Four Croatians were allegedly arrested Friday in connection to an international drug trafficking gang based in the Dominican Republic, the Croatian state TV station HRT reported on Sunday. According to unofficial information obtained by HRT, two Croatians were arrested in the Dominican Republic, one was arrested in Italy, and one in Zadar, Croatia. The suspected Croatian members of the drug trafficking group are all from Zadar.
In a joint action, the Dominican Republic National Drugs Control Agency (DNCD) and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), seized 150 packets of high quality cocaine in Puerto Rico. The gang was allegedly led by Sotero Batista Payano, who was arrested upon his arrival to the Luis Muñoz Marin Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico on Friday. Three other people were arrested in addition to Batista, DNCD said. According to DNCD, the drugs came from Samana, Dominican Republic. Joint US and Dominican Republic forces have been tracking the group for some time.
According to information obtained by HRT, a total of nine Croatian citizens were tied to the drug smuggling group. The Croatian authorities have not confirmed this information yet