Originally: Life sentences for mock kidnappings, Haitian police warn

The authors and accomplices of false or self-kidnappings will be sentenced to life imprisonment in accordance with the law, said the spokesperson of the PNH [Haitian National Police]. According to PNH spokeswoman Jessie Cameau Coicou, several cases of false kidnappings have occurred in the capital in the last few weeks. She invites people to think before doing such a thing. She also invites people to work with the PNH to help put an end to this phenomenon in this country. Spokeswoman Coicou explains as follows:

“What we mean by false kidnapping or self-kidnapping is when an individual arranges his or her own kidnapping. This person gets together with a friend who claims to be the negotiator and gets him to say that he is kidnapped. He then gets this friend, this so-called kidnapper or negotiator, to contact the relatives of this supposedly kidnapped person to announce the kidnapping. This friend who plays the role of negotiator contacts the people they think might have a lot of money and asks them to find money for the release of the so-called victim.

This often happens with people who think or know that their relatives have a lot of money and will be willing to pay for their release. They can ask people in Haiti to pay the ransom just as they can ask people in other countries to send money to help save the person’s life. Very often, people here think that their friends and relatives who are working overseas have a lot of money. So, they arrange the kidnapping so that they can get large sums of money from them.

The police are now warning everybody against doing such a thing, because this is a very important issue. The kidnapping situation has caused a lot of problems already in this society. So, people should not play around with it for their own gain.

Another thing, the police want to remind everybody that when they kidnap someone, whether it is a true kidnapping or a false or self-kidnapping, the people involved in it will all have the same fate.

For example, there is a pregnant woman in the Carrefour area whose name is Marie Ketty Boutin who arranged her own kidnapping together with an old man in her area. She went and hid herself under a bed in that old man’s home. She got this old man to contact her brother in the United States and asked him to send 30,000 dollars in exchange for her release. This is actually something that happened last week. Unfortunately for them, they got busted and were caught by the police. We did not have a chance to show them to the public, unfortunately.

The problem is that this woman has caused psychological problems for her brother, because he was the one who was contacted in the first place for the money. But one thing is certain, this woman will answer for what she did.

There are plenty of other similar cases. There are some cases where the so-called victim says he has been kidnapped. He and the negotiator contact relatives and friends abroad and get them to transfer money for his release. But the funny thing is that, in some cases, it is this so-called victim who goes to the money transfer company to receive the money personally. Meanwhile, this person is supposed to be have been abducted and being kept in a secret place. So, people should beware of false kidnapping cases and especially of those who set themselves up as negotiators.”