Family of Americans kidnapped by gang in Haiti urged them not to make the trip amid spike in violence
The family of an American couple that was kidnapped and held for ransom in Haiti says that they urged the two not to travel to the impoverished island nation.
“We were very worried when they said they were going, we told them not to go but they wanted to go,” Nikese Toussaint, the sister of Jean-Dickens Toussaint, told ABC news.
Jean Dickens Toussaint and his wife Abigail Toussaint traveled to Haiti to see ailing relatives and attend a local festival when the family says they were abducted on March 18.
“They stopped the bus at a stop and they asked for the Americans on the bus and their escorts to come off the bus and then they took them,” Christie, the couple’s niece, told the outlet.
HAITI GANG VIOLENCE LEAVES 187 DEAD IN 11 DAYS
The family said that the couple, who is believed to have been kidnapped by a gang, is being held hostage, and the abductors are demanding a ransom payment of $200,000 each.
“We don’t have that type of money,” Nikese Toussaint said.
FLORIDA COUPLE REPORTEDLY KIDNAPPED IN HAITI; STATE DEPARTMENT ‘AWARE OF REPORTS OF 2 US CITIZENS MISSING’
A family friend who met the couple at the airport was also kidnapped.
“The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. We are aware of reports of two U.S. citizens missing in Haiti,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News Digital Sunday.
VIOLENT GANGS IN HAITI COULD POSE SIMILAR THREAT TO US AS MS-13, SEN. CASSIDY SAYS: ‘MIGHT BE A RHYTHM THERE’
“When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can. We have nothing further to share at this time.”
The U.S. State Department advises Americans not to travel to Haiti “due to kidnappings, crime, and civil unrest.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Haiti has been plagued by a surge in gang violence where the organized criminal groups have turned to extreme measures with atrocities akin to those reported during the genocide in Rwanda.
“Even staying in your house, you don’t feel safe. What you see is people walking in the street with big guns. Guns like it is a war scene, they have M-16s, AK-47s, Galils. They have grenades, they have smoke, they have everything,” a Haitian doctor, who wished to remain anonymous due to security concerns, told Fox News Digital.
Denial of responsibility! Today Breeze.in is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – email@example.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.