Eight Turkish citizens have been kidnapped in Haiti’s capital, an official told The Associated Press on Monday, apparently the latest in a string of high-profile kidnappings by powerful gangs.
Hugues Josue, Turkey’s honorary consul in Haiti, said the group had boarded a bus in the neighboring Dominican Republic and were kidnapped late Sunday afternoon in the Croix-des-Bouquets neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.
Josue said he did not have any details on a potential ransom request, and no additional information was immediately available.
Croix-des-Bouquets is controlled by the 400 Mawozo gang, which kidnapped 17 members of a US-based missionary group in the same area last October. The gang demanded $1 million in ransom and held most of them until December.
A diplomat from the Dominican Republic was kidnapped in the same neighborhood earlier this month and later freed.
Last week, Haiti’s National Police announced that one of the top leaders of the 400 Mawozo gang, Germine Joly, was extradited to the US. He faces charges involving kidnapping, smuggling and import of weapons of war.
The violence and insecurity has prompted Haitians to organize protests in recent weeks to demand safer neighborhoods.