Missionaries kidnapped in Haiti escaped after ransom money raised -ministry group

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Ransom money was raised to pay for the release of a group Canadian and American missionaries kidnapped in Haiti, but a dozen of them escaped captivity on their own, the U.S.-based Christian ministry group which organized their trip to the Caribbean country said on Monday.

“Other people who sought to help us provided funds to pay a ransom and allow the negotiation process to continue,” David Troyer, director of Christian Aid Ministries, said during a news conference at the group’s Millersburg, Ohio, headquarters.

“After many days of waiting and no action on the part of the kidnappers, God worked in a miraculous way to enable the hostages to escape,” Troyer said.

The missionaries, who were abducted in October by a gang known as 400 Mawozo after visiting an orphanage, originally numbered 17 people.

Two hostages were freed in late November and three were released earlier this month.

Haitian police said on Thursday that the final dozen hostages had been found by authorities on a mountain called Morne à Cabrit. The mountain is about 37 km (23 miles) south of the capital Port-Au-Prince.

A spokesman for the missionary group, Weston Showalter, told the news conference in Millersburg that the last 12 hostages had plotted their escape and eventually walked miles to a point of safety where they could contact authorities.

“They were finally free,” he said.

The ordeal has brought global attention to the Caribbean country’s growing problem of gang abductions.

Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Colleen Jenkins
Dubai World Trade Centre to set up specialised crypto zone
The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) will become a crypto zone and regulator for cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets, the Dubai Media Office said on Monday, part of efforts to attract new business as regional economic competition heats up.

The move by the DWTC to create a specialised zone for virtual assets – including digital assets, products, operators and exchanges – is part of a drive by Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates federation of seven emirates, to create new economic sectors, the statement said.

“Rigorous standards for investor protection, anti money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism, compliance and cross border deal flow tracing,” will be developed, it said.

In September, the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority and the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) agreed a framework that allows the DWTCA to approve and licence financial activities relating to crypto assets.

In October, another Dubai free zone DIFC, Dubai’s state-owned financial free zone and the Middle East’s major finance centre, released the first part of a regulatory framework for digital tokens.

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