Reports suggest Haitian govt. intends to replace all personnel at embassy in Nassau
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — At least six diplomats at the Haitian Embassy in Nassau have been recalled or transferred as the Haitian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reportedly prepares to eventually replace all personnel at the embassy following a Haitian commission of inquiry into concerns of corruption.
According to The Haiti Sentinel, which translated in English an original article by Le Nouvelliste on the recall, Haitian Foreign Affairs Minister Bocchit Edmond told the Le Nouvelliste that the commission’s report revealed “unacceptable situations” at the embassy.
The commission completed its investigation earlier this month, according to international reports.
Edmond reportedly told the Le Nouvelliste that several diplomats were involved in wrongdoing either directly or indirectly involved in wrongdoing, namely regarding a residence visa scheme in The Bahamas.
“Some people have gone directly through diplomats, who have used their influence to help them get the visa,” said Edmond, who noted that the practice and behavior is contrary to the established principles.
Edmond, the Haitian Chancellor, noted that diplomats should not be involved in the process unless The Bahamas’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the embassy to authenticate certain documents provided by the visa applicant.
Last week, it was revealed that three diplomats at the Haitian embassy in Nassau were recalled.
An August 11, 2019, article in the Haitian publication ‘Haiti Libre’, asserted the recalls were made as a result of demands from Bahamian authorities — a claim Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield yesterday refuted.
Henfield was expected to meet with Edmond over a week ago.
He said would request during that courtesy call that Edmond update the Bahamian public on the Haitian government’s investigation into corruption concerns at the Haitian embassy in Nassau.
However, Edmond did not arrive in The Bahamas.
Last month, 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.