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Multiple suspects arrested over killing of president ‘were US informants’

Multiple suspects arrested over killing of president ‘were US informants’

Supporters of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse protest outside a court in Port-au-Prince during a 12 July 2021 hearing in the wake of his assassination (AFP via Getty Images)

Some of the suspects arrested in the assassination of Haiti’s president Jovenel Moïse worked as informants for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to reports.

“One of the suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was a confidential source to the DEA,” a DEA official was quoted as saying by the Reuters.

Last week, two Haitian-American men, Joseph Vincent, 55, and James Solages, 35, were arrested in connection with the assassination of the president.

The DEA did not specify who was the informant, but said the person was not an “active informant” at the time of the killing.

“Following the assassination of President Moïse, the suspect reached out to his contacts at the DEA,” the agency said in a statement quoted by news channel CNN.

“A DEA official assigned to Haiti urged the suspect to surrender to local authorities and, along with a US State Department official, provided information to the Haitian government that assisted in the surrender and arrest of the suspect and one other individual,” it added.

The agency also said it was aware that one of the gunmen who stormed the president’s residence last Wednesday was heard yelling “This is a DEA operation”. The agency denied its involvement, saying the gunmen were not acting on its behalf.

Meanwhile, Haitian authorities on Sunday arrested a third Haitian-American, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who has links to CTU Security, a Florida-based security firm that has been accused of hiring Colombian mercenaries to carry out the assassination.

Mr Sanon has been accused by Haitian authorities of orchestrating the attack.

Links between another suspect and the FBI have emerged as well.

People familiar with the matter told CNN that a suspect involved in the operation that killed Haiti’s president was working as an informant for the FBI.

However, the FBI in its formal response, declined to comment, saying it uses “lawful sources to collect intelligence”.

Earlier, a Haitian judge probing the assassination claimed Mr Vincent and Mr Solages told him that they were just translators for the hit squad and were not in the room when the president was killed.

Judge Clement Noel who interviewed the two accused as a part of the investigation, told the New York Times on Friday that the two said their goal was not to kill the president, but to bring him to the national palace.

Mr Moïse was shot dead at his private residence on the outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, during an attack in which his wife Martine was also seriously wounded.

Haitian authorities have so far arrested 18 Columbians and three Haitian-Americans over the assassination. No motive behind the murder, however, has been ascertained.

Additional reporting by agencies

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Julia has handled various businesses throughout her career and has a deep domain knowledge. She founded Stock Market Pioneer in an attempt to bring the latest news to its readers. She is glued to the stock market most of the times and just loves being in touch with the developments in the business world.

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