Wealthy leader of kidnapping ring gets 18 years
PORT-AU-PRINCE: Three members of an alleged kidnapping ring were convicted by a Haitian court on Tuesday, in a case that stunned the nation because one suspect was from a wealthy, prominent family.
Businessman Clifford Brandt, now 45, was arrested in October 2012 as part of a probe into the kidnapping of two children of a fellow Haitian businessman.
Brandt on the evening of his arrest led investigators to where siblings Coralie and Nicolas Moscosco, 23 and 24 at the time, were being held.
Under interrogation, he confessed to the kidnapping, saying that he did it out of hatred for their father, a rival.
In a dramatic twist to the case, Brandt in August 2014 broke out of a new, top security jail where he was awaiting trial. He was caught 48 hours later. On Tuesday, Brandt and two accomplices who had sought a US$2.5 million (RM10 million) payment were found guilty of kidnapping and holding people to seek ransom and weapons charges.
Brandt, considered the leader of the ring, and one colleague were sentenced to 18 years of forced labour, while the third was sentenced to 19.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Americas. – AFP