Three Jamaicans among foreigners arrested in Haiti on drug charges

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – Law enforcement authorities in Haiti say they have arrested a number of foreigners including Jamaicans on drug related charges.

Deputy Chief of the Anti-drug Unit, Odelet Charles, said two Colombians, a Venezuelan woman and three Jamaicans were arrested on drug and money laundering charges, while two other Spanish-speaking foreigners, who claimed to be Cubans were also being questioned.

“Two Colombians are in jail while two others were extradited to the US, and three Jamaicans are also detained among other individuals,” Charles told the Haitian website, HCNN on Friday.

“We are redoubling our efforts to counter the activities of drug dealers. The means are limited but we are doing our best,” he added.

The authorities said that the foreigners were arrested during an operation conducted last weekend near the southern island of Ile-a-Vache,

Haitian anti-drug agents and coastguards, supported by UN soldiers based here used three helicopters and three boats to chase and intercept two Jamaicans, Mark Reid and Fenton Johnson, and the two Spanish-speaking people who later identified themselves as Juan Rafael Hidalgo Manganelly and Alexis Leyva Moreno.

A third Jamaican, Mark Pitt, was also arrested during a separate police operation. Pitt, who does not have proper documents, said he has been living in Haiti for a long time now.

Reid claimed he was paid to transport two Cuban men to Haiti and denied any involvement in a drug deal. But he is said to have been in contact with Damas Dominique, who is now wanted by the anti-drug unit.

Jamaicans often use small boats to ship marijuana to Haiti through the country’s southern coasts, which are very close to Jamaica.

The authorities have also arrested a Haitian businessman, Evinx Daniel, whom they said had called them m to secure an abandoned boat that contained 23 packages of marijuana.

Daniel, who owns a beach-hotel in the southern town of Port-Salut, said he was with three other people in his own yacht when he came upon the unoccupied boat.

“Because I knew the drug could have fallen in the wrong hands, we made sure it got to the shore and I am the one who called the police to come and get the packages,” Daniel told HCNN while in custody.

“I thought I could be recognized as a hero for what I did because other people could have taken it, sold it or used it to destroy our youth. I really don’t know why I am arrested.”

But the prosecutor in Les Cayes, Jean-Marie Salomon, said since Daniel was in contact with drug, his office needed to hold him for more questioning.


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