Federal agents have reportedly raided several locations in South Florida as part of a sweeping investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse – and targeted two businessmen suspected of funding and training the killers.
The probe by the counterterrorism section of the US Attorney’s Office is trying determine whether local businesses conspired to provide “material support” that resulted in the president’s assassination or any other lesser crimes, including export violations, sources told the newspaper.
Haitian authorities have said the Florida businessmen may have played supportive roles in the assassination, though no evidence has been uncovered showing they knew anything about the deadly plot, several sources told the Herald.
The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and US Attorney’s Office have declined to comment to the news outlet.
During Tuesday’s raids, the agents searched the homes and offices of Antonio Intriago, a Venezuelan who owns CTU Security in Doral, and Walter Veintemilla, who owns Worldwide Capital Lending in Weston, the paper reported.
Haitian investigators suspect Intriago of having trained a group of Colombians, Haitians and others in the plot and that Veintemilla’s company provided funding to pay for the training, according to the report.
Intriago’s lawyers said they were surprised the feds carried out searches of his home and office because he had been cooperating since the assassination, including turning over his cellphone and computer to investigators.
“We’re doing everything we can to show our client has nothing to do with this [assassination],” attorney Gilberto Lacayo told the Herald. “Our client is not hiding. He’s trying to clear his name.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a physician who has lived in Haiti and South Florida for 25 years, has been accused by Haitian police of being behind the plot and seeking to take over as president.
Joseph Tesmond, another of Intriago’s attorneys, told the Herald his client obtained two loans from Veintemilla’s firm — one for CTU’s general operations and another for $172,000 to provide security for Sanon in his bid to become Haiti’s next president.
Veintemilla’s lawyer Robert Nicholson told the paper his client did little more than broker a loan for CTU and raised less than $200,000 from private lenders for what he thought was an effort to create renewable energy via the leadership of Sanon, who has been arrested.
Officials have said at least 26 suspects have been detained as part of the probe into the assassination, including 18 former Colombian soldiers and three Haitian police officers.
Two Americans of Haitian descent also allegedly took part in the assassination. Three of the Colombians were killed by Haitian police.
At least seven high-ranking police officials have been placed in isolation, but not formally arrested, Charles has said.