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Tuesday 12 November 2019
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22 women, girls rescued from guest house

Griffith: More crackdowns coming

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said more crackdowns on guest houses are expected as he continues to ramp up operations against prostitution, illegal gambling and other criminal enterprises.

Speaking with Newsday this morning, Griffith said Sunday night's raid of a guest house in St Anns was the result of intelligence gathering from various sources.

"There are several other avenues we will be looking at to crack down on these places and gather intelligence –through the use of informants, social media monitoring and others. A lot of these are sting operations so we won't be notifying all of the police in a division because we understand there are leaks."

He also advised the public to be vigilant of certain houses in their communities, noting that the house from which the 22 women and girls, most of them non-nationals, were freed was in full view of the public. Police said 20 men have been detained.

Griffith said while these and other crimes have been trivialised by the public, it was important to know that such illegal operations could lead to more serious crimes like murder. He said a gun was also seized at the location.

Griffith also said a large quantity of cash was found.

Police said the women and girls were taken to the Police Academy in St James where they were being interviewed by members of the Counter Trafficking Unit and the Children’s Authority.

Over 80 police officers from SORT, the Port of Spain CID, Port of Spain Municipal Police, Counter Trafficking Unit, the Child Protection Unit and the Financial Investigation Unit took part in the exercise.

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