Two sons of local businessman Dante Tagliaventi said they are embarrassed and were brought to tears when they learned, via the Internet yesterday afternoon, of his alleged involvement in cocaine trafficking.
The offsprings, who are entrepreneurs here, said the news is devastating even though they are estranged from their father.
The older of the siblings told OBSERVER Media, “Everybody is responsible for their own actions and what he does is his business. We don’t have a close relationship with him but we nevertheless love and respect him. I’m going home to cry for the next two hours. I have such a headache now.”
They said they are prepared to face whatever comes with the arrest of their father, who has been linked to a similar offence in the past. But prosecutors later dropped the charge.
“Whatever happens God will be the judge of everything. Our mother raised us as Christian God – fearing men and we have faith. He is a kind man. He was kind and loving to everyone,” Tagliaventi’s older son said.
Neither of his sons has spoken to him since he left Antigua for holiday in the Dominican Republic, where he was arrested this week.
On Wednesday, news of Tagliaventi’s arrest, surfaced in Spanish on ”http://www.primerahora.com/cantazoaltraficointernacional-646475.html for the agency Primerahora.com“
The site reported Italian born Tagliaventi, also known as “Spaghetti” as among six men allegedly involved in the matter. Agents of the Federal agency and special forces arrested him as he arrived at Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo.
It said the alleged organizer of the crime was Hector Miranda Rojas, better known as ” Pito Shell,” who appeared on the list of most wanted by the authorities and was arrested last Tuesday after a chase in Hatillo.
The other five men are Puerto Ricans. The agency reported that the six men were taken before a federal magistrate this week.
It is estimated that the six could have sent some 4,000 kilos of cocaine over a five-year period through a complex operation between Colombia and Venezuela.
In 2004, Tagliaventi, along with nine men were accused of trafficking 500 kilos of cocaine which was intercepted on a boat by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Canada.
However, in 2007 a request to extradite him from Antigua & Barbuda was withdrawn.
The businessman operated two businesses in Heritage Quay Timeless Treasures and Millennium which were closed last year after several years of operation. In December 2011 he announced a third business, Luxury Brand, would close in May, at the end of the tourist season.