A dredge owner and an alleged accomplice were on Monday slapped with Trafficking in Persons (TIP) charges when they appeared before Magistrate Leron Daly at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
Mario Figueira and Joaquin (only name), a Brazilian national, both pleaded not guilty to the nine charges of TIP.
The charges alleged that between August 18 and 24, 2016, at Providence, Georgetown, they engaged in TIP, that is to say, they recruited, transported and harboured nine women for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Their Attorney told the Court that the men were not arrested, but reported to the Police Station of their own accord.
He explained that the women were not being held by the men, noting that they were all seen at a popular Main Street night spot in the city last week.
The prosecution, however, objected to bail, noting that the defendants posed a flight risk, and the women reported that they were all threatened by one of the defendants who pointed a gun at them.
The men were placed on $120,000 bail each. The case will continue on September 14.