Monday 30 March, 2020

Cops among three formally charged with trafficking Venezuelan minors

From left to right:  Ag Insp Rajesh Gookool, Ag Sgt Richard Lalbeharry, Matthew Ross

From left to right: Ag Insp Rajesh Gookool, Ag Sgt Richard Lalbeharry, Matthew Ross

Two police officers, last attached to the Central Division, are among three officially charged with trafficking in person (child) for the purpose of exploitation under Section 18 of the Trafficking in Persons Act.

47-year-old acting Inspector Rajesh Gookool and 43-year-old acting Sergeant Richard Lalbeharry were also charged with receiving a benefit knowing that it resulted from the offence of trafficking in a child, supporting a gang in the commission of gang-related activity and misbehaviour in public office. Gookool was additionally charged with sexual penetration of a child.

The lone civilian, 39-year-old Matthew Ross, a bar manager of Freeport, was charged with supporting a gang in the commission of gang-related activity.

The trio was indicted on Monday and is expected to appear before a Chaguanas Magistrate on Ash Wednesday.

The men were among four suspects arrested by officers of a Special Task Force put together by the Commissioner of Police in conjunction with the Counter-Trafficking Unit during an anti-crime exercise in the Central Division on Friday. The Special Task Force was assisted by officers of the Special Operations Response Team and the Inter-Agency Task Force.

The accused were suspected of trafficking in persons, mainly minors, from Venezuela.

 

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