Federal agents raided five South Florida locations on Tuesday while serving warrants in an investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, it has been reported.
The search warrants included the homes and offices of Antonio Intriago and Walter Veintemilla – two businessmen whom officials in Haiti suspect funded and trained those who have been implicated in the assassination, the Miami Herald reported.
Helicopter footage from WPLG shows FBI agents and investigators with Homeland Security searching for financial records and other documents at the home of Veintemilla – president of Worldwide Capital Lending Group.
Jovenel Moise, 53, was assassinated by a hit squad made up mostly of Colombian mercenaries but many details surrounding the brazen attack have remained a mystery – as the country has erupted into political fights and gun violence.
Federal agents raided five South Florida locations on Tuesday while serving warrants in an investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse
Helicopter footage from WPLG shows FBI agents and investigators with Homeland Security searching for financial records and other documents
One of the homes searched belongs to Walter Veintemilla – president of Worldwide Capital Lending Group
Haitian officials have tied Veintemilla to an alleged plot to assassinate Moise and give power to a Florida doctor
U.S. Investigators hope to determine if Veintemilla and another Florida businessman Antonio Intriago played roles in the July 7 assassination
A spokesperson for the FBI said the affidavits in support of the search warrants have been sealed under a court order
Agents with Homeland Security Investigations were also present during the raid
U.S. officials have reportedly not yet found evidence that the businessmen know of a plot to kill Moïse
Investigators hope to determine if Intriago and Veintemilla played roles in the July 7 assassination, or committed other crimes. Haitian authorities had tied them to South Florida doctor Christian Emmanuel Sanon’s alleged plot to become president.
Haitian authorities have alleged that Intriago, head of the firm CTU Security in Doral, trained a group of Colombians implicated in the assassination – while Veintemilla’s Capital Lending Group is alleged to have funded their training.
Sources told the Miami Herald that U.S. officials have not yet found evidence that the businessmen know of a plot to kill Moïse.
A spokesperson for the FBI told WPLG that the affidavits in support of the search warrants have been sealed under a court order and he was prohibited on commenting further about the investigations.
Veintemilla, an Ecuadorian immigrant, was not seen at his home during the raid, WTVJ noted.
Attorneys for Intriago, a Venezuelan immigrant, told the outlet he has been cooperating with officials since Moïse was killed – and so they were shocked that federal agents raided his home.
The businessman had reportedly already turned over his cellphone and computer to agents with Homeland Security Investigations.
‘We’re doing everything we can to show our client has nothing to do with this. Our client is not hiding. He’s trying to clear his name,’ attorney Gilberto Lacayo said.
Walter Veintemilla, the president of Worldwide Capital Lending Group, is pictured left
Haitian President Jovenel Moise, left, and Haitian First Lady Martine Moise are seen at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on May 23, 2018
Presidential honor guards carry the coffin of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was shot dead earlier this month, during the funeral at his family home in Cap-Haitien
A view of the coffin of President Jovenel Moise during his funeral, presided over by some priests, in Cap-Haitien
Joseph Tesmond, an attorney working with Lacayo, told the Miami Herald his client secured two loans from Veintemilla’s company, one for general operation expenses.
The other $172,000 loan was to provide security for Sanon in his quest to become Haiti’s next president through a peaceful transition of power, Tesmond said. He said CTU Security hoped to land more ‘security opportunities’ in Haiti.
Veintemilla’s attorney Robert Nicholson told the Miami Herald that his client’s company simply brokered a loan for CTU Security.
Nicholson also said his client raised less than $200,000 from private lenders to allegedly create renewable energy in Haiti if Sanon, who was arrested in Haiti after Moise’s death, were to become president.
Concerns have been growing in Haiti that authorities are trying to influence the results of investigative efforts, as noted by the Miami Herald.
Suspects in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, who was shot dead at his home, are pictured
Suspects in the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise are moved to be displayed to the media at police headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Haitian authorities have implicated at least 20 retired Colombian soldiers in the president’s assassination on July 7
People take part in a day of protests going on at the same time as Haitians pay tribute to assassinated president Jovenel Moise, in Cap-Haitien, on July 22
Security footage shows the security response in the moments after the Haitian president was killed
Judges and court clerks have said they have received ‘serious death threats’ by phone pressuring them to change document related to the investigation – two of whom have filed formal complaints, the Miami Herald reported.
‘The minister of justice has not done anything to help them,’ said
Pierre Esperance, executive director of National Human Rights Defense Network, told the outlet the country’s justice minister ‘has not done anything to help them.’
Clerks have allegedly been asked to remove the names of people from court documents and replace them with Moïse’s political opponents, as well as tamper with witness statements.
Esperance accused the country’s police of possibly violating Haitian law by not turning the case over to an investigative judge.
Meanwhile, cops have arrested Haiti National Police Divisional Commissioner Jean Laguel Civil – Moïse’s security coordinator – and released a wanted poster for a member of the country’s highest court.
Superior Court Justice Windelle Coq Thélot has been accused assassination, attempted assassination and armed robbery, the Miami Herald reported.