190,000+ Facebook fans; millions of page views every month, locally and worldwide — St. Lucia News Online… still ‘The People’s Choice’ :)

Trinidad: Venezuelan women held as sex slaves in Los Iros

By Trinidad Guardian

 Share This On:

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — A se­cret agri­cul­tur­al plot in Los Iros, where five Venezue­lan women are be­ing as sex slaves, has been un­cov­ered by vil­lagers who are now call­ing on law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties to in­ves­ti­gate. Vil­lagers say they have made sev­er­al re­ports to po­lice but the women still have not been res­cued.

Many res­i­dents in the area told Guardian Me­dia they be­lieve al­leged po­lice in­volve­ment in this well or­gan­ised hu­man traf­fick­ing has pre­vent­ed oth­er law en­force­ment of­fi­cers from act­ing. The women be­ing held hostage in the camps came to Trinidad and To­ba­go last week.

In this Los Iros case, a vil­lager who re­quest­ed anonymi­ty said the women are “be­ing pimped out for $400 and $500 an hour.” Two peo­ple who tipped off the Erin po­lice were se­vere­ly beat­en last week, the vil­lager said, rais­ing their fears that po­lice of­fi­cers were in­volved in the ring.

Tra­vers­ing through a thor­ough­fare of agri­cul­tur­al ac­cess roads, pri­vate roads and for­est tracks used fre­quent­ly by Venezue­lans, Guardian Me­dia was giv­en an ac­count of how the hu­man traf­fick­ing op­er­ates in this area.

“There are times when no­body can come down here be­cause of what is go­ing on. Be­fore they were bring­ing in guns and drugs but more so now they are bring­ing in Venezue­lan women,” the source said.

“They walk up this hill­side and hide in hous­es un­til they are picked up. Some of the res­i­dents from around here know ex­act­ly what is go­ing on. The po­lice know who they are. Every­one is in­volved in this op­er­a­tion so we have to be care­ful who we talk with.”

Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent of the South West­ern Di­vi­sion De­onar­ine Bas­deo, when con­tact­ed by Guardian Me­dia about the al­le­ga­tions of po­lice in­volve­ment, said, “This is the first time we are hear­ing of this. No­body has come to make any re­port but now that we have the in­for­ma­tion we will be in­ves­ti­gat­ing. I in­tend to send a task force to in­ves­ti­gate. Yes, there is a lot of agri­cul­tur­al camps there and we will check it.”

A three-month Sun­day Guardian in­ves­ti­ga­tion by GML jour­nal­ists Mark Bas­sant and Hema Ramkissoon has al­ready un­cov­ered an il­lic­it sex trade span­ning the coun­try, from the re­mote port of Ce­dros to high-ris­es in West­moor­ings, where sex slaves as young as 15 years-old are held against their will, locked in rooms and forced to have sex with men. Oth­er young women are lured to this coun­try on the premise of a job by hu­man traf­fick­ers and are lat­er forced in­to sex slav­ery un­til they work off the debt for their jour­ney.

A source who re­quest­ed anonymi­ty said since the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty im­posed a ban on the Venezue­lan fer­ries which trans­port Venezue­lans legal­ly to Trinidad, more peo­ple have been com­ing in il­le­gal­ly un­der the eyes of the law en­force­ment of­fi­cers in­volved in the il­lic­it ac­tiv­i­ty. Some of the ar­eas where they are en­ter­ing in­clude RE Road, Jef­fers Dri­ve, An­duez Road, Beach Camp Road, and Erin Beach. Fur­ther along the coasts, Venezue­lans are al­so com­ing in through Morne Di­a­blo and Moru­ga.

The women were picked up at a beach off An­duez Trace, Los Iros and kept in the camp.

How­ev­er, al­though the Trinidad and To­ba­go Coast Guard, Cus­toms and Ex­cise Di­vi­sion, Im­mi­gra­tion and po­lice have been do­ing pa­trols in many of these ar­eas, no search­es are be­ing done on the aban­doned hous­es and farm­ers’ camps which stand on the coasts, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Los Iros and Erin.

Guardian Me­dia vis­it­ed the area known as Co­cal man­groves in Los Iros yes­ter­day in an at­tempt to find the camp where the women were be­ing held.

“Men are go­ing to the camp and rap­ing the women. The last I heard was two women were still be­ing kept at the camp. This is a se­cret and many peo­ple do not want to talk about it. Some­one could end up dead if this is not han­dled care­ful­ly,” said the source.

An­oth­er res­i­dent who lives near the Los Iros Beach said on Sat­ur­day night four boats dropped off about three dozen Venezue­lans, most of them women. There was one child who ap­peared to be about eight years old.

A Venezue­lan source said some of the women who are brought in­to Trinidad for pros­ti­tu­tion are al­so kid­napped in their home­land.

“Things are so bad there that Trinida­di­an kid­nap­pers with links to crim­i­nal gangs are kid­nap­ping girls, some of whom are as young as 13 years. They are told that they are ow­ing $20,000 as a fee to get to Trinidad and they have to work to pay back their debts,” the source said.

Sev­er­al promi­nent sports bars and guest hous­es in South Trinidad are used to pros­ti­tute the women and the own­ers pock­et lu­cra­tive sums gar­nered from this pros­ti­tu­tion ring.

Since 2014, it is es­ti­mat­ed that over five mil­lion peo­ple have fled hor­rif­ic liv­ing con­di­tions in Venezuela. Food and med­i­c­i­nal short­ages have forced peo­ple to leave be­hind all their pos­ses­sions and flee to oth­er coun­tries in search of a bet­ter life. An es­ti­mat­ed 60,000 Venezue­lans have fled to Trinidad and To­ba­go and many are hop­ing to be of­fi­cial­ly reg­is­tered on May 31 in Gov­ern­ment’s amnesty pro­gramme so they can get a chance to work.

Re­cent in­ci­dents in­volv­ing Venezue­lan women:

Oc­to­ber 2018: A 19-year-old Venezue­lan woman is beat­en in a house in Debe and her beat­ing post­ed on so­cial me­dia by her al­leged per­pe­tra­tor. A Diego Mar­tin man was lat­er charged with kid­nap­ping and wound­ing with in­tent.

Feb­ru­ary 9, 2019: 19 Venezue­lan women res­cued from homes in West­moor­ings and Stir Fry restau­rant Wood­brook af­ter po­lice smash hu­man traf­fick­ing ring and lat­er ar­rest a Chi­nese man and Venezue­lan woman who were slapped with 43 sex charges.

Feb­ru­ary 12, 2019: Two men, in­clud­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer, are ar­rest­ed and charged with kid­nap­ping and as­sault­ing a 24-year-old Venezue­lan woman in Diego Mar­tin af­ter she had pre­vi­ous­ly es­caped from them.

April 12, 2019: Four Venezue­lan women were res­cued from a ‘fake po­lice’ sta­tion in Diego Mar­tin af­ter they had been ab­duct­ed by three men and lat­er raped. The men were lat­er charged with false im­pris­on­ment and hav­ing sex­u­al in­ter­course with two of the women.

(0)(0)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.