A senior member of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has cautioned individuals who visit adult entertainment venues here that they could be contributing to human trafficking.
Deputy Police Commissioner Wayne Charlery was addressing the launch here of a Department Of Home Affairs human trafficking campaign.
“Saint Lucia, due to its unique geographical positioning between Martinique and South America, has become a transshipment point of choice for human, narcotics and firearm traffickers,” Charlery told the event.
And he recalled that on December 30, 2022, the Major Crimes Unit executed search warrants at various locations, discovering four human trafficking victims.
Charlery said the four foreign nationals, who have since migrated, were forced to perform at an adult entertainment establishment.
On January 16, 2023, Saint Lucia police arrested and charged the adult entertainment establishment owner with five counts of trafficking in persons.
Charlery said the court granted him $100,000 bail cash or suitable surety or land documents, ordered him to remain 100 yards away from the victims and their families, and not to leave the state without permission.
In addition, the accused must report to the nearest police station once a week between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm and not disclose any information likely to reveal the identity of the victims, failing which he would spend three months in jail.
The court adjourned the matter to April 21, 2023.
“This simple case is one of many that we may have in Saint Lucia,” the Deputy Police Commissioner declared.
He noted that there are many adult entertainment centres locally.
“And most of the persons who are there providing what we call adult entertainment are very well being trafficked,” Charlery asserted.
“So if you have visited any of these locations and have had a drink at this place, you may very well have contributed to human trafficking at the cost of a beer, which is seven dollars,” the senior cop stated.
Headline photo: Wayne Charlery stock image