OVER 20 teenage girls and young women may have been abducted and raped in what police believe to be a local and international porn racket in which the victims were filmed being raped.
The sex tapes, investigators said yesterday, could be fetching thousands of United States dollars on the international pornographic market which also tells the tale of teenage girls and women being wooed by a central Trinidad man posing as a fashion photographer. Police expressed fears that some of the rape victims might be on TT’s list of missing persons. As a result, the TT Police Service (TTPS) has since tweeted on social media sites, appealing to female members of the public to come forward with information about anyone who responded to the “photographer’s” newspaper and online advertisements seeking models.
Up to late yesterday, information technology technicians were decoding the hard drive of a computer which they seized from the home of the suspect, a 25-year-old man from east Trinidad. Police told Sunday Newsday yesterday that they viewed over 20 videos and photographs of the suspect raping the victims. The videos showed 20 teenagers and some women over 18 being raped.
The suspect was arrested on Thursday night following a sting operation by police of the Major Crimes Unit of the Central Division. The arrest was made after a 19-year-old woman fell victim on Wednesday when she responded to a newspaper advertisement titled, “Seeking models.”
Both the newspaper and online advertisements stated that a modelling agency in Malaysia would pay “models” up to TT$2,500 per photo shoot. The ads offer a six-month contract for aspiring models to be photographed for different international magazines. One advertisement read, “They are willing to pay US$150 per photo-shoot....msg me on WhatsApp if interested.”
The young woman, who on Wednesday responded to the newspaper ad, filed a report in the Chaguanas Police Station that she was raped and filmed while being sexually abused. The victim told police that before the man raped her, she saw him set-up camera equipment and afterwards he recorded his act of raping her.
When police swooped down on the suspect’s home and seized the sex tape, they discovered pornographic videos of teenage girls being raped since last November.
Police sources told Sunday Newsday that, based on the videos they have seen, the victims who were raped, were in tears pleading with the man to stop. Investigators said if they were successful in decoding the suspect’s computer hard-drive, they would be able to know more about the identities of his victims. Moreover, the police source said, the sordid videos could have been sold in foreign countries as part of a global pornographic ring which caters for people whose fetishes and fantasies were to view girls and women being raped.
The investigators also confirmed they had seized the cellphone of the suspect which also contained videos and photographs of the same victims being raped. In a release yesterday, the TTPS issued an appeal to young women who fell victim to the scam. A senior officer said while the victims featured in the sex tapes would be naturally embarrassed to come forward, they are asked to consider the fate of unknown victims, “in which some girls may have been raped, and not lived to tell the tale.”
Investigations are continuing under Snr Supt Inraj Balram, ASP Smith, Insp Alexander, Sgt Pierre, PCs Khan, Brown, Rajpat, WPC Maharaj-Hughes.