Govt to assist Haitian officials in corruption inquiry

The government of The Bahamas will assist the Haitian government in its inquiry into concerns of corruption at the Haitian embassy in Nassau, Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday. 

“I spoke with Haitian officials on Friday, who indicated that they had some issues at the embassy as it was reported in one of the papers,” Henfield told The Nassau Guardian.

“I asked that they send me a diplomatic note to make any formal request of the government of The Bahamas that they wish to make.”

Henfield said he won’t reveal the contents of that diplomatic note until he has a chance to present it to Cabinet. 

He noted that the government will do all that it can to assist the Haitian government.

Asked whether he knew what triggered the investigation, Henfield said, “Well basically, what was said to me was that the report in the paper was of some concern to them and they wanted to have a small committee come and have a look at the veracity of the report to determine what should happen in the future.”  

The Nassau Guardian reported last week that five people were accused of conducting a fraudulent marriage scheme aimed at getting status for Haitian immigrants.

Prosecutors say that Bradley Smith, 48, facilitated the alleged sham marriages of Willy Exama, 24, of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Bridney Johnson, 19, of Yellow Elder. He was also accused of facilitating the sham marriage between Anslene Nicolas, 23, of Greenwood Road, and Bernard Musgrove, 19, of Palm Beach Street.

The accused denied the charges at their arraignment before Magistrate Kara Turnquest-Deveaux and were remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services as the magistrate lacks jurisdiction to consider bail for the offenses.

In a statement last week, Haiti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised that officials will be in The Bahamas from July 29 to August 3, and will meet with Bahamian authorities, diplomatic staff, local recruits and community leaders to investigate the matter further.

In a post on the embassy’s Facebook page, head of the consulate, Herns Mesamours, said he is not concerned about any scandal at the embassy. 

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Sloan Smith

Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas. Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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