Anthony Smith, a Tunapuna businessman, who was the first person to be convicted as a human trafficker in Trinidad and Tobago, was on Sunday evening captured by a team of police officers.
Smith had absconded from his court trial last September and has since been on the run from law enforcement though having been convicted for several offences between 2014 and 2015.
In a statement the TTPS said a female apprentice, 20, of Kelly Village, who police believe was aiding and abetting the fugitive has also been arrested in the police operation and is currently assisting a team of detectives with ongoing enquiries.
The TTPS said at 6 pm on February 11, officers of the North-Central Division Gang and Intelligence Unit (NCDGIU) along with the North-Central Division Task Force (NCDTF) and North Central-Community Policing Officers continued surveillance at a location in Kelly Village, Caroni, where a companion of Smith was observed.
NCDGIU, NCDTF and NCD Community Police officers subsequently moved in and captured and arrested Anthony Smith and his companion. Smith, 38, was first arrested and charged on January 5, 2016, for recruiting a child for the purpose of trafficking; 17 charges of sexually penetrating a child; five charges of child prostitution and three charges of assault.
The offences occurred during the period December 2014 to July 2015.
On April 28, the matter was set for trial on September 18, 2023.
The trial commenced on that date and after two days of evidence, the accused absconded.
The trial continued in the absence of the accused and on November 2nd, 2023, a jury found him guilty on all five counts of Trafficking of a Child. He was sentenced to 15 years on each count with the sentences to run concurrently and to begin on his arrest.
The exercise was spearheaded by ACP Subero, Snr Supt Smith, Supt Norbutt, coordinated by ASP Ramharack, Insp Greene, and supervised by Sgts (Ag.) Dardaine, Pamphill, Cpls Greenidge, Scipio, and Tannis.