The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and Special Operation Response Team are reporting that early Wednesday morning officers rescued 69 men and women of varying ages from a church (rehabilitation center)  in Arouca. Some of those held captive were kept in cages and handcuffs in what they are calling “Modern-Day Slavery”

See details of the TTPS release below:

In a sting operation coordinated by the Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and executed by the Special Operation Response Team (SORT), the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has rescued sixty-nine (69) T&T citizens (65 men and 4 women) ranging in ages from 20 to their 60’s, all held captive, where most of them were in cages and some handcuffs.

The operation commenced at approximately 12:15am on Wednesday 9th October 2019, at a prominent church on Eastern Main Road, Arouca. Search warrants were issued pursuant to Section 13 Chap. 12:10 of the Trafficking in Persons Act, after a period of monitoring and investigations.

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations (Ag.) Jayson Forde, the TTPS’s Victim and Witness Support Unit, Northern Division C.I.D. are also on scene as at 5:30am today, assisted by a medical unit comprising of doctors, nurses and ambulance attendants from the North Central Regional Health Authority, who are also conducting initial on-scene examinations of the rescued nationals.

As a result, thus far, six (6) persons were arrested at the church which is supposed to be a rehabilitation center.

Reports were given to senior officers months ago about possible imprisonment of persons and Commissioner Griffith, who spearheaded the operation, is now investigating possible negligence of duties of officers. Subsequent reports will be issued in the near future.

Investigations are continuing.

 

TTPS Release