HAITI : A GOVERNMENT OF THIEVES – RUN BY A MONEY LAUNDERER PRESIDENT

 

 

 

HAITI : A GOVERNMENT OF THIEVES – RUN BY A MONEY LAUNDERER PRESIDENT

 

Haitian President Jovenel Moise, a political novice sought to sag 14 high officials of the Haitian Police Department. This news comes on the heels of an attack on the President’s motorcade on the north side of Haiti a few days ago where the people threw rocks at the president’s motorcade a la Maduro. The Chief of Police, Mr. Michel Ange Gedeon was summoned to the Haitian National Palace in Port-au-Prince accompanied by two aides. Mr. Gedeon was received by President Moise flanked by Wilson Laleau and Ardouin Zephirin, two of his senior advisors. The Chief of the Police was presented with a list of people the President demanded that he fire immediately. If he did not fire them, President Moise would ask the Haitian Senate to terminate Gedeon. The President reportedly told the Chief: “I control the majority of the Senate and I will see to it that you are gone pronto.”

This political faux-pas by Jovenel Moise has raised eyebrows among international observers, especially members of the CORE Group, (a de facto caretaker of the Haitian Government) whose members sought clarification from the President. Not since the fall of the Duvaliers has a Haitian president attempted to politicize the police force. After the fall of the Duvalier, President Aristide disbanded the Haitian army because of a coup D’etat orchestrated by Haitian army, General Raoul Cedras who was later sent to exile in Panama. Haiti’s new police force was created under the supervision of the United Nations and other countries that continue to provide training and equipment. The police force was purposely designed to be apolitical, and not subject to the whims of any president to avoid the kind of political drama that Mr. Moise seemed to elicit by his rather odd request.

The President nominates the Chief of Police, and the nominee is confirmed by the Senate for two terms. Every president since Aristide has respected that arrangement and tried to stay clear of politicizing the police and seeking confrontations with the Haitian police chief.

When Martelly became president in 2011, the Chief of Police resigned near the end of his term and was replaced by Godson Orelus. Not even Michel Martelly a political novice par excellence sought to interfere with the police. President Jovenel Moise has been the first Haitian president since the Duvalier to try to impose his will on an independent agency charged with providing security. It is rather obvious that the decision to summon the Chief of Police for such a meeting was not of Jovenel Moise’s doing. One his senior advisors Wilson Laleau, who most certainly should be in prison for theft and embezzlement of PetroCaribe funds is currently trying to avoid an indictment by seeking to politicize the police force.

A recent Senate investigation into the Petrocaribe corruption scandal conducted by Senator Youri Latortue revealed that Wilson Laleau and Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie, two former Ministers of Finance under President Michel Martelly had allegedly embezzled nearly 80 million dollars of the Petrocaribe fund. The report recommended that both ministers are charged with theft, embezzlement, fraud, money laundering and public corruption. Thus far, no indictment has been forthcoming, and the office of the Haitian Attorney General has been unusually quiet.

Meanwhile, last week a Senate committee decided that it wants to investigate the involvement of President Moise in a money laundering scheme. Back in November of 2016, this newspaper reported that President-Elect Moise was under investigation for money laundering and drug trafficking. The charges emanated from prior unexplained deposits of large sums of money that the Mr. Moise or his wife made in several personal bank accounts in Haiti between 2014 and 2015. The investigation started on about the time Mr. Moise declared his candidacy for president. Since becoming President, the file has gone cold. To this day, neither the President nor his wife has satisfactorily explained the source of the money. Some members of the Haitian Senate want to investigate while others feel that such an investigation would be simply a distraction because the investigation would not conclude until after Moise’s mandate is over. Mr. Moise’s term does not end until February of 2021.

Recently, the Attorney General of Guyana, (a member of the Organizations of American States, OAS) issued a communique advising the nation’s banking community to be vigilant in doing business with Haitian banks because of the possibility of money laundering, and terrorist funding. The world banking system does not recognize Haiti’s banking system. Most international banks do not conduct business with Haitian banks because of a lack of transparency, corruption, and an archaic system with no accountability.

Two of the people that President Moise suggested to replace some of the 14 police brass are of dubious character. One was convicted of a felony involving car theft, and the other is under investigation for drug trafficking,including the new head of the  (USPGPN) Mr. Dimitri Herard Selva whom is under investigation with the ACRA DRUG BOAT: ( Manzanares ). We have to remember also that Dimitri H Selva was an alleged accomplice and partner of Guy Phillipe whom by the way is in custody of the US Government at the present. Nothing, unusual here in case you are asking. This is a government of thieves, where the President allegedly himself is a suspect in a money laundering scheme. The Haitian Senate has cited the President’s advisor (Wilson Laleau) for participating in a conspiracy to commit fraud, embezzlement, theft, misappropriations of government funds during the time he served as Minister of Finance under President Martelly, another Haitian politician of dubious character and questionable pedigree. In Haiti, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Omega Staff Writers

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