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Guyana Chronicle:-FORTY-ONE foreign nationals believed to be night-club dancers, and eight employees of the Diamond Hotel and Night Club are currently in custody following a raid of the building by the Guyana Police Force on Friday morning.

Crime Chief, Assistant Commissioner Paul Williams on Friday confirmed that the operation carried out at the George Street, Werk-en-Rust location was led by the Major Crimes Unit with support from other agencies.

Acting on intelligence the Force received, investigators swooped down on the area just after 07:00hrs and took into custody 49 persons, including eight employees. The other persons are believed to be club dancers who were brought in from Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil and other countries.

The Crime Chief said, too, that during the search, investigators discovered a quantity of narcotics. He said that while the drugs were not found on anyone’s person, that investigations into trafficking in persons will also be conducted.

Illegally operated strip clubs have come in sharp focus over the last few years, with a number of raids being conducted by both the Police Force and the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Unit of the Ministry of Social Protection.

In November 2017, the Rio Night Club was raided by the Ministry’s TIP Unit, and two dancers from the Dominican Republic were charged for overstaying.
Meanwhile, Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally said that the government remains committed to eradicating trafficking in person at every level. She said that while the Ministry was not directly involved in Friday morning’s operation, if investigations reveal that persons were trafficked, then her Ministry will intervene.

“The Ministry wasn’t involved in the raid directly; we were informed of it, however,” Minister Ally said, adding:
“And if, after the investigations by the Force, it is found that persons were trafficked, then the ministry will intervene. But as it is presently, it is a police matter.”