A Haitian gang that abducted a group of American and Canadian missionaries is seeking $17 million total in ransom money, The Wall Street Journal reports.

  • The gang is seeking $1 million per missionary.
  • The gang captured 17 missionaries.

On Saturday, 16 American missionaries and one Canadian missionary were kidnapped by a Haitian gang. Five children were among those taken, according to Christian Aid Ministries, a nonprofit organization.

  • “Join us in praying for those who are being held hostage, the kidnappers, and the families, friends, and churches of those affected,” Christian Aid Ministries said in the statement.

The gang — called 400 Mawozo — abducted the missionaries from the Ganthier commune, which is east of Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital, per NBC News.

The same gang was blamed for kidnapping five Catholic priests and two nuns earlier in 2021 near the same location, per Haitian news agency Juno7.

  • Those priests and nuns were eventually released.

The FBI went to Haiti on Saturday to help secure the release of the missionaries, per CBS News. The FBI and Haitian authorities were working together to organize a safe return for the missionaries.

  • “You’re trying to do two things at the same time — maintain open lines of communication, and prepare for the worst,” James Gagliano, a former special agent with the FBI’s hostage rescue team, told CBS News.