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Canada freezes assets of Haitian businessman because of gang affiliation

HO CHI MINH CITY –

The government of Canada said it would freeze any local assets of three prominent Haitian businessmen accused of supporting the country’s armed gangs, the latest measure targeting people linked to the country’s armed groups. criminal group of the Caribbean nation.

The sanctions target Gilbert Bigio, chairman of Haitian industry group GB Group, as well as prominent business leaders Reynolds Deeb and Sherif Abdallah, the government said.

“Canada has reason to believe that these individuals are using their status as senior members of the economic elite in Haiti to protect and support the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs. , including through money laundering and other corrupt practices,” the statement said. speak.

GB Group and the office of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Reuters could not be reached for comment from Deeb or Abdallah.

The sanctions complement other sanctions already imposed by Ottawa, including by three Haitian politicians in November, and are “aimed at putting pressure on those responsible for the violence and unrest that is taking place. took place in Haiti.”

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on a current and former Haitian senator, accusing the two politicians of engaging in drug trafficking activities.

Haitian gangs in September created a humanitarian crisis by blocking the entrance to a fuel station, leading to gasoline and diesel shortages that brought most economic activity to a halt as soon as the water came to a halt. This reports a new cholera outbreak.

Policymakers in the United States and Canada have this year been increasingly vocal in discussing the alleged links between gangs and economic elites.

Two US lawmakers in September said the US should punish Haitian gang leaders and the “lords” that fund them.


Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Brian Ellsworth in Washington, editing by Deepa Babington



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