Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith says he is taking action against human trafficking and the exploitation of women and minors, paying particular attention to night clubs, bars, and brothels where these women are being used.
In a statement yesterday, Griffith said there are a few police officers who continue to compromise these operations because they have a vested interest in this trade.
He said there are officers who have a stake in the illegal activities of these clubs and tip off operators of these establishments before an exercise, so that when they raid, nothing is found.
“Therefore, to curb this, in the same way he has used the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) to have covert sting operations to rescue kidnap victims and make huge drug busts and weapon seizures, the Commissioner of Police is now also using SORT to lead raids on these night clubs, bars, and brothels, and success is being ignited by using SORT instead of using officers stationed in the Divisions where these clubs are located” he said.
Griffith said he is aware that there are certain elements who are averse to operations, activities, and successes of SORT; because ‘big business’ is being affected, persons will use all angles in attempts to discredit and bring this team down.
The latest raid conducted by SORT and the Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) in Cunupia at a hotel on Saturday night, resulted in the detention of 12 Venezuelan females, the arrests 3 Jamaican and 5 Nepalese men, and the owner of the local brothel.
The Counter Trafficking Unit and SORT are now actively conducting enquiries into the status of these women to ascertain whether they are victims of prostitution and human trafficking.
Despite increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, Trinidad and Tobago has failed to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. This is according to the United States Department of State in its 2019 Trafficking in Persons (TiPs) report.