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Haiti - FLASH : Former US Colonel arrested for attempting to bribe Haitian officials
30/08/2017 10:03:26

Haiti - FLASH : Former US Colonel arrested for attempting to bribe Haitian officials
Joseph Baptiste, a dentist and ex-retired US Army Colonel, was arrested in Maryland on charges of conspiring to corrupt senior Haitian officials as part of a $84 million Haitian port development project, to Môle Saint Nicolas, a project that involves a number of peripheral projects.

Baptiste, who served on the board of directors of a company that promoted the project, sought bribes from undercover agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations who were seen as potential investors, said federal prosecutors in Boston.

Baptiste reportedly told the undercover agents at a meeting held at a Boston hotel that he would make payments to Haitian officials through a non-profit organization he controlled based in Maryland in order to obtain the approval of the Haitian Government for the project. Also in a recorded phone call with a federal agent, he said the official would need $25,000 to approve the project.

It is alleged that after the infiltrators transferred about $ 50,000 to a non-profit organization controlled by Baptist in order to corrupt Haitian officials, Baptiste used this sum for personal purposes. He intended to ask the agents for additional money in order to use it as future payments for the corruption of senior officials within the framework of the port project.

Prosecutors said the case stems from an investigation launched in 2014 on some Haitian-American businessmen who offered to help corrupt Haitian officials in order to obtain or keep business in that country.

Baptiste could face a five-year prison sentence and a $ 250,000 fine.

SL/ HaitiLibre

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