Castries, Saint Lucia, Friday October 29, 2021:– A veteran local broadcaster has issued an alert against an alleged well-organized gang of body-snatchers grabbing young girls off streets and in other public places island-wide, suspectedly for Human Trafficking purposes.
Confirming “just having got off the phone with an officer of the RSLPF (Royal St. Lucia Police Force)”, the chief executive of a prominent local broadcasting entity said the alleged gang operates with no apparent fear of being caught.
In a letter circulated to media partners, the media owner said: “There is a foreign crime organization that has recruited a local network of snatchers that is kidnapping young girls for the purpose of human trafficking.”
According to the alert, “They are an organization acting on opportunity (and) not necessarily demographics…” so, Saint Lucians should “assume that they are active in all local communities.”
According to the document, the modus operandi employed has seen the alleged group’s members “Snatch and grab from open spaces like bus stops, road sides etc.,” rendering “children who take public transportation and/or are on foot, in areas where a speedy getaway is easy, especially vulnerable.”
The alert also says children are vulnerable “in easy access shops like stores on main roads with easy getaway routes…”
It continues, “They are entering and spraying chemicals to incapacitate patrons by making them nauseous etc., and snatching children, valuables, robbing the store, etc…”
Regarding robberies, the alert warns, “There’s a lot of instances where it’s an inside job….”
Regarding home invasions, it adds: “They are on the rise and in broad daylight, with some even demanding ransom from the breadwinners during these invasions…”
According to the alert, the Police “have advised to keep your homes locked, dogs out and refresh your firearm skills and (as a matter of fact) train your entire family, once of age/capability, to defend themselves and their home.”
The latest alert also follows increasing reports here – and other Caribbean territories — of late, about missing young women and extremely-young girls, especially circulated through Social Media, but with hardly any indication when or if the missing person is found.
One such online “Missing Child” alert was issued just last week in a Castries area — with the photo of the allegedly missing girl child — but although the 11-year-old turned-up within hours, that information was apparently not as widely shared.
However, the current alert warns: “The level of sophistication of these crimes indicates that they are organized groups and not just random voleurs (thieves).”
It also claims, “There are also a lot of deportees training locals in new ways to make our lives miserable…”
The patriotic media owner says, “I feel that as a country we cannot allow this to get out of hand.
“We must drive-out these elements by being proactive citizens, so, if you see something, say something.”
The alert also issues a strong call on citizens to “Help our police by being vigilant and reporting suspicious persons and activities…”
And it advises anyone who may have information but may also be scared, “You may do so anonymously.”
Calling on Saint Lucians to “Take back our communities,” the friendly alert says: “This type of crime absolutely devastated Trinidad decades ago and has gotten worse with every passing year…”
“We don’t want that to be us,” it added.
It also urged all citizens in every community: “Protect yourselves, your children, your homes and your livelihoods by being a Citizen of Action.”
“We cannot afford to be passive now,” it concluded, again urging Saint Lucians to “Be safe!”