Local May 19, 2023 | 3:58 pm

Haitians denounce they were scammed by an agency in Santiago that promoted “the return to Mexico”

Santo Domingo.- Haitian citizens living in the Dominican Republic have come forward to denounce a travel agency that allegedly scammed them by promising to facilitate their journey to the United States via the Mexico border in exchange for large sums of money. The victims claim that the Optimiste Tours agency, owned by a fellow Haitian citizen known as Jean James or Pedro Manuel Ubiera Cordero, charged them between $2,500 and $6,000 per person for the trip. They say that after making their payments, the agency suddenly closed two months ago, leaving them without any information about the trip or their money. The victims, who had taken out loans to afford the payments, produced receipts as evidence of their payments.

The victims became aware of the fraudulent scheme through friends who had made the journey and promotions they saw on social media advertising the opportunity to travel to the US through Mexico. Some of the victims shared that they knew people who had made it to New York but were struggling to repay the loans they had taken to finance their trip. The Optimiste Tours agency, which has offices in Santiago, Santo Domingo, and Haiti, offers various services related to visas, tourism, and travel to different countries.

The affected Haitian citizens are now seeking justice and demanding answers from the travel agency. They hope that their complaints will lead to an investigation and appropriate legal actions against those responsible for the alleged scam.

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