Wealthy leader of kid­nap­ping ring gets 18 years

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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

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