The International Police (INTERPOL) will be joining Guyanese authorities in mounting operations against human trafficking in the South American country’s major gold mining districts closer to neighbouring Brazil and Venezuela, authorities said Wednesday.
“The Operational Phase would see INTERPOL lend support to the countries being considered in the Project in their local anti-trafficking in persons operations,” the Public Security Ministry said in a statement. The two-member Interpol team and one Canadian police officer has already conducted a needs assessment in Guyana as part of a wider project to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling in the Caribbean.
Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan later told Demerara Waves Online News that he hoped that InterPol’s involvement would see more trafficked persons being arrested. “I would hope so and it has already resulted in those Dominican (Republic) girls being caught,” he said in reference to a recent operation involving representatives of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Interpol personnel during a recent mission to Guyana’s remote gold mining districts in the Amazon jungle.
“The visit enabled the visiting Team to experience the difficulties associated with travelling to interior regions in Guyana and policing these areas, and to witness working conditions in the mines and the general conditions in which persons in the area lived. This experience facilitated the Team from INTERPOL in making a general assessment of the risks and other difficulties associated with curbing occurrences of trafficking in persons in interior regions in Guyana,” the ministry said.
The Interpol team also joined representatives of Guyana’s ministerial task force on trafficking in persons in sensitizing persons in the south-western gold mining town of Bartica that led to the recovery of eight Dominican Republic females at house and the arrest of one suspected trafficker.
Authorities say that Brazilians, Surinamese, Venezuelans, Cubans and Guyanese are trafficked to and from Guyana and other Caribbean island nations.
Law enforcement training and the training of trainers are expected to be provided to Guyanese personnel and a curriculum to be contributed to by authorities in Guyana would be provided to Guyana’s police training school.