Pregnant Guyanese woman arrested for human trafficking in Trinidad

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human-trafficking2[Trinidad and Tobago] – A 19-year-old woman from Guyana has been arrested as part of a human trafficking operation uncovered by detectives from the Arouca Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

She is said to be pregnant. Three women — two Venezuelans, aged 22 and 23, and a 26-year-old Trinidad and Tobago woman from Princes Town — were rescued from a rented house at Dookie Street in Arouca by police officers on Wednesday.

Officers have since launched a manhunt for a Trinidad and Tobago businessman described as the “mastermind” behind the human trafficking ring.

The Express was yesterday contacted by a man who claimed to be the “mastermind”.

According to reports, around 9.30 pm officers from the Arouca CID led by Senior Supt David Abraham and Supt Hendron Moses raided the property on the Eastern Main Road in Tacarigua near Jubilee Street after they received several reports from neighbors of hearing screams coming from the house. 

Police found two Venezuelans, a Guyanese and a Trinidadian woman, ages 28, 26, 24 and 21 inside. 

Investigators said the Venezuelans could not speak English but the Guyanese and Trinidadian women told the police they were being held captive by a group of men. They women appeared to be healthy but were taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope and medically examined. 

While investigators initially believed at all four might have been victims of human trafficking, the Guyanese and Trinidadian became suspects after a Spanish translator was brought in to interview the Venezuelan women yesterday. 

The Venezuelan women reportedly told police they entered Trinidad illegally several months ago and were brought to the location, which is sometimes is used for illegal gambling and prostitution. They both claimed that the two other women supervised the operation and would ensure that the house was clean, that they were fed and that they did not try to escape. 

Officers of the Ministry of National Security’s Counter Trafficking Unit and Northern Division Police were interviewing the victims up to late yesterday in an attempt to obtain more information on the operation. The victims are expected to be placed in a secure custody and will receive counselling while investigations continue. 

The Guyanese and Trinidadian women were being detained at the Arouca Police Station up to late yesterday as police were considering charging them under the Trafficking in Person Act. 

The legislation passed by Parliament in 2011 criminalises trafficking and exploitation of persons. The minimum punishment for one of several offences under the legislation is a $350,000 fine and 12 months in prison. 

Anyone with information on this case or any other suspected incident of human trafficking are asked to contact the Counter Trafficking Unit at 800-4CTU. 

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