A man charged with human trafficking has been remanded into custody and is expected to reappear before the courts on Monday 7th February 2022.

An official statement from the Ministry of National Security reports that the suspect was charged following a security operation which resulted in the rescue of 27 Latin American females.

That exercise was conducted on Friday 31 December 2021, led by the Counter Trafficking Unit in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Guard and Emergency Branch, Special Operations Response Team, and Crime Scene Investigations Unit; the Inter-Agency Task Force; and the Trinidad and Tobago Immigration Division.

The accused, 44-year-old Samuel Weekes, of Duke Street, Port of Spain, was arrested by the Special Investigations Task Force on 28th January 2022, at the Piarco International Airport while attempting to leave the country.  He was subsequently charged with trafficking in persons, rape, and being a gang leader.

The accused faced a Chaguanas Magistrate on Wednesday February 2nd to answer to the charges.  The court matter was adjourned to next Monday.

The investigation was spearheaded by Superintendent Michael Veronique of the Police Service, in collaboration with the Director of the Counter Trafficking Unit, Alana Wheeler, and Legal Officer Zaheer Ali in the Police Service.  It was supervised by (Ag.) Corporal Rajesh Antoine of the Special Investigation Task Force.

The Ministry of National Security notes that its Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) continues to work closely with law enforcement partners to investigate Trafficking in Persons in Trinidad and Tobago, and especially to secure prosecutions and convictions against human traffickers.

The Ministry is encouraging persons who know of or suspect human trafficking activity to contact the CTU via its toll-free Hotline, at 800-4288 or 800-4CTU.