AROUCA– POLICE have rescued 69 people who were held in cages at a church along the Eastern Main Road in Arocua.
The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) said there were 65 men and four women ranging in ages from 20 to over 60 years.
Some were also found in handcuffs.
The discovery was made after a sting operation coordinated by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith that began around 12.15 a.m. on Wednesday.
The police obtained warrants under Section 13 Chap. 12:10 of the Trafficking in Persons Act, after investigations.
On the scene were Griffith, acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Jayson Forde, the TTPS’a Victim and Witness Support Unit, Northern Division CID and a medical unit of doctors, nurses and ambulance attendants of the North Central Regional Authority.
Police arrested six people at the church which was supposed to also be a rehabilitation centre.
The TTPS in a release noted that months ago, senior officers received reports about the possible imprisonment of people.
The release said the Police Commissioner was now investigating possible negligence of duties of the officers.
The victims are relating horror stories of being kept in cages and hosed down with water while other used toilet paper wrapped around them to keep warm at nights.
Griffith has told local media that in some cases relatives of the victims paid to have them at the church.
There were also reports that people were kidnapped and kept against their will.
Griffith said some people were naked and some were handcuffed to their beds.
He said most said they were taken and being held against their will.