Tuesday 29 September, 2020

Woman, 67, on labour exploitation charge involving Bolivian national

A 67-year-old business woman has appeared before an Arima Magistrate charged with receiving a 27-year-old male Bolivian national for the purpose of labour exploitation, which occurred on January 23, 2013.

The accused has been identified as Radica Persad of Liam Crescent, Savonetta Estate, Pt Lisas.

She is the owner of the R Persad Service Station, Princes Town.

Persad appeared before Magistrate Debby-Ann Bassaw in the Arima 3rd Magistrates’ Court on Monday to answer to the charge.

She was not called upon to plead as the charge was laid indictably.

The Magistrate upheld the $200,000 bail which was granted to her by a Justice of the Peace on August 31.

As a condition of bail, the accused was ordered to surrender her passport. She was also ordered to report to the Couva Police Station between 7 am and 7 pm every Thursday.

The matter was adjourned to October 1 and transferred to the Arima 1st Magistrates’ court.

According to police, the accused is alleged to have brought the victim into the country via the Piarco International Airport on January 23 2013, after promising him a job and a substantial salary.

Following his arrival, she is alleged to have seized his passport, making him work at her home and then at her business place for two years while underpaying him for his services. The victim allegedly managed to escape from the accused in December 2015 and with the assistance of the Living Water Community, he was able to make a report to the Counter Trafficking Unit on January 27, 2017.

An investigation was launched into the matter and the accused was arrested at her business place by officers of the Counter Trafficking Unit with the assistance of officers of the Princes Town Police Station on August 30, 2018.

Investigations were supervised by Sgt Leith Jones while Persad was charged by WPC Keisha Cruickshank with the assistance of PC Samali George of the Counter Trafficking Unit, on August 31, following advice received from Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Joan Honore-Paul, on August 21.


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