Human Trafficking In Trinidad?
TV6 reports that there is a Human Trafficking In Trinidad and yet the police say that there is no evidence to suggest that. What are your thoughts?
Things have really gotten bad down there. Some of these crimes you only heard about in Asian countries and Colombia now its right at home!
Name: Genie (?)
Comments: I believe there is Human Trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago and the world.There are too many people missing in this small island. Do some research and you too will see that Human Trafficking is a major problem in the world today.
Source 1: Source 1
I think the cases are isolated its not like a full blown thing like other countries but you know even one case is bad.
|Warning! There are human traffickers in Trinidad |
by Yvonne Baboolal
Have you notice in the last year that more people went missing and never found than kidnapping ?
A chilling warning is being sent out to mothers of young daughters, to women in general, and even sons to be on the lookout for human traffickers in T&T.
Human traffickers are on the prowl, looking to lure children and women to sell them abroad for big money.
"Children, because they live longer, are sold for over $200,000. Adults can fetch as much as $100,000. They are mostly used as sex slaves and sometimes for slave labour.
"Sometimes, they are used to make pay-offs in the drug trade," a well-placed source told the Sunday Guardian.
Men owing drug lords are being lured into capturing humans, who will be sold for payment of their debts.
A well-placed police source believes, though, that the trade is in its early stages.
A source, pleading for anonymity for fear of his life, said victims were drugged almost immediately after capture and their cellphones switched off.
A Sunday Guardian investigation revealed that the lucrative human trafficking ring was operating in the Cascade/St Ann's area, between Sangre Grande and Tunapuna, Diego Martin and in South.
Women have mysteriously disappeared from the Cascade area without a trace during the past year, and several straying young boys have vanished from the streets of San Fernando .
The clandestine local trade, which operates through a well-organised network and is supported by several powerful agencies, is linked to an international human trafficking ring.
Even some policemen are convinced that there is a human trafficking ring in Trinidad , and they suspect that a number of missing persons have been victims of the trade, but they were reluctant to say more.
Acting Commissioner of Police James Philbert could not be reached, while Deputy Commissioner Gilbert Reyes was in an all-day meeting on Thursday and Friday, we were told.
No calls were returned.
Even an officer from the Special Anti-Crime Unit of T&T said he could not divulge information on the matter.
Immigration officials were not helpful either.
Big businessman involved
Fingers are pointing at a popular Trinidad businessman, who has been described as 'the big man" in the human trade.
"He's popular. He is also linked with other businessmen across the country."
This information was unearthed after a female relative of a man went missing several months ago. The man said his family, desperate for answers, launched their own investigation with the support of a police officer and local private investigators.
They have the information, but are selective with whom they share it, and are still trying to unearth more information before they meet with National Security Minister Martin Joseph and the acting Commissioner of Police James Philbert.
Their fear is that they "don't know who to trust," and that's why they are moving so cautiously.
A spokesman from the newly formed Missing People Association (MPA) said their own investigations had revealed that people abducted were shipped out to foreign countries where foreign languages are spoken thus making escape difficult.
MPA's investigations also revealed that those abducted are shipped via points from Moruga, Cedros, Sea Lots and Chaguaramas.
"T&T is not on the list of countries known for human trafficking, and criminals here are taking full advantage of that. Notice there has been a decline in kidnappings and an increase in missing persons?" the spokesman added.
"Criminals realise human trafficking is now more lucrative than kidnapping."
The spokesman said after months of probing, they discovered that while "big men" are behind the ring, they sometimes pay ordinary people, including taxi-drivers and relatives, to lure victims, who are usually "well scoped out" first.
The trafficking also includes young women who are being brought into the country from Venezuela , Colombia and Guyana .
The women are held and forced into the sex trade, where they make porn movies and are sold as prostitutes by influential locals.
Money made from this is kept by the businessmen involved.
No anti-trafficking agency
Earlier this year, T&T's chief of mission for the International Office of Migration (IOM), Tom Sinkovits, disclosed in a Guardian interview that there were cases of human trafficking in the Caribbean .
He said during the last two years he had been in Trinidad , he"d had reports of the trade.
According to another report from "US Government sources," Trinidad was named as a place to which girls and women were trafficked.
The report also said Venezuela was a transit and destination point for the trafficking of men, women and children.
An IOM report said the organisation was working with the T&T Government to formulate legislation on human trafficking and to develop a coalition with the Government and non-governmental organisations to deal with the matter.
But a US Department of State report of 2007 said virtually nothing had been done by the T&T Government to combat human trafficking.
"The Government has not designated a specific agency to combat trafficking or sponsored any public awareness campaigns to address the issue during the year 2007."
The report stated that the Government "continues to co-operate" with the IOM in a strengthening technical capacity project to bolster the capability of the Immigration Division and other law enforcement agencies.
Jamaica on alert
Jamaica is much more active in combatting human trafficking, however.
In a Jamaica newspaper last Thursday, an anti-trafficking group warned young Jamaicans to be on the alert during the Christmas season for human traffickers.
Sheila Nicholson, of the Anti-Trafficking Project, warned young people to be careful at private and public parties, as well as clubs and bars.
"Ruthless criminals who buy and sell human beings for large-scale profit use these seemingly safe situations to trick and trap victims who can end up in forced prostitution, or unpaid labour under brutal conditions.
Do you all notice how (from last year) kidnappings decreased but more missing people are reported? (specially women and children). The relatives of Sally Lobai were told if they do not pay the ransom, she will be shipped abroad.
Comments: Where are these kidnapped girls going? Why are they never found? Why are there rumors of girls being subdued to trafficking? Can't they tell if there's anything suspicious at the airports? Where are the police getting there information about the kidnap victims? Are there any witnesses to these kidnappings? These are all questions that run through minds of many people through there everyday life. What are we going to do now about this situation? Time to be aware of this situation and be careful. Look at your surroundings when you're out having a good time with friends or when going out to the grocery.This is very serious.
Comments: An article written by me.
A Desperate Plea
What has our sweet T&T come to? Everyday at least one family within the country is being faced with some sort of devastation and agony and what is our government doing about it? Absolutely nothing! As a young individual I"m utterly disgusted by the poor efforts that the officials are making to curb the crime situation in our country. [..] Earlier today I received an email with a disturbing article that pertains to the human trafficking situation. After reading the article I grew angry and sad because I could only imagine the trauma that these victims and their families are faced with and it left me thinking, are these ministers blind or mentally challenged in some way or another or is it that they are linked to the crimes? They seem oblivious to what is going on in the country that they are supposed to be "running". Crime is a critical issue that affects each and every individual of our country. We are all potential victims of criminal activity whether we choose to accept this fact or not. I"ve had the misfortune of experiencing two kidnappings in my family within 3 years and I can say that it wasn't easy to deal with however they returned home within 2 weeks but what about those persons who have been missing for months? What are these families going through?
Source 1: Article front the Newsday on Sunday March 1st
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