by Joseph Guyler Delva, HCNN
CROIX-DES-BOUQUETS, Haiti (HCNN) – The Haitian government has launched a mobilization and decreed permanence as part of efforts to capture gang leader Clifford Brandt, responsible for many cases of kidnapping in Haiti, who escaped from prison on Sunday, alongside other prisoners jailed in the Caribbean country for committing serious crimes.
Clifford Branbt, part of one of the richest families in Haiti, was arrested in October 2012 and held since then by court order on charges of kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, among other accusations.
Brandt escaped Sunday from the civil prison of Croix-des-Bouquets, outside the Haitian capital, during a mutiny that broke out in the detention center where four police officers and two nurses were taken hostage by angry prisoners, according to a spokesman for the Haitian police, Gary Desrosiers.
The hostages were all freed following a police intervention and no one was killed in these incidents, according to Desrosiers. He said, however, that two people, including a policeman, were injured.
A $22,000 prize is promised to any informant who would help the police to capture the fugitive, Clifford Brandt. At least 13 escapees have already been captured by the police.
The spokesman for the police denied reports that the escape took place as a result of an attack against the prison by a heavily armed commando. Gary Desrosiers said the escape was caused by an act of rebellion of a number of prisoners who were in recess.
The number of escapees has not yet been officially revealed by prison authorities. Escapees were noticed in possession of firearms allegedly stolen from prison guards or provided by other sources.
An (internal) administrative investigation was immediately launched on these serious incidents to identify and punish any offenders within the National Police. A criminal investigation was also initiated by relevant judicial authorities.
Haitian Prime minister, Laurent Lamothe, who chairs the High Council of the National Police (CSPN), alongside the Ministers of Justice, Jean Renel Sanon, of Interior, Reginald Delva, and Police Chief, Godson Orélus, were on the scene at Croix-des-Bouquets, where a meeting of the CSPN was urgently held in order to set up a strategy to capture the escapees.
The detention center in Croix-des-Bouquets is supposed to be the most secured in the country, according to experts who suggest that the mutineers would have benefited from the complicity of prison supervision structures.