On Wednesday, Pelegrín Castillo, Dr. Salomon Melgen's first cousin and a Deputy in the Dominican Republic's Chamber of Delegates since 1994, told the Spanish language publication Periodico Hoy that he voted against the ICSSI port security deal in 2002, long before his cousin was involved, because the contract was awarded without competitive bidding.
According to Periodico Hoy's original Spanish language report as translated to English by this reporter "[Castillo] said that when the contract came to Congress, specifically the Chamber of Deputies, he voted against ratification, because the contract was awarded on a no-bid basis."
Several years later, when Melgen was considering the purchase of ICSSI, Castillo offered him some advice. According to Periodico Hoy's Spanish language report as translated to English by this reporter, Castillo directly advised his cousin not to make the ICSSI purchase:
"I said, look Solomon, from a cousin who loves you, do not get into that operation, because you're endangering your life and that of your family, your interests and your image."
Melgen, however, did not heed his cousin's advice. In August of 2011 he purchased a controlling interest in ICSSI, and that company's disputed 2002 contract has now entangled him and his political sponsor, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in an international controversy.