Region 4 records highest number of TIP cases

…influx of foreign nationals contributed to large effect – Public Security Minister

Sexual exploitation is the leading cause of Trafficking In Persons (TIP) incidents in Guyana and during the first six months of this year, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) recorded a total of 132 alleged TIP cases and the arrest of 18 suspects.
This is according to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, who made the disclosure at a workshop on TIP on Friday. He stated that the 132 alleged victims are females and of this figure, 115 were below the age of 30.
“The location, again, Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) accounted for 84 per cent of all these alleged occurrences, the nationality is largely Venezuelans…A lot of us felt that this thing is not happening here in Guyana, it is happening and it is largely from some very smart people, businessmen who are doing this thing. The evidence, however, to catch them sometimes we cannot get because they have their networks of other underlings ensuring that it happens to their profits and then you only catch the small fishes but we are trying our best as possible to ensure that we can catch the big fishes.”
The Minister explained that for last year, the GPF’s TIP Unit investigated 32 cases of suspected TIP, which included 245 victims. Eleven of them were below the age of 18 and from those 32 cases, 57 suspects guilty of TIP were also investigated.
“The age of the 2018 statistic is 55 per cent of alleged victims were below 26 years old while 45 per cent were over that. The location again with the most is Region Four, all the alleged occurrences…we have tried as best as possible to arrange the education, public awareness, in these regions and at schools and all of that to ensure that we do not have this continuous increase. However, I must say that the influx of foreign nationals from Latin American countries especially Venezuela was found to have a large effect regarding this statistic.”
Minister Ramjattan also divulged that in the year 2017, the GPF’s TIP Unit managed to investigate 14 cases of suspected TIP and this involved 50 alleged victims, 21 of whom were under the age of 18.
He also pointed out that from the period 2014 to 2016, there was a consistent increase in cases of alleged TIP with Region Four accounting for half of the alleged occurrences during this period.
However, the interior regions also saw a number of TIP cases mostly Regions One, Seven and Eight.