Food-Carrying Vessel Attacked in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Vessels docked at Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Updated Published

Haitian news outlets recently reported on the hijacking of the container vessel Magalie by members of the 5 Seconds Gang within the vicinity of the Varreux terminal in Port-au-Prince. 

According to official sources, the attackers took the ship's crew hostage and made off with a significant portion of its cargo, which notably included rice, a crucial staple in Haiti's diet.

A daring operation by Haiti's National Police on Saturday to reclaim the ship led to a prolonged exchange of gunfire lasting five hours. This confrontation resulted in injuries to two police officers and the death of an unspecified number of gang members. 

Following the successful recovery of the vessel, the Haiti Port Authority took measures to ensure the safety of the personnel aboard. However, the current condition and whereabouts of the crew members have not been disclosed.

Police released footage showing the Magalie being towed away from the dock by a large tugboat.

Gang aggression has become a common threat to the operations at Port-au-Prince's docks, significantly hindering the distribution of supplies and relief efforts. 

In a recent incident, assailants demolished the Varreux Power Plant and temporarily seized control of the Caribbean Port Services (CPS), the largest container terminal in Haiti, looting it. 

According to the United Nations’ Famine Early Warning System Network, it is anticipated that activities at the terminal may be suspended for an extended period due to these disruptions.