YouTube Star Abducted in Haiti While Seeking Gang Leader Interview

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(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Addison Pierre Maalouf, a popular American YouTuber, was kidnapped by one of the gangs wreaking havoc in Haiti after landing in the crime-stricken country to interview Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier, the de facto leader and head of G9 and Family Gang. 

Maalouf, whose YouTube channel “YourFellowArab” boasts nearly 1.5 million followers, traveled to Haiti from his Atlanta home to document his experience in a country currently in chaos following the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry

As reported by the New York Post and Haiti 24.net, Maalouf and a Haitian counterpart were kidnapped by members of the 400 Mawozo gang on March 14. The gang is demanding a $600,000 ransom for the YouTuber’s release. Despite reportedly receiving at least $40,000, the gang shows no signs of relenting.

Fellow YouTuber Lalem confirmed Maalouf’s kidnapping in a Twitter post, stating, “Tried keeping it private for 2 weeks, but it’s getting out everywhere now, Yes Arab has been kidnapped in Haiti and we’re working on getting him out. Love yall he’ll be out soon.” 

Days before his abduction, Maalouf wrote on his Twitter page, “Going on another one of those trips. If I die, thanks for watching what I’ve put out. If I live, all glory to God.”

In a video released by Maalouf before his kidnapping, he described the precautions he took before traveling to the capital, Port-au-Prince. Maalouf admitted in the clip that the hotel where he was staying was empty.

“So, we actually cannot leave to Port-Au-Prince until the morning because it’s already 6 p.m. and if we leave right now, we’ll get there while it’s dark—it’s about a six-hour roundtrip,” Maalouf is seen saying in a video hours before heading to the capital. 

In the same clip, Maalouf acknowledged that the capital “is completely run by gangs so you don’t want to be dealing with the gangs.” Unknowingly predicting his own fate, Maalouf said, “All it takes is one stupid gang member holding an AK-47 for one thing to go wrong, so we’re not taking that risk at night.” 

Despite the risks, traveling to Haiti seemed within Maalouf’s strongholds. In one of his most popular videos titled “Day 1 of Living with the Mexican Cartel,” Maalouf traveled to Mexico to document his experience with a drug cartel. 

“Over the next five days, I dance with death,” Maalouf admitted in the video, where he is seen interviewing, dancing, and eating with alleged gang members.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government reiterated to American citizens residing in Haiti to leave the country due to security concerns. The Biden administration has evacuated some embassy personnel and warned that Americans stranded in the capital are on their own. 

Alarmingly, the Biden administration implemented evacuation trips from the northern section of Haiti—approximately three hours away from the capital. However, the government warned that those traveling north are doing so at their own risk.

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