A Chinese national described by police as one of the masterminds behind a major sex and drug ring operating in Western Trinidad that was smashed more than two weeks ago was captured on Tuesday.
Intelligence sources told Guardian Media the man had been on the run ever since police raided a Westmoorings home at Western Circle on February 6, where several young girls between the ages of 15 and 19 years were rescued.
During that operation, headed by the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU), Financial Intelligence Branch (FIB) and Child Protection Unit (CPU), at least 18 suspects in West and East Trinidad were arrested and 19 South American females. Young women were also rescued from another house along Morne Coco Road in Diego Martin and the Stir Fry King Restaurant along Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook.
Sources told Guardian Media the police got information about the man’s whereabouts and were able to catch him inside a house in Westmoorings. Sources said the man had been trying to make plans to leave the country since the raid.
Intelligence sources say the suspect had leased the house on Western Drive, Westmoorings that police raided. He had entered this country with a Guyanese passport and was also in possession of a Jamaica license which Guardian Media has seen. A source familiar with the ongoing case explained that over the last few weeks they have been able to unearth detailed information about how the sex ring is being operated with the clout of the Asian mafia. Based on further information police believe the young women are smuggled in by boat after they are hand-picked by agents in Venezuela.
“This smuggling operation takes place mostly on the southern peninsula of Trinidad,” the source said.
The source revealed that most of these young women smuggled into this country have no documents and are usually lured under false pretences.
“What we have found out is that these young women are sold for US$1,500 to US$3,500 when they get here, depending on the area from where they come from in Venezuela,” the source said.
“If the young girls have a fairer complexion with green eyes, or blue eyes, or blonde hair they tend to fetch more money.”
When the girls are sold to what the intelligence source termed the underground Asian network, they are drugged and made to work as sex slaves. High-end Asian clientele pay up to TT$10,000 a night for these young girls, another intelligence source revealed in an interview with Guardian Media weeks ago. Intelligence sources say they have also zeroed in on a particular casino in South Trinidad which has been instrumental in facilitating this illegal underground trade.
“From what we understand this is the first place that the girls are carried to before they are put up for sale,” said the intelligence source.
Sources said this investigation remains a very complex one and is far-reaching in nature since they understand that the Asian mafia connection is fuelling the multi-million dollar world of sex slaves in Trinidad and Tobago.