(CMC) – The United States on Monday announced reward offers of up to three million US dollars for information leading to the arrests and/or convictions of three Haitian gang leaders.
“As part of our efforts to continue imposing consequences and holding accountable those fomenting violence in Haiti, I am announcing reward offers of up to one million dollars each for information leading to the arrests and/or convictions of three Haitian nationals — Lanmò Sanjou aka Joseph Wilson, Jermaine Stephenson aka Gaspiyay, and Vitel‘Homme Innocent — for conspiring to participate in or attempting to participate in transnational organised crime,” said US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken.
“We are doing so in conjunction with the announcement of charges against the three individuals by the US Department of Justice,” he added.
Blinken said that on October 16, 2021, the 400 Mawozo gang engaged in a conspiracy to kidnap 16 US Christian missionaries and one Canadian missionary and hold them for ransom.
He said the missionaries were abducted after visiting an orphanage in the town of Ganthier, east of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.
Blinken said the kidnapping victims of the missionary group included 12 adults and five children.
“The United States supports the efforts of our Haitian law enforcement partners seeking to enforce rule of law in Haiti and combat transnational organised crime which continues to be a driving factor in worsening the humanitarian and security situation,” the US Secretary of State said.
“These actions are part of the United States’ commitment to supporting the people of Haiti as they bear the brunt of the crisis.”
He said these rewards are offered under the US Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program, which, he said, together with the Narcotics Rewards Programme, has helped bring more than 75 transnational criminals and major narcotics traffickers to justice.
Blinken said the US Department of State has paid more than US$155 million in rewards under these programs for information leading to apprehensions and convictions.