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Illegal immigrants held at nightclub

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thirty women from the Dominican Republic who were arrested at a Central nightclub were taken to the Immigration Division to be processed late Monday night. The women, along with seven men, were arrested by Central Division police in a raid on the La Bar Rumba nightclub at  Southern Main Road, Edinburgh Village, Chaguanas, in the early hours of Monday morning.



Among the men were the owner of a popular Asian restaurant and a businessman from Santa Cruz. The 37 were arrested on charges of entering the country illegally, violating immigration laws and human trafficking. The women were detained at the Chaguanas Police Station until they were taken to the Immigration Division on Monday night. 



Sgt Jitendra Tooleram of the Chaguanas CID, one of the officers involved in the raid said they would be kept at the Immigration Division’s Detention Centre, Eastern Main Road, Aripo, until their status could be determined. They would not go through the court, he said. “Immigration will look at the issue of human trafficking.”



 Under the supervision of Central Division head Snr Supt Johnny Abraham, Insp Terrence Williams and Sgt Tooleram, members of the Central Division Major Crimes Unit and Task Force searched the La Bar Rumba club from 11 pm on Sunday to 5 am Monday.
A spokesperson for La Bar Rumba told the Guardian that it was not involved in human trafficking. 



“We don’t facilitate any kind of illegal activities here. The newspapers can come anytime and see the premises. There is nothing to indicate we are doing anything other than a legitimate business. We have our licence and everything.” The spokesperson said the club has a Latin night, a reggae night and so on. 



“We don’t scan people to see who is coming upstairs. I don’t know if people coming here are illegal. Immigration will have to determine that.” La Bar Rumba is located on the upper floor of a three-storey orange-coloured building in Edinburgh Village, while a sports bar occupies the ground level. 


Recently on the Akash Vani morning radio talk show Panchayat, the hosts criticised the police for not doing anything about reputed brothels operating in Central and elsewhere in T&T. Asked for his response by the Guardian, Abraham said, “There is nothing in Central I can’t touch. It all depends on surveillance and proper intelligence. “You just can’t run into a place just so. You might run in and not meet anybody.”


There is little or no information online about La Bar Rumba except a telephone number and a large map showing Colombia and other parts of South America, the Caribbean islands and Mexico. Two spots are highlighted in the Caribbean islands: the La Bar Rumba club and another Longdenville nightclub.


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