HomeNewsreelNews Reel

News Reel

Published on

Archives

A report on the investigation into illegal importation of arms and ammunition by the Episcopal
Church of Haiti revealed that this lucrative business appears to have been in operation for a long
period of time under the aegis of the Church. The investigation by the Bureau of Financial and
Economic Affairs (Bureau des affaires financières et économiques (BAFE) at the Judicial
police headquarters, revealed that the church is involved in the illegal traffic of weapons through
different ports of entry and through contacts with various gangs including; Village-de-Dieu and
“Kraze Baryè” of Vitelhomme Innocent. The mastermind of the entire operation is none other
than Father Frantz Cole, Diocesan Executive Secretary of the Episcopalian Church in Haiti. This
information was revealed after the arrest of Gina Jean Louis Rolls, on July 15, 2022, who is
known as the “broker” and responsible for receiving containers of guns and ammunitions from
foreign countries, mainly the U.S. Ms. Jean Louis had been working for several years with the
church and was initially contacted by the priest. Details of the investigation further shows that
after refusing to honor several subpoenas to appear before the bureau, Father Frantz Cole, aka
Fanfan, was arrested on August 17, 2022. Mr. Cole used the church’s customs status to smuggle
arms and ammunition into the country. He also holds several bank accounts both in Haiti and
abroad, and other assets including houses. Other evidence shows that Father Frantz Cole receives
approximately 300,000 gourdes from the Haitian legislature on a monthly basis. One of the
lawyers representing Mr. Cole, Lovenie Jean, was also representing Vitelhomme Innocent, leader
of the “Kraze Baryè” gang.
Details of the illegal arms transactions were revealed after the Church s accountant Jean Gilles
Jean Mary was arrested on August 22, 2022. Documents from 2017 through 2021 shows
payment authorizations to the account of a Zimbabwean arms trafficker, Sikhumbuzo Vundla,
have been made on numerous occasions with a minimum of US$30,000 deposited each time, and
the Church could not justify these transactions to the said account. Questioned on Sikhumbuzo
Vundla, church officials can only say that he has been dismissed in 2018 and has severed any ties
to the church. However, during a search of a place where Vundla had been hiding, investigators
discovered several customs exemption documents, letterheads from the Episcopal Church of
Haiti, and the vehicle used by Mr. Vundla is registered in the name of the Church. Cousins,
Kléberson and Dianika Jules were also arrested for being responsible for the bank transactions
for Vundla, and on January 21, 2023, during a police operation on a tip off, Rubens Vilmont, one
of the recipients of the arms container sent by Fernand Jean Pierre was arrested for his alleged
involvement in this case.
The report further confirmed that the that Episcopal Church officials have been using the
institution’s permit for several years to smuggle weapons into the country, the alleged
accomplices use different commercial ports, including La Gonâve, and Port-au-Prince,
depending on the cargo. Often, the containers are stored in a school in the capital during the day
before being transported in the evening, especially in such areas as Carrefour Marassa in the
commune of Tabarre. Also, all the people implicated in the Episcopal Church arms trafficking
network have a connection to gangs operating in the capital, including the Village-de-Dieu and
Torcel gangs. This current report is the third in a series into the arms shipment of the Episcopal
Church of Haiti. A dozen people have been arrested so far, and international arrest warrants have
been issued. The police continue to search for several suspects, including Father Fritz Désiré,
Father Jean Mardoché Vil, and Sikhumbuzo Vundla. The latter is wanted by the judicial police in
the South, Grand’Anse, Nippes, and South-East Departments.

In other news, interim Police Commissioner, Frantz Elbé, met with a representative of the
Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Haiti, Ambassador Cristóbal
Dupouy, to discuss security concerns and ways in which the regional organization can help
strengthen the operational capacity of the national police.
Meanwhile, Monday April 3 rd marked the 23 rd anniversary of the assassination of Jean Léopold
Dominique, President, and CEO of the private radio station, Haïti Inter, who was gunned down
on April 3, 2000, when a group of armed bandits stormed the premises of the radio station in
Delmas, killing him in a hail of bullets, together with security guard Jean-Claude Louissaint. On
the anniversary of the assassination, the Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH) denounced the
lack of action on the part of successive governments to bring the perpetrators to justice. AJH
stated that the dossier on this heinous act has been before the Court of Appeal of Port-au-Prince
and the Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) for quite some time. They are calling on the justice
department and the courts to take their responsibilities seriously and work on this case because
the criminals are still free roaming the streets, 23 years later. The chronic political instability
over the years and the failure of the judicial system have only reinforced impunity and journalists
are questioning the real will of the government to shed light on cases of murder of journalists,
including that of Dominique. The denial of justice only encourages the assassins of journalists to
kill with impunity, according to AJH, and the organization calls on journalists to show solidarity
so that the cycle of harmful impunity ceases, and the authors of the assassination of Jean Léopold
Dominique and Jean-Claude Louissaint can finally be brought to justice. Other human rights
organizations, including the office of the Ombudsman have also made their disappointment
known in this case.
Finally, the women’s national team, Les Grenadières, which qualified for the women’s FIFA
World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (July 20 to August 20), are heading to Turkey to
practice and play two friendlies as part of their preparation for the world cup. For this
preparation, Coach Nicolas Delépine, called up 23 players, who will be going and staying at the
Mardan Sports Complex, in Antalya, where they will soon be playing two friendly matches
against Nigeria and Moldova.

Popular articles

Interrogations sur les motifs de refoulement des Haïtiens munis de visa américain, canadien ou Schengen

Le refoulement des Haïtiens, munis de visa américain, canadien ou Schengen, débarquant dans les...

Conférence de commémoration du 199ème anniversaire de la dette de l’indépendance d’Haïti:

" Impact de la dette de l'indépendance dans le sous-développement d'Haïti"Le Mouvement Point Final...

Instabilite

De l'instabilité sociopolitique dégradante aux ingérences des puissances impérialistes occidentales en Haïti, le peuple...

Mythe ou vérité ? Le peuple haïtien, pour son propre malheur, choisirait-il des bandits comme leaders?

 Les analystes politiques prennent le vilain plaisir de culpabiliser les victimes en guise de...

Latest News

Newsreel

As the presidential transitional council, Conseil présidentiel de transition (CPT) struggles to see if...

Haïti Conseil Présidentiel : le CP Athlétique Club

Le mois d’avril, disent certains, est cruel.  Quand le pain quotidien n’est pas certain,...

221ième de notre Bicolore : et si les ancêtres revenaient parmi nous !

18 novembre 1803 - 18 novembre 2023, 221 années contemplent tristement la création de...