The authorities of Panama recaptured the Dominican Gilberto Ventura Ceballos, sentenced to 50 years for the kidnapping and killing of 5 people, who escaped more than 10 days ago from a maximum security prison, which cost the charge to two state ministers.
“Last Hour | Security Minister Juan Manuel Pino confirms capture of Ventura Ceballos” by the National Police, the Ministry of Security reported on Thursday through its Twitter account.
He added that the recapture of Ventura Ceballos, 44, was carried out in the sector El Salao de Remedios, western province of Chiriquí, bordering with Costa Rica, thanks to intelligence work.
This murderer, for whom a reward of $ 50,000 was offered, had already escaped from the “La Joyita” prison in Panama in December 2016, but was recaptured in September 2017 in Costa Rica.
“Panama, we have Ventura Ceballos! The safety of all Panamanians is our commitment and we will take the measures that must be taken to maintain the tranquility of the country,” Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo wrote.
The escape of Ventura Ceballos from sector C of La Nueva Joya prison, an area of maximum security, was reported on February 4, although authorities presumed that it had escaped the previous day.
This new escape cost the then Security Ministers, Rolando Mirones, and Government, Carlos Romero, whose substitutes are Pino and Sheyla Grajales, respectively, while three agents of the National Police were separated from office because of their alleged connection with The escape.
It also triggered a barrage of criticism against the Police and security policy, with questions on social networks and opinion programs on how it was possible that a high-risk inmate like Ventura Ceballos could escape if he was practically in isolation, he did not enjoy of exits to the prison yard or shared a cell with another inmate.
Ventura Ceballos was convicted in July 2018 for the kidnapping and murder of five young Panamanians of Chinese descent in 2011.
The victims of this case are Yessenia Argelis Loo Kam, 18; Young Jian Wu (27), Sammy Zeng Chen (19), Joel Maurio Liu Wong (19) and Georgina del Carmen Lee Chen (18).
In addition to Ventura Ceballos, Alcibiades Méndez (Dominican), and Panamanians Keyla Gisselle Bendibú Salazar and Mario Luis Vega were sentenced to 50 years in prison, while Panamanians Kenny Bendibú Salazar and Roberto Mariscal Rodríguez were sentenced to 15 years .