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  • Writer's pictureFrantz Alcema,

American charged in Haiti port project bribe scheme

A dual U.S. and Haitian citizen was charged Tuesday for his alleged role in a plot to bribe senior government officials in Haiti for access to a proposed $84 million port development project.

Roger Richard Boncy, 74, a dual U.S. and Haitian citizen, planned to launder funds through a non-profit to pay the bribes, the DOJ said.

Boncy, who lives in Madrid, was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Travel Act, one count of violating the Travel Act, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

A co-conspirator, Joseph Baptiste, was charged in October 2017.

The DOJ said Boncy and Baptiste solicited bribes from undercover agents posing as potential investors in a proposed port development project in the Mȏle St. Nicolas area of Haiti.

Agents recorded Boncy and Baptiste in a Boston hotel. They allegedly told the agents they would route payments through a non-profit controlled by Baptiste to Haitian officials to secure approval for the port project.

The Maryland-based non-profit was purportedly set up to help impoverished residents of Haiti.

The DOJ also intercepted telephone calls between Boncy and Baptiste. They allegedly discussed a plan to bribe an aide to a high-level elected official in Haiti with a job on the port development project.

The aide was expected to help them obtain the elected official’s authorization for the project.

The $84 million Mȏle St. Nicolas project included "construction of multiple cement factories, a shipping-vessel recycling station, an international transshipment station with numerous slips for shipping vessels, a power plant, a petroleum depot and tourist facilities," the DOJ said.

Baptiste’s trial is scheduled to begin on December 3 in Boston.

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