Authorities in Ecuador Arrest Haitian Man in Human Trafficking Scam
- Saturday, June 25, 2011 1:30 PM
QUITO, Ecuador - Haitian citizen, DamÃ©us Vikese, was arrested on at the Quito airport, on Friday while returning to Ecuador accompanied by 34 Haitian men and women.
Vikese was wanted for running a "migration scam", following complaints against him. According to these complaints, Vikese, who poses as a Missionary Bishop, but without being able to say what church he belongs to, would offer academic scholarships and visas to study in Ecuador for the payment of a sum that varies between 3500 and 5000 U.S. dollars.
In addition to scholarships and visas, the "package" offered by Vikese, also included clothing, food and housing.
The complainants say they have been victims of fraud since months have elapsed without any promises made by Vikese realized. On the contrary, after a certain time, they are left abandoned in a house, where they live in deplorable conditions.
The judge before whom he appeared on 17 June found that there was sufficient evidence to initiate a migration scam investigation. To ensure that the accused did not escape from appearing before justice, the judge ordered his detention during the investigation period.
It is a measure established by Ecuadorian legislation to ensure that the person on which is the survey does not take the leak and answer for his actions, once established responsibilities.
34 Young Haitians are currently in a regular in Ecuador migratory situation because they have a permit of stay of 90 days as tourists. In oÃ»tre, they did object to any charge. However, since their attendant was detained by the Ecuadorian authorities, they were placed in a facility under the full responsibility of the Ministry of Justice.
Young Haitians are not in custody, they can move freely, but they feel more and more frustrated and confused that they realize the deception which they have been victims, like other young Haitians who had entered in Ecuador before them, fooled by the same promises of scholarships.
The Vikese operator had ordered them to dress in seminarian to suggest came to Ecuador to attend a religious meeting.
Doing that is the third similar case which he took conaisance, the Jesuit Service for refugees and Migrants calls for the cessation of the use of religion for purposes of exploitation.
The organization appealed to the Haitian civil society and especially to the youth of this country to remain vigilant false promises of unscrupulous people who take advantage of their situation of despair and lack of prospects for the future.
An appeal is also launched to Latin American States so that they find creative solutions to help more effectively the company Haitian, facing a difficult situation due to the earthquake followed of a cholera epidemic, plus deforestation and chronic poverty.