Caterer charged with four more counts of trafficking Venezuelans

Fiona Hopkinson

A caterer was yesterday remanded to prison on four counts of trafficking in persons and one count of withholding an identification card.

Fiona Hopkinson appeared before Magistrate Leron Daly, who read the charges to her.

The four charges alleged that Hopkinson, between September 1, 2018 and October 31, 2018, at Club Diamond, engaged in trafficking in persons; that is, she trafficked four Venezuelan nationals.

It was further alleged that between August 28, 2018 and October 31, 2018, Hopkinson unlawfully withheld the identification card of one of the Venezuelan nationals in aid of trafficking in persons.

The defendant denied the allegations levelled against her.

The matter was prosecuted by Police prosecutor Sanj Singh.

According to the prosecutor’s facts, on November 3, 2018, the police, at a road block, intercepted a motor car with four Venezuelan nationals inside. They were then asked to produce their identification cards but were unable to do so. As a result, they were taken to the CID headquarters, where it was revealed that during the month of August, 2018, they were desperately in need of jobs and the defendant offered them jobs to come to Guyana. The Venezuelan nationals then entered the country, where they worked at Club Diamond, where the police allege, Hopkinson withheld their identification cards and told them that after they would have worked off the $600 USD cost for transportation, only then would they be able to get back their identification cards and leave Guyana.

The accused was later remanded to prison and the matter adjourned until February 6.

On January 12, 2018, Hopkinson was charged alongside her boyfriend, Rodwell Dempster, with trafficking five women at the Diamond Hotel and Bar.

It was alleged that Dempster and Hopkinson, between September, 2017 and January, 2018, trafficked five Venezuelan women.

They are presently on trial for the matter.

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