Canada sanctions Haiti elites over alleged gang ties

Published: 12:41 AM, 6 Dec, 2022
Canada sanctions Haiti elites over alleged gang ties
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Canada on Monday announced sanctions against several wealthy Haitians over alleged "financing and operational support for armed gangs" that have helped plunge the Caribbean nation into turmoil.

Included in the new round of sanctions are Haiti's only billionaire, Gilbert Bigio, as well as businesssmen Reynold Deeb and Sherif Abdallah.

"Canada has reason to believe these individuals are using their status as high-profile members of the economic elite in Haiti to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption," Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement.

They "must stop providing funds and weapons to criminal gangs in Haiti," she added.

The sanctions will freeze any assets the men may have in Canada, as well as prohibit all dealings with them.

Ottawa imposed similar sanctions in recent months against high-ranking Haitian officials over their alleged links to organized crime.

It also provided aid to fight a cholera outbreak and vehicles for Haiti's police.

Haiti, the poorest country in North America, has been mired for years in an economic, security and political crisis made worse by the assassination of President Jovenel Moise last year and the growing influence of gangs.

The current instability, according to Ottawa, was provoked by armed gangs terrorizing the population and impeding deliveries of critical services and humanitarian aid.

Categories : World

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.