There will be an appearance in US court on Wednesday for the renowned Haitian mobster accused of directing the violent child abduction and kidnapping of 17 Christian missionaries of last year,
He’s supposed to be one of the 400 Mawozo gang’s leaders, who are notorious for keeping foreigners for ransom. Joly Germine, 29, is said to be one of them.
After being kept for two months, several of the putative missionary hostages escaped.
Gang kidnappings in Haiti were made public after their trauma.
In the case of the kidnappings, Mr. Germine, better known as ‘Yonyon,’ is the first criminal defendant to be prosecuted.
Convicted of conspiracy to kidnap, he was transferred from a Haitian prison to the District of Columbia earlier this month. Separate charges of smuggling weapons have been brought against him.
Christopher Wray, director of the FBI, said the charge “demonstrates that the United States will not tolerate wrongdoing against its people, home or abroad.”
In addition to Germine, three other accused gang members were detained for smuggling weaponry, but not in connection with the abduction of the Christian Aid Ministries missionaries in October 2021.
The gang was made up of 16 American citizens and one Canadian citizen. One of the captives was an eight-month-old infant, one of five children taken hostage.
After visiting an orphanage in Ganthier, an eastern suburb of Port-au-Prince, on their way back to Port-au-Prince, the missionaries were kidnapped.
By the Department of Justice’s count, Mr Germine was in “constant touch” with 400 other Mawozo commanders over ransom discussions when they were kidnapped from a Haitian jail. Prosecutors contend that the abduction was part of a plan to secure the release of Mr Germine from jail in exchange for the hostages.
Later, the group sought a $1 million (£809,000) ransom per captive. The amount of money that was exchanged is not known. In November, two hostages were liberated, and in early December, three more were.
After 61 days in captivity, during which they were subjected to persistent threats of violence, the remaining 12 fled on or around the night at least of December 16th.
The hostages, according to the group’s spokesperson, trekked through the wilderness for hours using the stars as guidance. Later, the Coast Guard flew them to Florida.
There had been weeks of discussions between the gang and Haitian police before to their audacious escape.
During the last two years, kidnappings for ransom have increased significantly in Haiti.
A human rights group in Haiti says that more than 1,200 individuals were kidnapped last year, 81 of them were foreign nationals.

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