Haiti gov't says children taken without permission

January 31, 2010 04:22

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haitian police detained 10 Americans on Saturday on suspicion of trying to take children out of the country without proper papers amid the chaos following the Jan. 12 earthquake.

The Americans were taken into custody with about 33 children while trying to reach the Dominican Republic, said Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue.

"There are allegations of child trafficking and that really couldn't be farther from the truth," said Sean Lankford of Meridian, Idaho, whose wife and daughter were among those detained.

"They were going to get the medical attention they needed. They were going to get the clothes and the food and the love they need to be healthy and to start recovering from the tragedy that just happened," Lankford told The Associated Press.

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