PORT OF SPAIN: Sunday December 21 2008, The Guardian newspaper of Trinidad published a disturbing report in which it alleges that human traffickers are on the prowl, looking to lure children and women to sell them for big money.
The report states that “children, because they live longer, are sold for over $200,000. Adults can fetch as much as $100,000. They are mostly used as sex slaves and sometimes for slave labour.
“Sometimes, they are used to make pay-offs in the drug trade — a well placed source informed the Sunday Guardian.”
The report stated that men owing drug lords are being lured into capturing humans, who will be sold for payment of their debts.
A source, pleading for anonymity for fear of his life, said victims were drugged almost immediately after capture and their cellphones switched off.
A Sunday Guardian investigation revealed that the lucrative human trafficking ring is operating in the Cascade/St Ann’s area, between Sangre Grande and Tunapuna, Diego Martin and in South.
Women have mysteriously disappeared from the Cascade area without a trace during the past year and “several straying young boys have vanished from the streets of San Fernando“.
The report further stated that the clandestine local trade, which operates through a well organised network and is supported by several powerful agencies, is linked to an international human trafficking ring.
Even some policemen are convinced that there is a human trafficking ring in Trinidad and they suspect that a number of missing persons have been victims of the trade, but were reluctant to say more.
According to the newspaper report, “fingers are pointing at a popular businessman, who has been described as the ‘big man’ in the human trade.”
“He’s popular. He is also linked with other businessmen across the country.”
The information was unearthed by a local resident after a female relative went missing several months ago. The man said his family, desperate for answers, launched their own investigation with the support of a police officer and local private investigators.
We will follow up with this story and keep you posted.