Tuesday, February 16, 2010

VIDEO:Police Hunt for Haiti Legal Adviser

El Salvador alleges involvement in human smuggling and prostitution ring

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - The former legal adviser to a group of American missionaries jailed in Haiti on child kidnapping charges is now the focus of a manhunt in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican police and U.S. agents are seeking to detain Jorge Puello, who acknowledged Monday that he is wanted in El Salvador for alleged involvement in a human smuggling ring in the Central American country.

In a call from an unknown location, Puello told The Associated Press he was innocent of the accusations and that he and his Salvadoran wife had taken in young women from the Caribbean and Central America who had been abandoned by smugglers.
Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here

Salvadoran authorities want to prosecute Puello and his jailed wife for allegedly luring women and girls into prostitution with bogus offers of modeling jobs.

'Not afraid'
"I'm planning to go to El Salvador to tackle this problem," Puello said in a phone call arranged by his mother at his childhood home in the Dominican Republic. "I am not afraid to face the music."

Each new detail emerging about the past of the 32-year-old seems to add to the embarrassment and discomfort of the American missionaries that Puello volunteered to help, and who are still awaiting release from a Port-au-Prince jail.

On Monday, a Haitian prosecutor said a power outage delayed his printing of a recommendation to release the 10 Americans charged with child kidnapping. Because Tuesday is a national holiday, he doesn't expect the judge to issue a decision until Wednesday morning.

In the phone call with the AP, Puello said he had fled the Dominican Republic to avoid arrest.

The Dominican National Police, working with Interpol, said it had conducted several raids and interviews Monday in an attempt to locate Puello and detain him on the Salvadoran warrant.

U.S. federal agents also went to his mother's house over the weekend. Dave Oney, a Marshals Service spokesman in Washington, said authorities are trying to determine if Puello is a man with a similar name and physical description wanted for a 2002 parole violation.

Puello's statement that he had left the Dominican Republic was immediately cast in doubt by his mother, Ana Rita Puello, who refused to vouch for her son's whereabouts.

Informed that Puello said he had left the country, she looked surprised. Asked if she believed he fled, she shook her head and smiled.

"I don't want to answer," she said.

[flv:http://myayiti.com/wp-media/video/missionaries_adviser_trafficking.flv 480 360]

Source: MSNBC - AP

No comments:

Post a Comment