Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 1st 2015 Contents A15
November 1, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
A model displays an outfit
from retailer 212
Location/Blaanix during the
Elements of style, for men
held last Sunday at the
Cascadia Hotel and
Conference Centre in St Ann's,
Port-of-Spain. : A
A model walks down
the runway wearing
an outfit from retailer
CHARLES KONG SOO
The smuggling of
human cargo has higher
profits and lower risks
than smuggling drugs.
That is the view of crim-
Figueira. He said human
smugglers and traffickers
can make as much as
US$100,000 on one illegal
migrant to transport him to
Speaking in an interview
on Thursday, Figueira said,
"Just as the Mexican cartels
are now dominating the
drug trade in the Caribbean, they have now intro-
duced a new dimension to human smuggling in
the Caribbean by coyotes or human smugglers.
T&T is a major transshipment point.
"The majority of people entering the Caribbean
are moving to enter US territory.
"They are more valuable than carrying drugs,
you make more money per head.
"It depends on what package they buy ranging
from US$35,000, $50,000 to the US$100,000 pre-
"If you go for anything cheaper than that it
means you will end up getting abused."
He said if the smuggled person had the where-
withal, coupled with the complicity of immigration
officials, for the US$100,000 premium package he
could get a new identity, T&T passport, legitimate
documents and a plane ticket to the US.
Figueira said for US35,000 to $50,000, a coyote
would facilitate the transport of an illegal migrant
who wanted to go to the US from T&T to Belize,
to Mexico and over land to the US border.
He said another popular destination was Cana-
da---the coyote would move his human cargo across
the US border, into Chicago, along the Great Lakes
area and across into Canada.
Figueira said Haitians were the largest group of
illegal immigrants heading to the US via the Domini-
can Republic/Puerto Rico route, followed by Indian
He said Syrian refugees escaping the war in their
country flew to Antigua, the US Virgin Islands,
then to the US.
Figueira said the majority of people being smug-
gled were coming from Asia and was big business:
Chinese, Indian nationals, Nepalese, Filipinos and
there was a code of silence. No one
spoke if they were caught by author-
He said agencies such as the US
Immigration and Customs Enforce-
ment made the distinction between
human smuggling and human traf-
Human smuggling involves a per-
son voluntarily wanting to get smug-
gled across international borders and
paying a smuggler or coyote to facil-
Human trafficking was the trans-
portation of people with the intent
of selling or exploiting them in pros-
titution and forced labour.
Figueira said the two forms of
smuggling were intermixed as coyotes often exploited
the people they transported, reneging on their orig-
inal agreement and extorting more money from
He said that it was unknown which country had
the most people coming to T&T. Official figures
in the possession of the authorities were only of
people who passed through immigration and over-
Figueira said illegal immigrants didn t necessarily
clear immigration, since T&T s coast line was
He said the majority of them were economic
migrants and some people fled their homeland
because of war, like the Syrians.
Figueira said many of the migrants didn t want
to live in the Caribbean or Latin America, and their
final destination was the US and Canada.
He said when they landed in T&T transport was
waiting to whisk them away to nondescript safe
houses prior to shipping them out.
Figueira said immigration was the agency issuing
documentation. He, however, said, the illegal
migrants didn t want work permits. Figueira said
they placed no strain on the economy to maintain
them, they paid an advanced fee to the coyotes for
transport and food and doctors were even provided
for them when they got sick.
Figueira said one of the most lucrative types of
human trafficking was the smuggling of children
for the sex trade where they were bought and sold
over to paedophiles.
Figueira said smuggled children were considered
extremely valuable and were usually accompanied
by an adult, either a family member or guardian
and travelled by air.
ON THE CATWALK
more profitable than drugs
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US STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
GRIFFITH ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN 2014
Criminologist Daurius Figueira.
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