EDITOR, The Tribune
The tragedy involving the death of scores of Haitian nationals and, of course, the large number that are missing is an indictment against the Haitian government, for its continued failure to eradicate human trafficking of its citizens from the Island Nation. Haitian law enforcement is quite capable of eliminating this criminal activity, provided the government is desirous of doing so. I have worked with Haitian law-enforcement and can vouch for their efficiency and capability.
The tragedy provides us with an opportunity to put a dent in human trafficking activity with a thorough investigation to be led by the Director of Immigration and the Commissioner of Police, both very capable officials. The desired result will be the identification of all persons involved in the trafficking of the persons on that boat, e.g. the boat owner(s), captain and crew and the persons financing the voyage. Apart from Human Trafficking, there are other criminal acts, such as manslaughter by negligence and smuggling.
Law enforcement must search that expeditiously and conduct the following:
(1) Search the boat and its surroundings for contraband, e.g. drugs and guns.
(2) Skilfully interrogate all survivors to (1) identifying owners, captain and crew, Obtain details of communications, payments made for the trip, the recipients of the money, those persons in The Bahamas, how payments were made, to whom and the location. From the survivors we must be able to learn a lot about the human trafficking operation, which appears to have conspirators in Haiti and The Bahamas. We must identify those persons and along with Haitian law enforcement seek to arrest and prosecute them. It is a huge instigation, but I have faith in the leaders of our law enforcement agencies to get it done. The persons responsible for this tragedy must be made to pay.
(3) The investigation must be prompt and thorough. It is absolutely necessary, that the Haitian government and its law enforcement agencies, cooperate fully to bring all persons involved in this tragedy to justice.
We Serve with honour. We remember with pride.
PAUL THOMPSON SR.
February 6, 2019