Corrupt agency sold state lands at 'dead cow' prices: report

Santo Domingo.- The State Sugar Council (CEA) has become a “white elephant” for recent administrations where political leaders and associates buy state lands from at “dead cow” prices, reports.

The CEA, which has more than 4,000 employees, has degenerated into a real estate company that sold properties to cover its payroll.

On September 27 last year, president Danilo Medina ordered a halt to the sale of any CEA land, and named an evaluation commission headed by former Environment minister Bautista Rojas.

“The arduous task of this commission involves 220,500 hectares of state-owned land that have been sold, exchanged or donated by the CEA since founded in 1966. This amounts to 2,201 square kilometers, 4.54% of the national territory,” the outlet reports.

The commission has already evaluated 6,000 files of the 46,600 sales, donations and exchanges conducted by the agency, which has a long history of corruption.

Rojas said of the CEA’s 12 sugar mills, they’ve reviewed the sale of two: Haina and Ozama, and have begun to evaluate the Amistad transaction.

Among the transactions pending evaluation figure the mills at Barahona, Quisqueya, Esperanza and Consuelo.

“This process of the CEA is different from that of the State Enterprises Corporation (CORDE) and the Public Company Reform Commission (CREP), which were eliminated by the president,” the official said.

“Until the third report is rendered, no trend can be established and anything else is rushed,” he said.

The reports are issued bimonthly and the third will be delivered to Medina by the end of March.