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14 suspected trafficking victims detained

By \\\\\ Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

The Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) has advised that human trafficking is a serious crime and should be reported.

This follows the discovery of 14 Guyanese nationals at a business place in Central Trinidad.

The CTU led a team of officers from the Ministry of Labour’s labour inspectorate, Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) and National Operations Centre (NOC) air division to several locations in Chase Village, Chaguanas, last Thursday.

The officers found 14 Guyanese nationals, who were taken for screening to determine whether they were victims of labour trafficking.

A Ministry of National Security release stated several documents were seized from the business place. Further enquiries revealed that four of the Guyanese nationals were illegal immigrants.

The illegal immigrants were handed over to the Immigration Division for further processing.

“CTU, in conjunction with the labour inspectorate, identified several labour violations, including the absence of work permits, lack of payment of overtime wages and an inadequate wage register,” the release stated.

The release added that the CTU continues to work closely with local and international partners to counter human trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago.

“At a recent convening of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons several ministers of government agreed to support the provision of all the necessary resources and staffing required by the unit for the most appropriate victim care and assistance and for effective investigation of human trafficking,” the ministry stated.

Police said 14 illegal immigrants were also detained at five businesses in Mon Desir, South Oropouche, during a police raid.

A team of officers, attached to the North Eastern Division Task Force (NEDTF), conducted an exercise throughout the district from 6 p.m. on Sunday to 1 a.m. yesterday.

Police said the officers, acting on information, went to the business places and detained 14 illegal immigrants. They were handed over to the Immigration Division.
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