Police investigating reports of Haitians being held hostage by Berbice man

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Police are investigating reports that at least eight Haitians are allegedly being held against their will after arriving in Guyana illegally from neighbouring Suriname.

INews understands that a group of about eight Haitians – men, women and children, were promised that they will be taken to Brazil after arriving in Guyana illegally from Suriname.

Reports are that they are being held against their will by a man of Number 72 Village, Corentyne.

He reportedly took away their passports and has not been affording them internet access.
In fact, the man reportedly sent photos of Haitians to their relatives in their home country, demanding money.

One remittance receipt shows that Jetro Lindor sent US$2000 to the man. Others show that Francis Jn-Baptise sent GY$91,000 and Abraham Lincoln sent GY$105,000.

Regional Commander Jairam Ramlakhan, when contacted, confirmed that police received such information and went to investigate. However, he noted that when ranks arrived at the location, the suspect nor Haitians were there.

The matter is, nonetheless, still engaging the attention of the police.

Just over one week ago police in Berbice swooped down on a hotel in Skeldon, Corentyne, where they found ten persons claiming to be Haitian nationals. The five males and five females were not in possession of passports or any form of identification.

One of the Haitians who spoke English told detectives that they were brought from Suriname by speedboat.

President Dr Irfaan Ali on Wednesday signed an Immigration Revocation Order, effectively removing Haiti from the list of countries that enjoyed visa-free travel to Guyana.

With this order being revoked by President Ali, this means that Haitians will no longer enjoy the automatic six-month stay upon arrival in the country.

According to confirmed data, as many as 9,239 Haitians entered Guyana in 2020. However, only 717 are documented as leaving.

So far for 2021, 1378 Haitians were documented entering Guyana but only 165 were shown to have left.