Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson is putting would be perpetrators of human trafficking on notice that departments under his ministry will be leaving no stone unturned when dealing with suspected cases.
“The police of Barbados have the authority to investigate human trafficking and are obliged to do that under the laws of Barbados and in pursuance of the international obligations of Barbados under this United Nations Convention.
“I, as Minister of Immigration, am sworn to comply with the Laws of Barbados. The Immigration Department, which falls under my Ministry of Home Affairs, together with the police, are also sworn to carry out their duties in accordance with the Laws of Barbados,” Hinkson said in four-page statement released this afternoon.
The minister also noted that neither the border security agency nor the police will be bullied into shying away from the duties they are sworn to uphold.
“We will not be threatened or abused in any way from complying with our duties under the Laws of Barbados in our various capacities and in seeking to ensure that the Laws of Barbados are complied with, and that issues relating to human trafficking are as far as possible removed from the territory of this country,” he said.
The minister did not reveal where the “threats” were coming from but noted his satisfaction at the manner in which immigration and police went about the recent deportation of a Guyanese national. Hinkson revealed that the woman, who was apprehended in a joint immigration and police investigation into complaints of violence and prostitution, had not overstayed the six-month period in accordance to the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
However upon further checks it was revealed that the woman had a distinct resemblance to a Guyanese national by another name who was previously deported from Barbados on October 9, 2017. According to the statement, the woman admitted to being the same person previously deported when police conducted a raid of a bar where she worked as an exotic dancer.
During the interview the woman expressed fear for her life and told officers that she wanted to return to Guyana. Hinkson also revealed that the woman would not reveal the source of the false documents but told officers that the passport she most recently travelled on was in the possession of a male friend. The woman was eventually deported on an emergency passport.
“I am fully satisfied that this is what the officials of the police force and the immigration department have done pursuant to the arrests which were made arising from that operation two Thursdays ago,” the Minister said.