‘Million-dollar sex trade in T&T’

 (Trinidad Express) There is a multi-million-dollar sex slave trade taking place between this country and South America where persons are being held against their will, forced into prostitution and threatened with death.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by government ministers from Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela who met yesterday to discuss initiatives to crack down on the illegal trafficking of humans, drugs and guns and protecting the borders of both countries.

National Security Minister Gary Griffith and Justice Minister Emmanuel George engaged in two hours of talks with the Venezuelan team—Minister of the People’s Power for Defence, Admiral-in-Chief Carmen Teresas Melendez-Rivas and Minister for Interior Relations, Justice and Peace, Major Miguel Rodriguez Torres.

The meeting took place at the Justice Ministry’s office at Tower C of the International Waterfront Complex, Port of Spain.

At a news conference following the meeting, both Griffith and Torres, when questioned, disclosed that humans were being trafficked into this country for prostitution.

Griffith said there were 14 cases where people were trafficked from Venezuela, Colombia and Guyana.

Questioned on whether people from this country were trafficked to Venezuela, Torres said there were cases of Trinidadians being forced to work in ice cream companies for low wages to the point of slavery.

“In Venezuela we have seen some incidents where Trinidad and Tobago citizens arrive who basically work in ice cream distribution companies in Venezuela without knowing the language and without documents, undocumented workers for very, very low pay, and work there many hours almost under conditions of slavery. We’ve been talking with the ministries, once we have appropriate information and studies we will forward them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

He said the Venezuelan authorities are aware of Venezuelans being brought to this country under false pretences and being forced into prostitution and inhumane work.

Both Torres and Griffith disclosed that the human trafficking ring was on the rise.

As such a representative from this country’s human trafficking unit will visit Venezuela and assist in the joint crackdown operation.

Griffith said Venezuela was used as a transshipment point where Colombians, guns and drugs were trafficked to this country.

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