American YouTube star Addison Pierre Maalouf, known online as YourFellowArab, has been kidnapped by gang members in Haiti and is currently being held for ransom somewhere on the island. Maalouf, known for his “danger tourism” trips into conflict zones, was reportedly hoping to secure a meeting with Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, the notorious gang leader who has become the de facto leader of Haiti since seizing control of the capital of Port-au-Prince.

The US Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti evacuated personnel as "cannibal" gang members led by Jimmy “Barbeque” Chérizier rampaged across the island.
Jimmy “Barbeque” Chérizier (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

As Valuetianment previously reported, Cherizier and his G9 and Family gang began their bloody rampage across Haiti in early March, emptying the country’s largest prisons and enlisting aid from other gangs to oust unpopular Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Henry resigned soon after the violence began, leaving Cherizier and his men to take control of the government.

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On March 14, Maalouf and a Haitian colleague arrived with the intention of securing an interview with the gang boss, despite his reputation for setting victims on fire (earning him his fiery nickname). Shortly before leaving his home in Atlanta, Maalouf said he was “going on another one of those trips” in an X post.

“If I die, thanks for watching what I’ve put out,” he wrote. “If I live, all glory to God.”

According to fellow YouTuber Lalem, Maalouf was taken hostage by members of the 400 Mawozo gang almost immediately after arriving in Haiti. The kidnappers are demanding $600,000 as a ransom, $40,000 of which has already been paid.

“Tried keeping it private for two weeks, but it’s getting out everywhere now,” Lalem posted on X. “Yes, Arab has been kidnapped in Haiti and we’re working on getting him out.”

He followed this with Maalouf’s final video, taken in a hotel in Haiti just before the kidnapping.

Related: US Braces for Haitian Migrant Surge as Gang Wars Rage and Prime Minister Resigns

“Lord” Miles Routledge, an English author and fellow danger tourist, claimed to have spoken with Maalouf via a gang member’s phone.

“Arab has been kept in a cage in a place on the eastern outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince,” Routledge said on social media. “His location is known.”

While attempts to secure his release have so far been unsuccessful—and US officials have been accused of being “hands off” in the process—Routledge claims Maalouf is in “excellent spirits” and is planning to release a video about his experience upon his return.

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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