TRINIDAD: 69 ‘slaves’ rescued from Arouca church

In a sting operation coordinated by the Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and executed by the Special Operation Response Team (SORT), the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) 69 T&T citizens (65 men and 4 women) ranging in ages from 20 to their 60’s.

Police say they were all being held captive. Most were in cages. Some were in handcuffs.

The operation commenced at approximately 12:15 am on Wednesday at a prominent church on Eastern Main Road, Arouca.

Search warrants were issued pursuant to Section 13 Chap. 12:10 of the Trafficking in Persons Act, after a period of monitoring and investigations.

CGriffith, Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations (Ag.) Jayson Forde, the TTPS’s Victim and Witness Support Unit, Northern Division C.I.D. are also on scene as at 5:30am today, assisted by a medical unit comprising of doctors, nurses and ambulance attendants from the North Central Regional Health Authority, who are also conducting initial on-scene examinations of the rescued nationals.

As a result, thus far, six peoples were arrested at the church which is supposed to be a rehabilitation centre. Reports were given to senior officers months ago about possible imprisonment of persons and Commissioner Griffith, who spearheaded the operation, is now investigating possible negligence of duties of officers.

Subsequent reports will be issued in the near future.

Investigations are continuing.

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