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Haiti - Santiago : The DGM dismantles a gang of Haitian passport and visa traffickers
Friday, June 24, the Directorate General of Migration (DGM) accompanied by agents of the Dominican police, informs that they have dismantled a gang which was trafficking Haitian passports and visas, from a bar, restaurant and nightclub, called "Laromate Créole" in Santiago de los Caballeros, owned by Haitians and Dominicans.
21 Haitians in an irregular migration situation were arrested. 15 Haitian passports, 56,500 Dominican pesos, 890 US dollars and 4,100 Haitian gourdes were also seized.
In addition, the DGM informs that during the operation at "Laromate Créole" a man called James Jacques arrived identifying himself as the Consul General of Haiti in Santiago, demanding that Jolivain Nelson be released, from whom had been seized the 15 passports and the traffic money...
"James Jacques having been unable to free this man, he asked the DGM to accompany them, in order to help his compatriots to manage the documents requested from some of the Haitians who, according to him, had them at home. He was transported with them voluntarily to the Migrant Reception Center in Santiago, where he stayed for about two hours filling out documents for the Haitians," said the DGM, which asserts, "James Jacques was never arrested, contrary to rumors circulating suggesting the opposite, recalling that at the time of the operation Mr. Jacques was not on site, but arrived later."
James Jacques Consul General of Haiti in Santiago said he received on June 24 in the evening around 10:30 a.m. a call from the co-owner of L'aromate Creole, Jonathan Solano (Haitian-Dominican) concerning the presence of immigration conducting an operation "Arriving there, I saw that there were already two vehicles full of Haitians."
Explaining "The Consulate General of Haiti in Santiago has the duty to guarantee the rights of its citizens on the Dominican territory. As Consul, my presence was not to prevent an operation but to provide the assistance requested by Haitian citizens legally residing in the DR."
Reminding the immigration officer and the Dominican police that "According to the memorandum of understanding on the repatriation mechanism (Haiti-RD of 1999) the Dominican migratory authorities undertake not to carry out repatriations during night hours, that is to say between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Likewise, they will not carry out repatriations on Sundays and public holidays of the two countries, except between 8:00 a.m. and noon."
He claims that Jonathan Solano was arrested by immigration even when he presented his Dominican identity card, his driver's license and his Dominican passport on the pretext that he spoke Creole and that he had to present his birth certificate. In this operation, the DGM would also have arrested students with their visas, and other citizens in a regular migratory situation according to the Consul.
Assuring that the Consulate was not there to hinder the work of DGM agents, but simply to ensure the rights of Haitian citizens, affirming that the consulate is not linked to any gang that smuggles passports and visas in Santiago and strongly condemned any violation of Dominican immigration laws recalling "ince my arrival in the Dominican Republic, I have always worked according to the law. I repeat, the Dominican and Haitian people must continue to work in accordance with standards and respect for rights, for better fraternity between the two countries."
The Dominican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX) indicated in a statement Sunday, June 26, 2022 that the Chancellery of the Republic of Haiti, in a diplomatic note addressed to the Dominican Embassy in Port-au-Prince, had confirmed the appointment of a new Head of Consular Mission in Santiago de los Caballeros.
In the MIREX press release, the Haitian chancellery specifies [...] before the events in Santiago [Friday, June 24], James Jacques had been relieved of his duties and therefore no longer had any power to act before the Dominican authorities. and that he was only waiting for the arrival of his successor to return to Haiti.