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Sunday 25 August 2019
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40 foreigners held during police raid

Central Division police held 39 Venezuelans and a Jamaican in an anti-crime exercise in Chaguanas between Sunday night and yesterday morning.

A police release said the exercise was co-ordinated by acting Snr Supt Samuel Seepersad and included members of the Criminal Investigations Department, Central Division Task Force, the Special Operations Unit, the Canine Branch and the Court and Process Branch.

It began at 10 pm on Sunday and ended at 4 am yesterday. Police went to a bar and guesthouse on Railway Road, where they found the foreigners, who are believed to be in this country illegally.

The police contacted Immigration Division and investigations are ongoing.

The raid on Sunday came a week after a similar raid at a brothel in Cunupia which netted 12 Venezuelan women, three Jamaican men and five Nepalese men. The owner was also arrested.

The raid in Cunupia was carried out by the Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) and the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), who are investigating whether foreigners, in particular women, are victims of prostitution or trafficking.

COP Gary Griffith, in an earlier interview, told Newsday SORT will be taking the lead in targeting establishments dealing with human trafficking.

He said some police officers continued to compromise these operations because “they have a vested interest in the trade” and tip off operators before police raids, so nothing incriminating could be found.

He said just as SORT was used for covert sting operations to rescue kidnap victims, make drug busts and weapons seizures, it will now be used to lead raids on such places instead of regular police.

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