Salil Zaveri is a sales and marketing consultant living in Puerto Rico under Act 22 who was arrested on charges accusing him of shooting a dog on a well-known golf course, according to the Puerto Rico Police Department.
Police said in a statement that Zaveri shot the dog twice when it ran onto the golf course and took a golf ball into its mouth to play with it. Zaveri hit the golf ball to the next hole after allegedly shooting the dog, and then allegedly shot the dog a third time, officials wrote in the statement. David Begnaud, a CBS News correspondent, broke the story on Twitter.
A witness captured photo and video of the arrest as police questioned Zaveri on the golf course. Zaveri claimed the dog was trying to attack him.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Zaveri Shot the Dog 3 Times Using a 9mm Glock When the Dog Grabbed a Golf Ball to Play, Police Say
A statement from the police department says Zaveri shot a dog at the the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, May 8, 2021. Police responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call. Preliminary investigations indicated Zaveri shot the dog with a 9mm Glock, the statement said.
“BREAKING: This is the man arrested by Puerto Rico police accused of shooting a dog on a golf course in Puerto Rico. Police say the dog ran onto the course & grabbed a golf ball. The man allegedly shot the dog twice, then hit the ball to the next hole & then shot the dog again,” Begnaud wrote on Twitter.
His first court appearance was the morning of Sunday, May 9, 2021. He was released on $60,000 bond but his passport and driver’s license have been seized, according to the Times Union.
2. Zaveri Works As a Consultant With More Than 40 Years Experience in Sales & Marketing
Zaveri owns a consulting firm, Zaveri Consulting, aimed at increasing sales and profits for his clients and insurance recommendations, according to his website. He writes that he has more than 40 years of experience in sales and marketing.
“I have 40+ years of experience in sales & sales management,” his bio says. “The various roles that I have had are in chronological order: College Agent, Special Agent, Account Representative, Branch Manager, District Manager, General Manager, Independent Broker and now in my current capacity as FOUNDER & CEO of Zaveri Consulting, LLC. Your INDEPENDENT & UNBIASED resource to INCREASING SALES, PROFITS, OPTIMIZING YOUR INSURANCE PORTFOLIO & FUNDRAISING.”
His website says he is based in Puerto Rico and has team members throughout the United States. His website includes a video where he talks about his consulting offerings in insurance, fundraising and sales. He says on the video that most of his prospective clients are interested in his insurance consulting work.
“My team of insurance advisors have access to ALL THE COMPETITIVE COMPANIES so you can compare benefits, contractual provisions, exclusions, premiums, ratings…” his website says.
3. A Witness Shared a Video of Police Interviewing Zavari on the Golf Course
A witness shared a video Begnaud of police interviewing Zavari on the golf course. The reporter shared eyewitness accounts of the shooting and Zavari’s arrest.
“An eyewitness told me that the dog ran onto the golf course and grabbed the suspects golf ball to play with it. The suspect allegedly shot the dog twice, then went up to the ball and hit it to the next hole, and then shot the dog a third time,” Begnaud wrote.
Police told Begnaud Zavari is licensed to carry a firearm on the island. Zavari claimed the dog was trying to attack him, but witnesses told police that claim was not true. The investigation into the case is ongoing, and Zavari has not been convicted of any crimes related to the allegations.
4. Zaveri Moved to Puerto Rico to Live & Work Under Act 22
Begnaud identified Zaveri as “an Act 22er.” Act 22 was an initiative from Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce offering tax incentives to draw capital to the commonwealth.
“The suspect has been identified, by an eyewitness, as Salil Zaveri. He’s an Act 22er who lives and works in Puerto Rico. He’s due to appear in court this morning,” Begnaud wrote on Twitter.
Officials also identified Zaveri in their statement.
Act 22, also known as the “Individual Investors Act,” was enacted in 2012 offering tax benefits to investors who become residents of Puerto Rico and apply for a tax exemption.
“The Act may have profound implications for the continued economic recovery of Puerto Rico,” the DCED wrote. “The Act provides tax exemptions to eligible individuals residing in Puerto Rico. To avail from such benefits, an individual needs to become a resident of Puerto Rico and apply for a tax exemption decree.”
Act 20/22 “shields new residents residing in Puerto Rico for at least half of the year from paying most federal income taxes.”
The Act 20/22 Society condemned the alleged actions in a statement, saying it was “disturbed.”
5. Zaveri Was Born in Mumbai, India & Moved to the United States as a Child
Zaveri was born in Mumbai, India in 1960. He moved to New York in 1969, his Twitter profile says. He began his career in 1978 and moved to Puerto Rico in 2015.
His LinkedIn account says he began his career as an agent with Northwestern Mutual in 1978, where he worked for 10 years before taking a job as a sales representative with MetLife in 1988. He was promoted to general manager after one year, and worked with the company until 1999, when he started his own business.
His Twitter profile says:
1960 – Born in Mumbai, India
1969 – NY/USA
2015 – Puerto Rico
1978 – Current: 40+ yrs exp.
Zaveri later deleted his Twitter account.