Five Americans who claimed they were on “a government mission” in Haiti were arrested by local authorities after being found with a stash of automatic rifles and pistols, according to a report.
The group was picked up Sunday at a police checkpoint in Port-au-Prince driving in two vehicles without licence plates, the Miami Herald reported.
Inside their cars were six automatic rifles, six pistols, two professional drones and three satellite phones, cops told the paper. Images of the guns have been circulating on WhatsApp.
Asked what they were doing in Haiti, the men told police “they were on a mission, and they didn’t have to speak to us,” Port-au-Prince police chief Joel Casseus told the paper. “They said they were on a government mission.”
Three of the men — Christopher Michael Osman, 44, Kent Leland Kroeker, 52, and Christopher Mark McKinley, 49 — are US military veterans, the paper reported.
A fourth man, Talon Ray Burton, 52, once worked as a federal contractor for the US government.
Three other individuals, including a Russian, Serbian and Haitian national, were traveling with the Americans and were also arrested.
Local authorities said Tuesday they still don’t know what the men were doing in the country. They face charges of possessions of illegal arms and other crimes.
The State Department and US Embassy said they had been made aware of the Americans’ arrest. The embassy told police they had no covert operations on the ground.
There is currently a travel warning for US citizens in Haiti due to violent protests that have broken out in the country.