Several witnesses due to testify in Lambirds ‘human trafficking’ trial

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Several witnesses due to testify in Lambirds ‘human trafficking’ trial

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The largest human trafficking trial in Saint Lucia, linked to Lambirds Academy scandal, has officially commenced.

The matter started on October 4, with one witness giving evidence and being cross-examined the next day.

It will continue on Wednesday, October 12, when several other witnesses are due to testify.

The trial is before Senior Magistrate Kristine Fulcher.

The defunct institution’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Iftekhar Shams and co-defendants: Kumar Batukbhai Chadasama, Ashwin Kanji Patel, and Gurjeet Singh Vilkhu were charged with human trafficking.

The men were also slapped with money laundering charges, which they all pleaded not guilty to.

The defense team is headed by attorney Marcus Foster.

A number of Nepalese and Filipino nationals were unable to return home after paying huge sums to pursue promises of education and work in Saint Lucia at Lambirds Academy.

The group of foreigners claimed that they paid at least US$9,000 each to an agent from their region to secure a place at Lambirds Academy in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia.

At the Academy, the prospective students were to be trained in hospitality management and promised employment in the United States of America after completing the one-year programme. However, when the foreigners arrived in Saint Lucia to register for classes, the Academy was closed.

The visitors claimed to have mortgaged land and borrowed money to get to Saint Lucia and to finance the course. One student claimed that he spent over US$12,000 for his plane ticket and other expenses to get to Saint Lucia.

Government had sought assistance from the United Nations International Organization of Migration (IOM), to address the suspected human trafficking case, but the IOM has only helped in the repatriation of some students.

The remaining students are said to be the ones who will testify during the trial.

(7)(2)

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, i am one of the victims of that scandle. I lost my hope of getting refund my collage fee.I am the first one to return from their. I want to get in touch with anyone who lives there.
    The day when we came back is the most black day of my life. I am paying the cost of trying getting education from abroad. I thought their government is strong, education law is strong. When we reach ghede, just here is one room and one lady to teach us about how to act on bad costomer or good costummer.
    Everyone are reading same even their course are different. There is no textbook, their is no any subject. Is this called study?? When we talked about it with ceo he told me bring student and he will give me 20℅ of the fee. This might be good bussiness for him but the student who came for study will do what? Always walking in the sun.
    This scam should end coz the familes of those students are dying day by day.
    For more information plz contact me.
    Janlama. [email protected]

    (0)(0)

  2. It is time, it is high time to put an end to this corrupt and shameful matter.
    Let St. Lucia shine a light into the dark deeds of this international Mafia
    and send a strong message to the world, to never again use our Country
    to further their greed for their ill gotten riches. Now none of this would
    have been possible without the help of equally greedy partnership right
    here in St.Lucia. This is not the St. Lucia I once knew.
    We need to regain our pride, so the culprits must be taught a tough lesson.

    (3)(0)

  3. The SLP Govt tried their best with the connivance of a couple of senior police officers to derail those cases by sending some of the key witnesses surreptitiously out of state but they failed.

    (5)(3)

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