Henfield: Bahamian govt. will facilitate Haiti’s “corruption” inquiry of its embassy

Henfield: Bahamian govt. will facilitate Haiti’s “corruption” inquiry of its embassy
Minister of Foreign Affairs, North Abaco MP Darren Henfield speaks with Eyewitness News outside the House of Assembly. (file photo)

Commission of inquiry expected to arrive in The Bahamas yesterday

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday the government will facilitate and offer support to the Haitian government, which has launched a commission of inquiry into concerns of corruption at its embassy in Nassau.

Haiti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement, which was first published in The Tribune, that the probe was set to begin yesterday.

When contacted for comment, Henfield said, “If he’s looking into corruption or potential corruption in his embassy, as a member of CARICOM, we will do as a country, all we can to facilitate his investigation.”

Haiti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed to news report of an investigation carried out by Bahamian law enforcement into corruption involving what it said were Haitian diplomats in New Providence.

The article the ministry referred to was printed on July 25.

Last Wednesday, three Bahamians and two Haitians were arraigned in the magistrate’s court for charges related to an alleged fake marriage scheme.

Yesterday, Henfield noted that while he cannot go into details of the matter, there has been correspondence between the both governments.

“If the matter is before the courts it’s sub judice, which means you don’t go into any details known or unknown about it,” he said.

“But, we are in possession of a diplomatic note from the Haitian foreign minister, which requested that these three individuals travel here to look into reports of corruption in his embassy.”

The commission was expected to arrive in The Bahamas yesterday.­

The statement also noted that Haitian diplomats’ mandate is to portray a positive image of the country and act in a manner above reproach.

Last week, prosecutors alleged that Bradley Smith, 48, facilitate the alleged fraudulent marriages in relation to Willy Exama, 24, a Haitian man, and Bahamian Bridney Johnson, 19 of Yellow Elder; and Anslene Nicolas, 23, a Haitian woman of Greenwood Road and Bahamian Bernard Musgrove of Palm Beach Street for the purpose of Exama and Nicolas obtaining status in The Bahamas.

The accused denied all of the charges brought against them.

The trial is expected to begin on October 3 and 4.