A TRINIDADIAN man and Venezuelan woman who were charged with trafficking in persons and false imprisonment on Wednesday have been denied bail by a Chaguanas magistrate.
Venezuelan Geraldine Abreu, 20, and Clement Aleong, 30, of Cunupia, were charged on Wednesday with trafficking in persons and false imprisonment. Aleong alone was also slapped with a kidnapping charge.
On Thursday, they appeared before Chaguanas magistrate Adrian Darmanie, who read out the indictable charges.
In denying Aleong bail, Darmanie said he was doing so because of the serious charges and the strength of the prosecution’s case, based on the summary of the facts provided by the police.
For Abreu, he said it was because she was a non-national, among other reasons. They were both ordered to return to court on May 27.
The two were represented by attorney Bhimal Maharajh.
In his bail application, Maharajh said Aleong was the father of a one-year-old child, was in a common-law relationship, and worked as a labourer.
Although the police could not provide a criminal record, since the system is not working, the attorney admitted his client had a larceny matter against him some ten years ago, which he said was eventually dismissed in his favour.
For Abreu, Maharajh provided a statutory declaration that said she migrated to Trinidad in September 2019 and had registered, and re-registered in the Government’s Venezuelan migrant exercise. She is the mother of two children who are still in Venezuela.
He said she lived with her husband in Cunupia and was applying to the immigration department for residential status. She had no pending charges or previous convictions in either Trinidad or Venezuela.
In a release on Wednesday, police said the charges against the two were laid after a Venezuelan woman reported she was kidnapped and taken to an apartment where she was held for three days for prostitution.
The release said on April 23, officers of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), with the assistance of the Multi-Option Police Section (MOPS), the Counter Trafficking Unit, and the Crime Scene Unit, went to Southern Main Road, Cunupia, where the woman was found and rescued.
Four suspects were arrested and a silver Toyota Aqua was seized for evidential purposes. In addition to the two people were charged, two others were released pending further enquiries.