Leader of sex ring in Trinidad linked to Asian mafia

Leader of sex ring in Trinidad linked to Asian mafia
The house in Westmoorings which police raided during an operation on Wednesday. Several young South American girls were rescued. Nicole Drayton
The house in Westmoorings which police raided during an operation on Wednesday. Several young South American girls were rescued. Photo by Nicole Drayton

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — An Asian mafia con­nec­tion is fu­elling the mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar world of sex slaves in Trinidad and To­ba­go, in­tel­li­gence sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion have re­vealed to Guardian Me­dia.

These star­tling de­tails be­gan to emerge as po­lice gath­ered more in­for­ma­tion af­ter crack­ing what they be­lieve was a ma­jor sex and drug ring op­er­at­ing in West­ern Trinidad on Wednes­day.

On Wednes­day morn­ing of­fi­cers of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team (SORT), Counter Traf­fick­ing Unit (CTU), Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Branch (FIB) and Child Pro­tec­tion Unit(CPU) ar­rest­ed at least 18 sus­pects in West and East Trinidad and res­cued 19 South Amer­i­can fe­males.

The young women were res­cued from the Stir Fry King Restau­rant along Ari­api­ta Av­enue in Port-of-Spain, a sprawl­ing house with a swim­ming pool along Morne Co­co Road near St An­tho­ny’s Col­lege and an­oth­er up­scale home at 61 West­ern Cir­cle, West­moor­ings.

Sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion say the West­moor­ings home is owned by Edgar Aboud, who rent­ed out the home sev­er­al months ago to a Chi­nese na­tion­al.

Aboud, who spoke briefly by tele­phone with Guardian Me­dia yes­ter­day, dis­tanced him­self from the mat­ter, say­ing he had noth­ing to do with the in­ci­dent and “knew noth­ing about it.”

In fact, Guardian Me­dia was in­formed that Aboud was in the process of break­ing the ten­ant lease for the prop­er­ty and sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion said a ter­mi­na­tion of lease let­ter had been placed in the ten­ant’s mail­box some time ago.

Doc­u­ments of a 33-year-old Chi­nese na­tion­al, who po­lice sus­pect is one of the mas­ter­minds of the transna­tion­al crim­i­nal net­work and rent­ed the West­moor­ings home, were ob­tained by Guardian Me­dia. The man had a Guyanese pass­port and a Ja­maican li­cense.

“You have to re­mem­ber the Asian net­work is al­so next door,” said a source close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The source in­di­cat­ed that the Chi­nese na­tion­al was still at large and they were putting things in place to en­sure he was cap­tured soon.

The on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to this il­lic­it trade con­tin­ued to un­fold as in­tel­li­gence sources de­scribed in de­tail how the un­der­ground net­work had in­fil­trat­ed al­most every cor­ner of the coun­try.

“They want chil­dren and they want them high on co­caine and hero­in and then deal with their ghosts be­cause when you get them so high you can do them any­thing. And is pow­er­ful Asian mafia, pow­er­ful and I mean pow­er­ful! And their group is not at all an-in­clu­sive group. Their group is an ex­clu­sive group,” one high-rank­ing in­tel­li­gence source told Guardian Me­dia.

The source ex­plained that the mon­ey laun­der­ing part of the busi­ness went hand in hand with the ex­ploita­tion of the young girls. “Re­mem­ber you could buy a girl and sell her over and over and over. So you run your rental and when you done, you sell your rental,” the law en­force­ment source ex­plained.

The source re­vealed that girls are brought in batch­es every six months from Venezuela, most­ly via boat, af­ter the arrange­ments are all made with the help of com­plic­it of­fi­cials. Girls can fetch up to $10,000 a night to high-end Asian clien­tele.

“There is a six-month ro­ta­tion and when you get ro­tat­ed you are sold. Re­mem­ber the cus­tomers want new goods all the time. The younger the girls and the pret­ti­er, the val­ue goes up. It is the price of the stock,” the law en­force­ment source said.

An­oth­er source ex­plained, “This is peo­ple with plen­ty fi­nan­cial might and plen­ty net­works. Pow­er­ful net­works that can cor­rupt sys­tems. They don’t cor­rupt peo­ple. Peo­ple are in the sys­tem but they cor­rupt the sys­tem be­cause they will get pass­ports, doc­u­ments stamped, they will cor­rupt the sys­tem, so it’s sys­temic.”

The source fur­ther ex­plained that the rea­son this trade has thrived for so long un­no­ticed was due to the fact that this par­tic­u­lar com­mu­ni­ty is dor­mant.

“They are an un­der­ground com­mu­ni­ty that is very vi­brant, very un­der­ground. What hap­pened is that we ex­posed that dor­mant com­mu­ni­ty, peo­ple al­ways used to hear about the Asian mafia but no­body doesn’t re­al­ly know what they mean. Be­cause they don’t come out and make noise, so it is a big chal­lenge for our coun­try to deal with these first-world net­works be­cause we deal with gang war, but these, these net­works, they are so dy­nam­ic, they are so glob­al­ly net­worked, that they don’t need to use peo­ple in Trinidad be­cause they have cor­rupt­ed and poi­soned the sys­tem.”

Of­fi­cers al­so seized mil­lions dol­lars in cur­ren­cy from the Jam­long Casi­no in Curepe which con­sist­ed of US, Ster­ling Pounds and TT. They were un­able to say if this mon­ey was in any way con­nect­ed to the drug and sex ring but are con­tin­u­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Of­fi­cers FIB were up to late yes­ter­day ver­i­fy­ing the ex­act amount of mon­ey they re­cov­ered.

But sources say it could pos­si­bly be more than TT $5 mil­lion in to­tal. —With re­port­ing by Hema Ramkissoon


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