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Aracari Resort says not involved in human trafficking

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015, 4:59 by GxMedia

A local hotel at which several Nepalese stayed is seeking to clear its name from any involvement in harbouring persons intended for trafficking.

Following the naming of Aracari Resort located at Plantation Versailles, West Bank Demerara by the Home Affairs Ministry as the hotel at which several Nepalese stayed on arriving here last November, that hotel’s management has released information to prove that it had no direct hand in the foreigners’ staying there.

In documentation seen by Demerara Waves Online News, the hotel bookings were made by the Kathmandu, Nepal-based Euro Mira Travels and Tours PVT Ltd.

A Manager of Aracari Resort said the transaction was a clean transaction. “I would just like to let you know that while the Nepalese stayed at this resort, they were legal with their stay. They came here via which is an Online booming service and we were paid our commission. I would never like our resort to be labeled in no way or the other,” she said.

Authorities said 12 Nepalese, who arrived in the South American country last November and initially stayed at Aracari Resort, were arrested one month later after they illegally departed to neighbouring Venezuela which they attempted to enter illegally. Officials said they were deported back to Guyana because that was their last port of entry.

They pleaded guilty to illegal departure, paid a fine of US$150  each and had remained in police custody pending deportation, However, they were freed by the High Court on grounds that their continued detention was unlawful and devoid of natural justice principles.

“Based on these details regarding the conduct of a number of Nepalese Nationals in Guyana and their travel patterns compared with the case involving Nepalese Nationals in the High Court, the Ministry of Home Affairs has concluded that these individuals were intended to be victims of trafficking in persons,” said the National Security Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry, which is also responsible for immigration, expressed concern about the “large numbers” of Nepalese travelling to Guyana and their purposes for travelling. Official figures show that from October 14 to 17, 2014 a group of 14 Nepalese Nationals – 10 males and four females – were encountered in two hotels at Mabaruma,  northwestern Guyana nearer the border with Venezuela.

Investigators said they found in rooms that were padlocked from outside and the hotelier refused to say why the doors were secured in such a manner. “Adding to the suspicion was the fact that these individuals reportedly did not know when they were scheduled to depart Mabaruma, or Guyana for that matter, and claimed to be tourists but did not engage in tourist related activities,” said the National Security Ministry. The probe found that while the Nepalese were not employed, their rooms were paid for in US dollars each day.

The United States has repeatedly expressed concern that Guyana is a major point for trafficking in persons