T&T, Colombia to sign deal on human trafficking

(Trinidad Express) TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO will sign an agreement with the government of Colombia for collaboration between the two states to tackle human trafficking, says Minister of National Security Gary Griffith.

Griffith was speaking at a media con­ference, following a meeting with a delegation from Colombia yesterday, at the Ministry of National Security, Temple Court, Abercromby Street, in Port of Spain.

Griffith said the South American country would be assisting in national and regional security. He said Colombia has dealt with treating with an unseen enemy such as terrorism and drug cartels, and they have transformed Colombia into a place other countries could look up to.

He said human trafficking has affec­ted both countries, and the two states intend to work closely to ensure this can be eliminated as quickly as possible. He said the agreement is to be signed some time next week to mesh the minds of both countries to curb human trafficking, which is virtual slavery in “some of these houses”.

“If we can nip the human trafficking, as it is the same vessels that the drugs and guns come on, then we could reduce the illegal entry of weapons,” Griffith said.

He added that apart from dealing with human trafficking, discussions included the procurement of naval vessels from our Colombian counterparts, as well as training for our protective services.

Griffith said some of the training that would be made available should an agreement be reached would include naval intelligence, proper training pre­paration for terrorism, transnational organised crime, training in specialised programmes like drug procedures, criminal investigations and extortion.

Minister of National Defence for Colombia Juan Carlos Bueno said several capabilities and experiences the Colombia police have, in terms of organisational transformation and practical experience in counternarcotics and anti-kidnapping, will be afforded to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

He added Colombia would provide training to local police officers, following discussions between Deputy Gene­ral of the National Police Major Gene­ral Luz Marina Bustos and the acting Commissioner of Police, Stephen Williams.

Griffith said such training will help make the TTPS one of the finest, and the training would include riot control, intelligence gathering, joint police and army patrols, and border protection.

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