The assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moise by a group of armed mercenaries was planned in the Dominican Republic, according to Haiti’s police chief.
A photograph circulating on social media identifies two suspects — both later arrested — meeting former Haitian opposition senator Joel John Joseph, who is wanted by police.
According to Haitian national police director Leon Charles, the picture was taken as the trio were planning the assassination of Moise in Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic.
“They met in a hotel in Santo Domingo,” Charles told reporters. “Around the table there are the architects of the plot, a technical recruitment team and a finance group.”
The investigation into the death of the Haitian president, who was killed by an well armed hit squad in his private residence on July 7, remains shrouded in mystery.
“Some individuals in the photo have already been apprehended, such as Dr. Christian Enmanuel Sanon and James Solages,” Charles added.
Police accuse Solages — one of two Haitian-Americans implicated in the killing — of coordinating with Venezuelan security firm CTU, whose chief can be seen in the photograph and who allegedly visited Haiti several times to plan the attack.
Florida-based financial services company Worldwide Capital Lending Group funded the attack, Charles said, adding that its boss Walter Veintemilla also appears with plotters.
Police say many of the Colombian commandos who raided Moise’s Port-au-Prince home arrived in Haiti on June 6, about a month before the attack. Four attackers were already present in the country.
“(Mercenaries) went through the Dominican Republic,” said Charles, whose team traced a credit card believed to have been used to buy their plane tickets.
Three Colombian mercenaries have been killed and 18 arrested by Haitian police.
“They are former Colombian special force operatives,” the Haitian police chief said. “They are experts, criminals. This was a well-planned attack.”
Four members of the slain president’s security detail, including the head of security for the presidential palace, have been placed in solitary confinement by the nation’s Inspector General as investigations examine internal collusion.