A team of South Western Division Task Force and Erin CID searched 22 camps in the Los Iros district looking for a makeshift brothel with Venezuelan women on Monday night but came out empty-handed.
Divisional Commander, Snr Supt Deonarine Basdeo told Guardian Media on Tuesday that he believes the claim by villagers was fake news being peddled that has sparked concerns of human trafficking happening in the quiet farming community.
However, Basdeo promised that if anyone comes to him with information on illegal sex trade, the police will take action.
On Monday, a Los Iros villager reported that five female Venezuelan immigrants were being prostituted for $400 and $500 an hour at camps in the community. A source said that men would also go into the camp and rape the women. The residents said that when two people tipped off Erin police about what was taking place, they were severely beaten, raising fears that police were also involved.
Basdeo said that there have been no reports of people being beaten recorded in the diary at the Erin Police Station. He said the last time there was a report of an assault was on April 26, which turned out to be a case of domestic violence.
He questioned that if the Erin police did not take the residents’ report, why didn’t the witnesses go to another police station or even to the Police Complaints Authority.
“I believe it is fake news. We have several camps in the Erin district, along the Resource Engineering Road. There are farmers using this area. These camps are mostly vacant during the night. They are used during the course of the day to store chemicals and tools. I am not saying that if immigrants land at the Los Iros Beach they would not go there, but we have nothing to suggest that there are brothels,” Basdeo said.
He said that the camps were an unlikely location for human traffickers and sex workers because the area was too exposed to prying eyes. He said that having such an operation would require guards and other workers in the area which would be easy to spot.
“If Guardian Media is willing to supply the name of the people who made the allegations, we will go to them and investigate. Let them come forward. You don’t have to go to the Erin station, you can come directly to me,” Basdeo said.