Witness in trafficking in persons case and child missing

A woman, who is a key witness in a trafficking in persons (TIP) case, and her child have been missing since last year October and her relatives believe that she may be in danger as the last person she was seen in the company of was the person she is set to testify against.

Relatives of Joy Thomas and her daughter Judia took out an advertisement in last week’s issue of the Sunday Stabroek stating that she was missing since October last year.

This newspaper understands that Thomas is a key witness in an ongoing TIP matter in the courts and it is believed

 Joy Thomas and Judia
Joy Thomas and Judia

that she is being kept from attending court to ensure that the legal case collapses.

According to a relative of the woman, the last time she was seen she was entering the vehicle of the accused person along with her child. The missing woman’s spouse was the last person to see her and the relative said for some weeks he kept in contact with the woman via phone but then all communication ended abruptly.

The woman’s relatives have reported the matter to officials at the Ministry of the Human Services & Social Security and to the police but they said they have received no help. Eventually after he was unable to contact Thomas, her spouse, and the father of her child, on the insistence of her relatives visited the court and informed the magistrate in front of the accused person that he had seen Thomas leave in the company of the accused.

Upon the instructions of the court the man gave a statement to the police at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, Eve Leary, and the accused person was held for a few hours but released later.

“I don’t know where Joy is but I am very worried and I believe that she is being held against her will or worse…” a relative of the woman said.

The relative said the case was called recently and the magistrate enquired whether they had publicised Thomas as missing at all the borders just in case she had left the country.

“Where can Joy leave the country and go? She does not have the means, the only way she could is if she [the accused woman] take her there,” the relative said.

The relative said she is convinced that the woman and child are in danger adding that while they received many calls following the publication of a missing person advertisement there has been nothing concrete. One man did say that he saw someone like the woman in Bartica with the child and that he would have checked for identifying marks.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Thomas and her daughter Judia are asked to call 223-4218 or 696-5445.

 

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