A Haitian gang that kidnapped a group of American and Canadian missionaries is asking for $17 million to release them, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing a Haitian official.
Justice Minister Liszt Quitel said the FBI and Haitian police are in contact with the kidnappers and seeking the release of the missionaries abducted over the weekend outside the capital Port-au-Prince by a gang called 400 Mawozo, the Journal reported.
As many as 17 American Christian missionaries and their families, including children, were kidnapped on Saturday by gang members in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, U.S. media reported. The kidnapping happened after the missionaries left an orphanage in the crisis-engulfed Caribbean nation, the New York Times and CNN said. The Washington Post had reported that an audio from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said “men, women and children” associated with the group were being held by an armed gang.
The victims included 14 adults and three minors, CNN said, citing an unnamed source in Haiti’s security forces. They were traveling to Titanyen after visiting the orphanage in the Croix des Bouquets area, CNN said. The Times, citing local officials, said the missionaries were taken from a bus headed to the airport to drop off some members of the group before continuing to another destination in Haiti.