South West Wales

Crane operator Victor Rees 'petrified' after Haiti arrest

Jade Laville and Victor Rees Image copyright Jade Laville
Image caption Jade Laville and her partner Victor Rees live in Hundleton

The partner of a crane operator arrested in Haiti is campaigning to bring him back home to Pembrokeshire.

Jade Laville from Hundleton said Victor Rees had been working in the Caribbean when he was arrested on 21 May.

She is unclear of the reasons behind the arrest - all she knows is that police turned up to his site and ordered all machinery to be turned off, but Mr Rees made his crane safe first.

The Foreign Office said embassy staff in Haiti were providing support.

Miss Laville understands that Mr Rees was then taken to a prison before being transferred to a hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and kept under armed police guard.

He was returned to prison on 23 May after a court appearance.

"He is having to fight for his life in prison," Miss Laville told BBC Wales.

"He has been held up by the windpipe and threatened to be stabbed."

She has only managed to speak to Mr Rees once since the ordeal, and he told her he was "petrified."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Haiti is a Caribbean country that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic

Miss Laville has attempted to contact the British Embassy in the Dominican Republic, but said they would not give her, or Mr Rees' son, any information because they did not have Mr Rees' consent.

"None of it makes sense," she said.

"He could be out on bail, we just don't know.

"It's a horrible situation. I can't sleep, I can't eat and I'm really stressed out."

Mr Rees is an experienced crane operator and has been working for the American company Respa in Haiti for the past 12 months.

"It's a dangerous country," added Miss Laville.

"Vic and his colleagues have to travel in convoy to work."

She is now petitioning the British Embassy to 'Get Victor Rees Home Safe And Sound.' It has more than 1,700 supporters.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Embassy staff in Haiti are providing support to a British National arrested in Haiti.

"We remain in contact with the family and local authorities."