Criminals looting and raping quake survivors, says Haiti police chief

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Port au Prince (Haiti), Jan.29 (ANI): Bandits are reportedly preying on vulnerable earthquake survivors, even raping women, in makeshift camps set up in the capital after the disaster, Haiti's police chief has revealed.

"With the blackout that's befallen the Haitian capital, bandits are taking advantage to harass and rape women and young girls under the tents," The Telegraph quoted Police Chief Mario Andresol, as saying.

"We have more than 7,000 detainees in the streets who escaped from the National Penitentiary the evening of the earthquake... It took us five years to apprehend them. Today they are running wild," he added.

Figures for the number of crimes were not available but women's organisations have already detailed a number of cases and alerted the United Nations mission in Haiti, Andresol said.

His warning came a day after UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said that gangsters and child traffickers could try to exploit the chaos triggered by Haiti's devastating earthquake to step up their criminal activities.

The January 12 earthquake killed around 170,000 people and left more than a million others homeless, many of whom are living in makeshift camps in the ruined capital.

Security had been tenuous in Haiti before the 7.0-magnitude quake, but Andresol said the police force itself had been crippled by the disaster. (ANI)

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