UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Increasingly sophisticated weapons are being trafficked into Haiti mainly from the United States and especially from Florida amid worsening lawlessness in the impoverished Caribbean nation, according to a U.N. report released Friday.
The report by the Vienna-based Office on Drugs and Crime said a network of criminal actors including members of the Haitian diaspora “often source firearms from across the U.S.” and smuggle them into Haiti illegally by land from the neighboring Dominican Republic, by air including to clandestine airstrips, but most frequently by sea.
“Popular handguns selling for $400-$500 at federally licensed firearms outlets or private gun shows in the U.S. can be resold for as much as $10,000 in Haiti,” the report said. “Higher-powered rifles such as AK47s, AR15s and Galils are typically in higher demand from gangs, commanding correspondingly higher prices.”
The U.S Department of Homeland Security’s investigations unit reported “a surge in firearms trafficking from Florida to Haiti between 2021 and 2022” and a spokesman described the recovery of increasingly sophisticated weapons destined for Haitian ports “including .50 caliber sniper rifles, .308 rifles, and even belt-fed machine guns,” according to the report.
Source: Associated Press