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54 foreigners held

By CECILY ASSON Tuesday, July 22 2014

A ROUND-UP by police over the weekend, at several nightclubs, bars, pleasure dens and restaurants, has resulted in the arrest of 54 foreign nationals including men and women, some of whom police believe, were brought in to service the local sex trade.

Police arrested 37 nationals of the Dominican Republic, among them seven men, during a raid at a Chaguanas nightclub during the early morning hours yesterday.

According to a police report, between the hours of 11 pm on Sunday and 5 am yesterday, officers led by Snr Supt Johnny Abraham and including Insp Terrence Williams, Sgt Jitindra Toolaram and others executed a search warrant at a night club in Chase Village.

The officers arrested 30 women and seven men, all from the Dominican Republic. They are to be charged with entering this country illegally, violating immigration laws and engaging in human trafficking.

An Asian restaurateur and a Santa Cruz businessman believed responsible for bringing in these illegal foreign nationals were also arrested and are assisting police in their investigations.

All of the illegal immigrants were yesterday taken to the Freeport Police Station before being transferred to the Immigration Department in Port-of-Spain where up to late yesterday evening they were still being processed.

Also assisting in the overnight exercise were officers of the Central Division Crime Unit and Task Force.

The arrests yesterday brought to 54, the total number of foreign nationals held at nightclubs over the weekend.

At 1 am on Saturday, officers from the Counter Trafficking Unit, Special Branch, South Western Division, CID and Guard and Emergency Branch, in an exercise, arrested 17 female nationals of the Dominican Republic at a nightclub in Penal.

Among the females was a 15-year-old girl who police officers found hiding in the ceiling of the nightclub. Police also seized documents from the proprietor in relation to the business place since the licence was found to contain irregularities.

Police also revealed that the business place has been under surveillance for sometime and upon entering the establishment they found an elaborate system of electronic locked gates and remote monitoring CCTV cameras.

Two men associated with the establishment are expected to be charged for human trafficking.

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