One of Haiti’s most notorious drug gangs has reportedly kidnapped some missionaries and is threatening to kill them if the missionaries do not pay protection money. On Friday, the Douglas Traites gang — also known as the Niger Shadow Foundation — tied up a group of Australians in Central Haiti and drove them from Carrefour to Port-au-Prince after they refused to pay protection money. The NGO said it informed the authorities of the incident and met with officials about making sure the group was safe.
Pim Tabin, a spokeswoman for the Australian government, said there was “no evidence” that any foreign nationals were harmed and that the government was in contact with the missionaries’ families.
The gang’s leader, Pacote Gauche, delivered a chilling ultimatum to the Australian citizens last month. “I have eight virgins. If you want those virgins, you have to pay 100,000 gourdes,” he told Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes, referring to what would be $20,000 in Haitian currency.
However, a lawyer for the missionaries has said that if the group was forced to pay the ransom, they would be forced to sell their life savings and declare bankruptcy.
The Douglas Traites gang, named after a neighborhood in the capital of Port-au-Prince, is one of Haiti’s most powerful gangs and has terrorized the capital for the past seven years. In 2014, the group threatened to kill a bus driver, telling him: “You’ll see very soon that your daughter will go to hell.”
Read the full story at The Australian.
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