'Slaves' in Trinidad in 2019? Police rescued 69 from an Arouca church
A sting operation by the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has uncovered what can only be described as modern-day slavery.
Officers on Wednesday rescued 69 people, four of them women, who were being held captive in cages at a church along the Eastern Main Road, Arouca.
They have so far arrested six people in connection with the disturbing find.
The church they were imprisoned at is a rehabilitation centre.
The men and women, all Trinidad and Tobago nationals, range in ages from their 20's to their 60's. Some were kept in handcuffs.
Police say the operation began around 12.15 am on Wednesday. Search warrants were issued for human trafficking, after a period of monitoring and investigations.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations (Ag.) Jayson Forde, the TTPS’s Victim and Witness Support Unit, and officers of the Northern Division CID were on scene at 5.30 am.
A medical unit comprising of doctors, nurses and ambulance attendants from the North Central Regional Health Authority conducted initial on-scene examinations of the rescued nationals.
Police say senior officers were tipped off to the possible illegal imprisonment of persons months ago. An investigation has since been launched by Commissioner Griffith to determine whether there was negligence of duties on the part of officers.
Griffith will provide updates on the investigation in due course.