Crime in the Dominican Republic

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Militarized Police in Santo Domingo.

Crime in the Dominican Republic is investigated by the Dominican Republic National Police.

Crime by type[edit]


In 2012, the Dominican Republic had a murder rate of 22.1 per 100,000 population.[1] There were a total of 2,268 murders in the Dominican Republic in 2012.[1]

Illegal drug trade[edit]

The Dominican Republic has become a trans-shipment point for Colombian drugs destined to Europe as well as the United States and Canada.[2][3] Money laundering via the Dominican Republic is favored by Colombian drug cartels for the ease of illicit financial transactions.[2] In 2004, it was estimated that 8% of all cocaine smuggled into the United States had come through the Dominican Republic.[4] The Dominican Republic responded with increased efforts to seize drug shipments, arrest and extradite those involved, and combat money-laundering.


Purse snatchers and briefcase thieves are known to work hotel bars and restaurants waiting for unknowing guests to place these items on chairs or under tables.[5] Pools or beaches are attractive areas for thieves.[5]

The most common type of crime are drive-by robberies that are normally performed by one or two assailants on a motorcycle, scooter, or even a bicycle.[5] The assailant will drive up and grab anything that is in arm's reach: purses, cellular phones, necklaces, etc..[5] In metropolitan Santo Domingo the majority of the motorcycle robberies occurred between 8pm and 11pm, with 85 percent of the motorcycles involved having two riders.[5]


Kidnapping is an issue in the Dominican Republic.[5] Victims reported that they were approached by men in police uniforms or similar clothing and were told that their identity needed to be verified.[5] Victims were then taken to an undisclosed location and held from a few hours to a couple of days.[5] During that time, abductors would contact family members and demand huge sums of money for the release of their loved ones.[5] Most families paid the amount, and the victims were released unharmed.[5]

By location[edit]

Santo Domingo[edit]

High crime areas in the capital include Arroyo Hondo, Naco, Gazcue, Cristo Rey and Villa Agricola.[5]Pantoja