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Cop charged with human trafficking

PORT OF SPAIN — A police constable attached to the Southern Division has been arrested in connection with reports of an international human-trafficking ring. Officials from the Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau said they were also investigating a Princes Town businessman’s link to the ring.

The officer is expected to be charged with human trafficking and rape, arising out of the arrest of 14 Colombian women in Princes Town and Marabella last month. He was held by his colleagues yesterday shortly after he appeared as a complainant in a case in the San Fernando Magistrates Court. He was taken to the San Fernando Police Station, where he was questioned by senior officers.

The file on the investigation was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for instructions on how to proceed on three charges of human trafficking and one count of rape. Last month, a team of CID and Immigration officers arrested three Colombian women in a house in Princes Town. Through a Spanish translator the women claimed they had been kidnapped.

Eleven others, who were reportedly soliciting for sex, were held during a raid at a hotel in Marabella. A Colombian man also was arrested during the sting operation after he allegedly offered immigration officials $20,000 for the return of the women. The police officer was also questioned about his involvement in the operation of the hotel.

On March 10, another joint operation by police and immigration officials led to the arrests of 72 Dominican Republic nationals, two Jamaicans, one Guyanese and three Chinese men at a bar in Marabella. (Guardian)

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