ, Dominican Republic – The captain of a vessel allegedly involved in a people-smuggling network that left at least 26 migrants dead and 21 others missing during a shipwreck has been arrested, according to the Dominican Republic navy.
David Cepeda Calcaño was taken into custody this past weekend off the country’s northeastern coast. Authorities are searching for two more suspects in connection with the incident.
Cepeda is a “well-known organizer” of people-smuggling trips to Puerto Rico who operates in numerous cities in northeastern Dominican Republic, the navy said.
The boat carrying more than 60 illegal immigrants was bound for Puerto Rico when the weight of the passengers caused it to sink, according to survivors.
Cepeda has been apprehended at least three times between 2000 and 2008 for people trafficking, the navy said.
[EFE (Dominican Republic), 08/02/2012; Listin.com (Dominican Republic), 08/02/2012]