This is the instance where a fugitive Venezuelan drug trafficker, known by the alias Taliban, was placed alive into the ocean while bound with zip-tied hands and an anchor fastened around his waist. This act was enacted as retribution for his theft of 450 pounds of cocaine and associated funds from a criminal cartel.
Reinaldo Fuentes, aged 68, is observed in a state of captivity, with his mouth sealed and bloodstains on the back of his head. Subsequently, those responsible struggle to hoist him, along with the anchor, off the side of a vessel into the Caribbean Sea near Martinique.
The video, disseminated on social media, captures Fuentes making eye contact with the individual recording the footage. Following this moment, he is cast overboard and left to meet his demise by drowning.
The individuals behind the kidnapping remain unidentified; however, one voice in the video’s background is heard cautioning against revealing their faces. Another voice later comments that Fuentes is without any means to rescue himself.
In a convoluted and inadequately conceived scheme, Fuentes, who functioned as an intermediary for the Venezuelan Clan del Cartel, had earlier discarded a shipment of narcotics worth $10 million into the sea.
He fabricated a fictitious pursuit by the Coast Guard to account for his failure to return the drugs to the cartel leaders, retaining the cash instead. Following this, he ventured back to sea to retrieve the cocaine, repackaged it, and transported it to another island in the Caribbean.
The plan took a turn for the worse when his accomplices divulged the information, ultimately leading to his demise on July 17 – the same day he was summoned to a cartel gathering.
Veteran journalist Rafael Tolentino disclosed on the Dominican Republic’s morning show ‘Esto No Es Radio’ that Fuentes had obtained forged national identification documents, allowing him to live under the alias Miguel Fulcar in the Dominican Republic, evading authorities’ detection.
Reportedly, Fuentes was romantically involved with a prominent lawyer and took care of her daughter in the Dominican city of Bonao. A native of Sucre, Venezuela, he also had three children from a prior relationship in Venezuela.
Fuentes purportedly exercised control over drug distribution in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Bonao, where he earned the moniker ‘Taliban’ due to illicit associations with Middle Eastern drug traffickers. Two members of his organization had previously been killed in a confrontation with the police in Buenos Aires.
This event prompted an investigation that led to the discovery of a cache of weapons at a Bonao residence, reportedly belonging to Fuentes.
According to Tolentino’s sources, Fuentes arrived in the country on July 14 and departed two days later. The same sources conveyed that his murder was linked to his involvement in the theft of a multimillion-dollar cocaine shipment intended for Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands.
Fuentes departed his residence in the Dominican Republic and was lured to a cartel meeting at an undisclosed location on July 17, which ultimately led to his abduction and subsequent disposal at sea.
In the video documentation, one of the gang members ensures that the assailants’ identities remain concealed. Following this, two individuals struggle to raise Fuentes from the raft due to the anchor secured around him, making self-rescue impossible. He is then plunged headfirst into the water. The video concludes with a distant view of Fuentes adrift, without any attempt at rescue.
As of now, it remains uncertain whether any arrests have been made in connection with the incident, although the Dominican Republic military has stated that the occurrence did not transpire within its territorial waters.