Mission group uncovers fraud, child trafficking in orphanage after Haiti quake

November 4, 2011

From WSBTV (ABC):

A Gainesville-based missionary organization said it has uncovered fraud and possible child trafficking in Haiti — at the same orphanage the group has been trying to help.

“We work where the need is greatest,” said Seth Barnes, executive director of Adventures In Missions, which jumped into action of the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Among the projects the organization undertook was helping the children of the Son Of God Orphanage in Carrefour, Haiti.

Barnes told Channel 2′s Manuel Bojorquez the orphanage had 125 children. Other organizations and churches jumped in to help the children with food and supplies.

But problems surfaced in August 2010.

“What we saw is that we would deliver a shipment of food and then we’d come back the next day and the food was gone,” Barnes said.

“We’d deliver clothes because many of these kids didn’t have clothes, and they wouldn’t be wearing them. We’d look around and the clothes were gone,” he said.

Now, Barnes and others are circulating a petition asking the Haitian government to investigate another problem — some of the children are missing, the organization said.

Barnes said the orphanage director, Maccene Hyppolite, said many children have returned to be with relatives, but he fears they may have become victims of human trafficking.

This summer, authorities in Haiti arrested Hyppolite, under suspicion of trying to sell a child. They also shut down the orphanage.

Barnes said dozens are unaccounted for and volunteers are working to find them.

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