Suriname: Police Free Sex Workers From Cuba And Venezuela

(CMC) – Police say they have arrested five people and freed 13 women from Venezuela and Cuba who had been forced into sex work.

The authorities said that officers from the Trafficking In Persons (TIP), Intelligence from the Combating Serious Crime structure (BZC) and Region West arrested the five suspects for human trafficking during a joint operation.

They said a foreign national had visited the Bikers Unit in Paramaribo, indicating to police officers that she had fled from a bar dancing and needed help and as a result, the TIP  was called in to initiate an investigation.

Further investigation by the police has shown that the woman, together with 11 others from Cuba and two from Venezuela, were housed in a bar dancing in the Nickerie district to perform sex work.

“These victims had been brought to Suriname under false pretenses and housed in rooms connected to the bar dancing. They had to pay for these rooms every month and were allowed to receive clients who had to pay in exchange for sex. These amounts of money were then paid to the owner of the club.”

The police said that with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies the address in Nickerie was identified, after which a raid was carried out.

“At that address, 13 other women were rescued from their situation and housed in a shelter for protection. Their travel expenses to Suriname turned out to have been paid by the owner of the bar-dancing venue. Three suspects were arrested during the raid and the fourth and fifth suspects were subsequently arrested”.

The police said the suspects include a Surinamese, his life partner who is from Venezuela and three women of Cuban descent.

”After consultation with the Public Prosecution Service, the five suspects for human smuggling and human trafficking were taken into custody by the police. It cannot be ruled out that several suspects will be arrested in this case,” the Police Public Relations added.