Henfield to engage Haitian officials on corruption probe

Haitian committee investigating alleged corruption at its embassy in Nassau

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield will request that Haitian Foreign Affairs Minister Bocchit Edmond update the Bahamian public on the Haitian government’s investigation into corruption concerns at the Haitian embassy in Nassau.

Henfield, who was contacted for comment on the probe, said, “I have been following closely, but this week I should receive the Haitian foreign minister and hopefully, I’ll have an opportunity for him to speak to you all on what they are doing here in The Bahamas.

 He continued, “That’s the intention.

“I am going to ask him to speak to the press, and so hopefully he can give us an update.”

Asked whether Haitian officials had completed their investigation, Henfield said he could not confirm, but he planned to obtain more information concerning during the courtesy call with Edmond.

A three-member commission of inquiry from Haiti reportedly landed in New Providence last Tuesday to begin the investigation.

They were expected to return to Haiti on Saturday.

Last Tuesday, Henfield told the media outside the Churchill Building that the government of The Bahamas will assist the Haitian government with its inquiry.

He said the committee was expected to speak with Bahamian authorities about the matter, using diplomatic channels that the Bahamian government will facilitate.

Haiti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement that the probe was set to begin and pointed to a 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.

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

Five people accused of orchestrating a fraudulent marriage scheme in order for Haitian immigrants to gain Bahamian status were taken before the courts last month.

Prosecutors accused Bradley Smith, 48, of facilitating the fraudulent marriages of two Haitian immigrants to two Bahamian citizens.

The accused denied the charges.

In its statement, Haiti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also advised that the Haitian officials would meet with Bahamian authorities and diplomatic staff, among others, to thoroughly investigate the matter.