Two men and a woman appeared in court yesterday charged with a total of nine offences under the Trafficking in Persons Act and the Children’s Act.
HAQQANI ALI, 32, and MARIOXI TRUJILLO, 26, both of Chase Village, Chaguanas, were jointly charged with Trafficking in Children, one count each of Causing a Child to Engage in Prostitution and one count each of Knowingly Receiving a Financial Benefit from Trafficking in Children, when they appeared before Chaguanas Magistrate Adrian Darmanie, on Thursday 22nd September, 2022.
KERRY MATTHEWS, 32, of Diego Martin and Ali, were charged with one count each of Sexual Penetration of a Child.
Ali was granted bail in the sum of $900,000 with surety and is to report to the Chaguanas Police Station once a month between 6 am and 6 pm. He was also put under a daily curfew between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am at his home and ordered to stay at least 400 meters away from the victim.
Matthews was given bail with surety in the sum of $350,000. As part of his bail conditions, he has to report to the West End Police Station once a month between 6 am and 6 pm. He was also ordered to stay at least 400 feet away from the victim.
Trujillo was denied bail and told to apply to a Judge in Chambers for same.
The matters were adjourned to October 21st, 2022.
The trio was arrested on September 15th, 2022 in the Central Division and eight Latin American females inclusive of two minors rescued from a house in the Chase Village district.
The investigation was spearheaded and coordinated by Assistant Commissioner of Police ‘Criminal Division’ Sharon Gomez-Cooper with legal advice given by TTPS Legal Officer, Zaheer Ali.
The accused were charged by officers of the Counter-Trafficking Unit (CTU) following painstaking and meticulous investigations conducted by members of the CTU and the Special Investigation Task Force, with operational support from the Multi-Optional Police Section (MOPS) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
Acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob has praised the work of the officers in rescuing the victims and bringing this investigation to a successful close. He notes that continued partnership with members of the public is crucial in ending the scourge of human trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago.