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article image'Lawyer' for Baptists held in Haiti on kidnapping is a wanted man

By Stephanie Dearing     Feb 16, 2010 in Crime
The man had posed as the lawyer for the group of ten Baptists who were arrested in Haiti after trying to take 33 children out of the country without documentation.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti - A short while ago, the world was full of buzz over the story of the ten Baptist missionaries from the United States who have been charged with child kidnapping offenses after they were caught by Haitian police trying to take undocumented children out of the country. Today, it's their lawyer causing the sensational stir. Turns out the man who called himself Jorge Puello is wanted for sex trafficking of women and girls under the name of Jorge Torres Orellana.
Using the name Jorge Puello, Orellana posed as a lawyer and volunteered his services to the Baptist group. Orellana first came to light in early February when he announced he had fired the Haitian lawyer, Edwin Coq after Coq allegedly attempted to bribe Haitian police to secure the release of the 10 Baptists.
It was Orellana's charitable act that brought him to the attention of El Salvadoran police, who saw a photograph of the wanted man in news stories about the case earlier this month.
Not only is Orellana not registered as a lawyer in the Dominican Republic, the man is wanted in four different countries for sex trafficking, counterfeiting documents and violating parole. And now, since he has disappeared, there is a manhunt going on in the Dominican Republic in an attempt to apprehend the man.
Police in El Salvador had said they couldn't say Puello was Orellana until they had been able to compare fingerprints. However, Orellana admitted to the Associated Press that he was indeed the same person wanted by the El Salvadoran police. Orellana claimed he was innocent of the trafficking charges, that he was only helping some girls. Orellana also told the Associated Press that he would return to El Salvador to face the charges. Orellana talked to the Associated Press on Monday by telephone. A woman claiming to be his mother, living in the Dominican Republic, arranged the call.
The Baptists, who have all along claimed they were innocent of human trafficking charges, are now facing greater scrutiny from the Haitian judicial system, which is investigating the ten missionaries. They are reportedly attempting to distance themselves from Orellana.
Puello had a website, Puello Consulting, where he advertised his business as a "... Firm of Attorneys, Notaries & Business Consultants that renders full legal services specialized in commercial, corporate and business fields providing the counseling with the “legal insight with business instinct” required for individuals and companies decision makers in the Dominican Republic or in other countries with Law Firms correspondents." The original website has been taken down sometime shortly after January 29th for unknown reasons.
Interpol has issued a Red Notice for Orellana. According to Interpol, the 32 year old Puello was born in El Salvador and is wanted for "... running an international sex trafficking ring that lured women and girls from the Caribbean and Central America into prostitution with bogus offers of modeling jobs."
The United States is interested in determining if Orellana is the same man as one who is wanted for parole violations. Orellana has also used the aliases "Jorge Anibal Torres Puello, Jorge Torres, Yoram Torres and Jorge Migdal."
More about Baptists, Haiti, Human trafficking, Jorge anibel torres puello, Interpol
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