No bail for two more charged in T&T sex ring

Chinese national Wei Liang Wu leaves the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court

(Trinidad Guardian) Two more sus­pects in a mul­ti-na­tion­al pros­ti­tu­tion ring in west Trinidad, which was bust­ed by po­lice two months ago, have ap­peared in court for hu­man traf­fick­ing.

Jan Boa Wang and Wei Liang Wu were de­nied bail when they ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Cher­ril-Anne An­toine in the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day morn­ing, charged with har­bour­ing two Venezue­lan mi­nors for the pur­pose of sex­u­al ex­ploita­tion.

Chinese national Jan Boa Wang makes his way to a Prison Transport

Dur­ing the hear­ing, An­toine de­cid­ed to re­move mem­bers of the pub­lic, in­clud­ing me­dia per­son­nel, from the court as she was about to read the charges, in which the vic­tims’ names were men­tioned.

The men, who were rep­re­sent­ed by at­tor­ney Pe­ter Tay­lor, were kept in­formed of what was tran­spir­ing in court by a trans­la­tor flu­ent in Man­darin Chi­nese. They were not called up­on to plead to the two charges, which were laid in­dictably.

Guardian Me­dia un­der­stands that af­ter the process was com­plet­ed, Cpl Irv­ing Joseph, of the Court and Process Branch, asked An­toine not to con­sid­er bail for them un­til in­ves­ti­ga­tors re­ceive their crim­i­nal record trac­ing from In­ter­pol. She agreed and ad­journed the case to April 29.

Un­der the Traf­fick­ing In Per­sons Act, a per­son con­vict­ed of com­mit­ting the of­fence against an adult faces a min­i­mum fine of $500,000 and no less than 15 years in prison. Those who tar­get mi­nors are li­able to a min­i­mum $1 mil­lion fine and no less than 20 years in prison up­on con­vic­tion.

Wang and Wu are the fifth and sixth per­sons to be charged over the pros­ti­tu­tion ring.

On Feb­ru­ary 5, a team of po­lice of­fi­cers from sev­er­al spe­cial­ist units, led by Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith, raid­ed pri­vate prop­er­ties and busi­ness­es in West­moor­ings, Wood­brook and Curepe.

Dur­ing the raids, po­lice res­cued 19 Venezue­lan teenagers who were be­tween the ages of 15 and 19. The girls re­main in pro­tec­tive cus­tody.

One month lat­er, Chi­nese-born Guyanese na­tion­al Jin­fu Zhu and his 23-year-old Venezue­lan girl­friend Solient Tor­res were charged with 43 of­fences per­tain­ing to the raid. The cou­ple was joint­ly charged with 22 charges un­der the Sex­u­al Of­fences Act for op­er­at­ing a broth­el at Zhu’s rent­ed home in West­moor­ings on spe­cif­ic dates be­tween Sep­tem­ber 17 last year and Jan­u­ary 1 this year. Tor­res re­ceived 20 ad­di­tion­al charges for aid­ing and abet­ting pros­ti­tu­tion be­tween Sep­tem­ber last year and Feb­ru­ary this year. They were al­so joint­ly charged un­der the Pro­ceeds of Crime Act for be­ing pos­ses­sion of TT$80,000, US$2,393 and oth­er small amounts of as­sort­ed cur­ren­cy, know­ing that the funds were the pro­ceeds of crime.

Zhu and Tor­res were de­nied bail dur­ing the first court ap­pear­ance and again as they reap­peared in court last week due to de­lays in ob­tain­ing their In­ter­pol trac­ing. They are ex­pect­ed to ap­ply for bail when they re­turn to court on April 17.

Two Chi­nese na­tion­als who were held in the raid have al­so ap­peared in court for as­sem­bling to gam­ble and for am­mu­ni­tion pos­ses­sion.






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