[www.inewsguyana.com] – Twenty nine non-nationals were apprehended in Bartica, Region Seven following an exercise carried out by Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Simona Broomes and a team of officers from the Anti Trafficking in Persons Unit (TIP) and the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO).
This operation, which was executed at approximately 1:45 hrs on Sunday, June 07, at the Platinum International Hotel and the Top Notch Hotel and Bar, was led by the minister herself, who acted on a tip off she received while visiting the region on Saturday.
The alleged victims are between ages of 20 and 30, and are citizens of Dominica, Brazil, Columbia and Venezuela. Four were in the country illegally and a similar number over stayed their time.
The victims, along with two alleged perpetrators whose names were given as Morcony De Jesus Souza Da Silva and Maria DeSocorro Nascimento Lages and others, were escorted by police officers to Georgetown where a proper investigation is expected to be conducted.
Of the 29 persons, 11 are likely to face charges and possible deportation, while the others will be assisting in the investigations.
The alleged perpetrators also had the victims’ passports in their possession. According to Minister Broomes, one of the alleged perpetrators who was charged with TIP and released on $1 M bail, was also held for questioning after she walked into the station with two of the girls’ passport.
The Minister was also in contact with the Minister of Public Security, whom she said indicated that he wants a thorough investigation into the matter.
“I’m pleased so far that the minister is on top of this, and has instructed a thorough investigation because we have lots of persons who are here illegally. One Brazilian was refused entry into Barbados and she returned here and she has an immigration officer number in her phone that she contacted,” Minister Broomes noted.
She said the aim is not to scare anyone, but rather to protect them and ensure they are in Guyana legally, not held against their will, and should have their passport in their possession.
“I am Broomes and I will not miss a sweep,” the Minister said in reference to her name. She pointed out that the social protection ministry will be aggressively tackling human trafficking throughout the length and breadth of Guyana.
The Minister explained that persons are now beating the borders and gaining entry into Guyana illegally. It was observed that this is a trend by persons from Dominica especially.
The minister further indicated that the owner of the Platinum Hotel, is a flagged person and the GWMO has been monitoring his activities for a long time.
“…there are also persons from Baroom Bar in Georgetown up here now. We have noticed a shift in how it is running. We got information of his connection internationally and that also is proving right because for example, one of the young ladies arrived from Dominica yesterday,” the minister pointed out. [Extracted and modified from GINA]