Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 24th 2014 Contents A21
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The National Security Ministry s Count-
er Trafficking Unit is investigating two
nightclub workers for their possible
involvement in a human trafficking ring.
On Saturday, Penal police arrested the
men, ages 27 and 31, during a raid at Club
J s Bar and Lounge at Batchiya Village, Penal.
Police also arrested 17 Dominican Repub-
lican women between the ages of 17 to 44,
who were found hiding in the club s ceiling
when it began falling.
Police said the men, who were detained
in Penal over the weekend, were handed
over the CTU as part of an ongoing inves-
tigation. The women were transferred to
the Immigration Division, where officials
were checking to see whether they had the
necessary travel documents.
Officers said it was possible that the
women would not be charged, but sent back
to their country. Police said the club has
been under surveillance for some time.
They said it has an elaborate security sys-
tem, which included electronically locked
gates and remote monitoring CCTV cam-
In February, 33-year-old Santa Flora pipe
fitter Garvin Alexis was stabbed to death
by two men, after talking with a female bar
patron. In June 2011, 11 women and five
men were arrested during another raid at
the club after police found the women
allegedly dancing in a lewd and suggestive
Penal nightclub workers under
probe for human trafficking
In its 2014 Human Trafficking Report, the US
State Department listed T&T as a destination, transit
and possible source for adults and children for sex
trafficking and forced labour.
It said nationals from Dominican Republic, Guyana,
Venezuela and Colombia were also victims of sex traf-
ficking in local brothels and clubs.
A 2013 study has shown that owners of some broth-
els and nightclubs recruit women and girls for the
prostitution and keep their passports.
The department said while some improvement has
been made to T&T anti-human trafficking efforts,
Government does not fully comply with the minimum
standards for the elimination of trafficking.
"The government proactively investigated govern-
ment officials for trafficking-related complicity, however
it has yet to convict any individuals under its anti-
trafficking law. A lack of formalised stand-alone iden-
tification procedures for front line responders hindered
the government s ability to identify additional trafficking
victims and increased the risk."
It recommended that the State prosecute cases that
were investigated under the Trafficking in Persons
Act of 2011 and convict, and sentence offenders. Ade-
quate resources to the Counter Trafficking Unit to
carry out its mandate and the development of a
national action plan to address law enforcement efforts
and victim care were among the other suggestions.
...US: Govt not
doing enough to
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