Ten female Latin Americans were on Tuesday rescued by police during a special operation in Montrose, Chaguanas. There were two minors among the group.
After they were rescued, the victims were taken from a residence at Eric Street West in a police bus to an unknown location for their safety.
The operation was conducted from 5 am to 2 pm yesterday by officers of the Counter-Trafficking Unit, the Special Investigations Unit and the Special Investigations Task Force, along with operational support from the Multi Operational Police Section and Inter-Agency Task Force.
Acting on information, officers reportedly went to the compound which houses a private home, several apartments, a shop and a small food establishment and began searching for the victims, who were allegedly being forced to work as prostitutes.
During the exercise, six Trinidadian men, a Trinidadian woman; a Latin American man and a Jamaican woman were also arrested.
Officers also seized several items of evidential value during the operation.
When Guardian Media visited the area, residents were reluctant to speak about the goings-on at the “facility.”
Several people, however, expressed surprise over the exercise. They claimed that the property is owned by a police officer from the Central Division.
One said, “Since they opened in 2019, we have made numerous reports to the police…sometimes you would see a van or two come or drive past…but nobody is ever arrested or charged with anything.”
One woman was seen holding tight to her young children as she looked on quietly.
When Guardian Media approached two women who had been questioned by police, they declined to speak and instead began to threaten legal action if their photographs were published.
However, one man commended the police for their efforts to “clean up the neighbourhood,” but said, “Just now, you go see they come right back here.”