Dominican police suspects in $1.5M theft from sect

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Police officers who took part in a deadly shootout and raid at the compound of a sect led by a German man in a Dominican resort town are suspected of taking cash and property during the operation, officials said Thursday.

About $1.5 million in cash, jewelry and other property is missing from the compound in Sosua where Peter Brunck presided over the “Academy for Future Health,” Dominican Attorney General Francisco Dominquez Brito said.

An investigation was focused on 14 police officers who took part in the October 2012 raid in which a member of the sect was shot to death by police and authorities seized rifles, grenades, crossbows and body armor. Brunck, 61, from Meisenheim, Germany, was arrested on weapons charges along with his son and a woman who lived at the compound. All are in custody.

Newspaper Listin Diario reported that officers involved in the raid have admitted that several safes were found at the compound and that they distributed items and cash seized from the house. Officials declined Thursday to confirm the report.

The national police said in a statement that they had disciplined three high-ranking officers who presided over the raid and suspended the 14 officers.

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