The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MICM), Víctor -Ito- Bisonó reported that the Government has seized 84,304 bottles of adulterated alcohol, 101,197 liters of clergy unfit for human consumption and has dismantled 19 clandestine factories in Barahona , Housing, War, San Pedro de Macorís and Santiago, for which he warned that in the management of President Luis Abinader there will be no hesitation in the face of illegality.
Leading a press conference of the Illicit Roundtable, Bisonó emphasized that for the first time this scourge has been faced with political will, and the largest fight structure to combat illicit trade in the country has been created.
“We will continue to forcefully confront the crime against health, the injury to the industry and the negative impact on the image and security of our Dominican Republic,” said the head of the MICM.
The official indicated that 3,761 businesses throughout the country have also intervened, closing distilleries and liquor stores for non-compliance with tax obligations, through the General Directorate of Internal Taxes (DGII). In the same way, two cases have been prosecuted with criminal submissions.
He also explained that when the present management took office, they found a panorama with a total of 596 deaths and 262 people intoxicated by ingesting adulterated alcoholic beverages.
Similarly, he recalled that, at the beginning of April 2021, the Ministry of Public Health declared an alert for poisoning caused by the consumption of adulterated alcohol with methanol concentrations greater than 50%, which is fatal.
“This reality led us to develop a comprehensive strategy from the government to combat and fight against smuggling, adulteration and counterfeiting of the illicit alcohol trade in the country, which we carry out through a work dynamic together with the sectors affected to face together this culture of illegality”, he said.
Bisonó reported that two fronts were created, one led by the General Directorate of Customs (DGA), to track the importation of methanol for industrial use and another by Proconsumidor, to monitor its marketing and sale.
He also indicated that alliances have been made with key private institutions for continuous work, through which the entities have donated equipment for the fight against illegal activity, provided training and carried out communication campaigns on responsible consumption.
Bisonó highlighted the work of allies in this fight, both in the public and private sectors, among which the General Directorate of Customs (DGA), the Attorney General’s Office, the National Institute for the Protection of Consumer Rights ( ProConsumidor), the Specialized Body for Fuel Control (CECCOM); the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD), the National Police (PN), the National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD), the National Directorate of Internal Revenue (DGII), the Army of the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Health Public and National Directorate of Investigations (DNI), among others.
“This joint fight with a true political will led by President Luis Abinader, has allowed us to achieve that today we do not have a single death from adulterated alcohol intake,” concluded Bisonó.