A suspected Venezuelan gang leader has been arrested on human trafficking charges following a “painstaking two-year investigation” by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)
Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob in congratulating officers “for their arduous work and dedication exhibited over a painstaking two-year investigation” said he is pleased that there had been a breakthrough in the case, “leading to child trafficking charges being laid against a suspected Venezuelan gang leader.
“I am pleased that we have made another solid breakthrough, as these heartless criminals can never feel that they have a free pass to operate in Trinidad and Tobago. The TTPS will continue to vigorously pursue and arrest those involved in trafficking in children, child prostitution, and other heinous crimes that feed on the suffering of the innocent and vulnerable,” Jacob said.
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The police said the Venezuelan was due to appear at the Chaguanas Magistrates’ Court in Central Trinidad today.
They said the accused was one of four Venezuelans intercepted in the Santa Flora district, south of the capital last Friday. The lawmen detained two men and two women who allegedly had a firearm, ammunition, and contraband in their possession.
The police said following his arrest, one of the suspects was handed over to the Special Investigations Task Force (SITF), which conducted investigations into alleged crimes of human trafficking.
“The man was then charged with Trafficking in Children, Causing a Child to Become a Prostitute, Transporting a Person for Prostitution, and being a Gang Leader,” the police said in the statement.
Ongoing interceptions targeting sex trafficking rings operating between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago have revealed the extent to which Venezuelan women and minors are being continually smuggled to the island nation from critical hubs — along with the grave conditions they face both in transit and upon arrival.
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