A businesswoman was on Monday released on $190,000 bail by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan when she appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with trafficking in persons.
Joyce Lawrence of Samantha Point denied the allegation which read that Between December 12 and December 24, 2014, she engaged in human trafficking. That is, she recruited and transported Wanda Lawrence, who is her niece, by means of threat.
The woman also denied the charge which read that between December 1 and December 28, 2014 while being the employer of Wanda Lawrence, she unlawfully withheld the young woman’s identification card.
Finally, the Court heard that between July 1 and December 12, 2014 at Eishalton Night Club, Eishalton, she engaged in trafficking her niece.
Attorney Euclin Gomes, who appeared for the accused, posited that the matter was an “unfortunate situation”. He explained that the complainant is the woman’s niece who lived with her.
He stated that his client only wants what is best for her niece and on that note made an application for reasonable bail.
However, Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones objected to bail based on the gravity and penalty that the offence attracts. He stated that in 2014, the accused took the complainant to work at a night club without parental consent.
The Prosecutor explained that at this time, the complainant was a juvenile, and the accused had enslaved her in her home and taken away her identification card.
He related that the Police received information about the young woman and when they went to the nightclub, they found the young woman pregnant. He explained that the accused gave the Police varying addresses, adding that the complainant is currently in the custody of the Ministry of Social Protection.
The Magistrate overruled the Prosecutor’s objections and granted bail in the sum of $190,000 for the three offences. The matter was transferred to the Linden Magistrates’ Court for March 30.