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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith says T&T has a great demand for child prostitution and child pornography.
He made the comment during an interview on CNC3’s Morning Brew yesterday, as he addressed the police cracking of what they believe is a major sex and drug trafficking ring on Tuesday.
Police arrested at least 18 suspects in West and East Trinidad and rescued 19 South American females from the Stir Fry King Restaurant along Ariapita Avenue in Port-of-Spain, a house along Morne Coco Road near St Anthony’s College and another upscale home at 61 Western Circle, Westmoorings.
Griffith said the investigations so far have revealed several elements of the extensive operation, including how the minors arrived on T&T’s and who are involved in the activity.
“We cannot bury our heads in the sand on the human trafficking issue. Young women are brought in here under false pretences and brought here where they were drugged and forced into prostitution, some of them said they were locked in rooms and not allowed to leave,” Griffith said.
“There is a great demand for child prostitution and child pornography in T&T by locals…what we need to do is expose these individuals and bring them to justice.”
In a release issued by the T&T Police Service yesterday, the police also strongly cautioned members of the public against sharing and circulating images and videos of minors, victims of sexual offences or human trafficking. This after photos of the rescued girls surfaced on social media yesterday.
The TTPS reminded the public that according to Section 34 (1) of the Trafficking in Persons Act Chapter 12:10, it is a criminal offence “to in any way cause the identity of a victim of human trafficking to be revealed, constitutes an offence.”
It added that Section 34 (3) of the act also states that “a person who commits a breach of confidentiality under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $100,000.”
Additionally, it said the Sexual Offences Act Chapter 11:28, Section 32 (1) states that “no matter likely to lead members of the public to identify a person as the complainant in relation to that accusation shall either be published in Trinidad and Tobago in a written publication available to the public or be broadcast in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Section 32 (2) of the act also states: “A person who publishes or broadcasts any matter contrary to subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of t$20,000 and to imprisonment for five years.”
Griffith has urged anyone who observes any strange activities suspected to be human trafficking to contact him directly via his What’s App number at 482-GARY.
“See something, say something,” Griffith said.