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Daily News - 02 February 1998

Fraudulent licenses sold
The director of the Departamento de Tránsito Terrestre of the Ministry of Public Works, the government department that issues driver's licenses, said the National Police had arrested several persons with ties to insiders in the department that are being investigated for the fraudulent issuing of licenses. Engineer Andrés Martínez said that in some cases up to RD$5,000 in cash was paid for a falsified license. Eng. Martínez said there was even a former military who visited schools and businesses offering his connections within the department to assist in the obtaining of licenses.

Telecommunications case gets more complicated
Well known business advisor Luís Alvarez Renta made headlines last week when arrested for illegal possession of weapons. Alvarez Renta was sought for questioning into the case of the telecommunications bill that was passed by Congress in a rush. Alvarez Renta is an advisor to Tricom, the second largest telecommunications company in the nation, which Attorney General Abel Rodríguez del Orbe denounced had paid large sums of money so that the bill would be passed in January. Executives of Tricom are being interrogated by the Attorney General regarding their participation in the case.
The Executive Branch was expected to submit the telecommunications bill in the legislature that opens 27 February, but senator Leonel Vittini went ahead and submitted another bill in early December that was quickly passed by Congress but vetoed by President Fernández.
Monsignor Agripino Núñez Collado, rector of the PUCMM and one of the nation's chief arbiters and negotiators, told Hoy, "It is not a secret that there is corruption in the private sector. The business world shares the responsibility for corruption in Congress."

Chamber retains bill would reduce tax on air tickets
The Chamber of Deputies refused to return the bill that reduces taxes on airline tickets sold here to the Presidency. Congress had approved the bill, but the Presidency vetoed it and returned it to Congress, alleging that the RD$200 million the tax would generate was already contemplated in the 1998 National Budget.
After the veto, the Judicial Consultant of the Executive Branch requested that the bill be returned to the Presidency as the Executive Branch had found a source that would compensate for the lost income. The Chamber of Deputies now refuses to return the bill.
Those in favor of the bill have said that the reduction in taxes would result in an increase in taxes generated, as more people would purchase tickets in this country instead of buying abroad to avoid the high tax.

Green loses his prize bout
Dominican Julio César Green lost to William Joppy in his attempt to retain his World Boxing Association championship title in a return bout against the American, held on Saturday, 31 January, in Tampa, Florida. Green was the first and only Dominican to win a world title in the 160 weight category. The judges unanimously voted in favor of Joppy (117-113, 117-110 and 119-110).
After the bout, Joppy said that he would accept a return bout, even one held in the Dominican Republic.
Green now has a record of 22 victories, 15 by knockout and three losses. Joppy has 25 victories, 19 by knockout and only one defeat, which was inflicted by Green last year.

Sports agreements signed
The Dominican Republic signed six bilateral sports agreements with Latin American nations. Ministers of sports and deputy ministers from Latin America, Portugal and Spain were in Santo Domingo for the IV Ordinary General Assembly of the Iberoamerican Sports Council (CID). The D.R. signed agreements with Portugal, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Spain for the exchange of knowledge in the area of construction of sports installations, sporting goods, scientific equipment for sports, and an exchange of information and experiences for the organization of major sports events. Minister of Sports Juan Marichal said that the country would benefit greatly from these agreements. The Dominican Republic agreed to send Spain and Portugal baseball and softball coaches, and Portugal will send the D.R. experts in football, wrestling, weight lifting, physical education, sports medicine and other areas.

D.R. presents plans for 2003 Pan Ams
Dr. José Joaquín Puello Herrera, president of the Dominican Olympic Committee, presented the country's plans for hosting the Panamerican Sports Games in year 2003. The D.R. is competing with Chile, Colombia and Mexico to host the games, the most important regional sports event. The city that seems to be most advanced in the quest for the site is Guadalajara, Mexico, which said they have already invested US$800,000 in their efforts to obtain the site. Andres Andrade, director of the project, said that Guadalajara has all the necessary infrastructure for the games. Mexico has offered free air fare to delegates of the 42 countries that will attend the Pan Ams. For the Dominican Republic to host the Games the government must make millionaire investments in the repair of the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center in Santo Domingo and the construction of complementary works.

Dr. Puello might not opt for re-election in Olympic Committee
The president of the Dominican Olympic Committee, Dr. José Joaquín Puello Herrera, who is also president of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (ODECABE) said that he will wait till the end of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Games to be held in Maracaibo, Venezuela from 8-22 August to decide whether he will run again for president of the Dominican Olympic Committee. Dr. Puello, one of the nation's best neurosurgeons, has been president of the COD for four consecutive terms.

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