The Guyana police say they will lay human trafficking charges against a 45-year-old pilot and businessman whom they said had been bringing Venezuelan nationals into the country over a six-month period.
“Following the investigation, legal advice was given by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for Orlando Charles to be charged with 16 counts of Trafficking in Persons,” police said in a statement.
It said that Charles had been engaged in illegal activities trafficking in the Spanish-speaking nationals between the Mazaruni River in Region 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Georgetown between November 1, 2022, and May 18, 2023.
The police said that the victims reported the matter to the law enforcement authorities, resulting in the Trafficking in Persons Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department immediately conducting an investigation.
The police said it would continue to work with other stakeholders to conduct intelligence-led operations, spot inspections, awareness, and training in every region of Guyana.
Guyana and the Bahamas were the only two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that the United States said met the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking.
Both countries maintained their Tier One ranking on the 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report.