By Prior Beharry
FORMER United National Congress (UNC) government minister Dr Devant Maharaj has submitted evidence to the police probing human trafficking by government officials.
He confirmed this to AZP News on Saturday saying that he sent a seven-page statement after he was contacted by Sgt Cavelle Mills-Walters of the Counter Trafficking Unit on Friday.
This comes after UNC MP Rodney Charles raised the matter during Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament on February 24 and quoted the 2022 US Trafficking in Persons report which stated that the People’s National Movement (PNM) government did not take action against “senior government officials” engaged in human trafficking in 2020.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley claimed the report was referring to non-PNM MPs. While Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said it was PNM MPs since the PNM was in power during this period referred to in the report.
Rowley’s claims were then supported by former UNC ministers Dr Maharaj and Vasant Bharath.
In her email to Dr Maharaj, Mills-Walters said, “Mr Devant Maharaj made public and social media statements, including but not limited to allegations you made where you Devant Maharaj was offered access to Venezuelan and Columbian prostitutes procured by officials in the UNC during your time in the party, also you stated that you Devant Maharaj assisted in internal investigations headed by senior UNC officials of allegations of Human Trafficking, as well as you made allegations that particular individuals who now hold high office in the party, on a regular basis provided a regular supply of Venezuelan and Columbian prostitutes to persons within and without the party and that you Devant Maharaj was on several occasions approached to utilize this service and that you refused all.
“In the circumstances, it has become necessary to conduct an interview with you as it is believed that you Mr Devant Maharaj may have useful information/evidence to progress the ongoing investigations, or you can provide a written statement containing any information or evidence that you may have to progress the ongoing investigations including but not limited to electronic , documentary and other information/evidence.”
Bharath admitted to TV6 News that he has little in terms of evidence.
He said, “I don’t have any physical evidence in terms of text messages of WhatsApp messages, phone calls or anything like that. It was really just a casual interaction.”