Trinidad police: Major developments coming in Arouca church probe

by Caribbean Chronicle
10:15 pm UTC, October 12, 2019

(Trinidad Guardian) Po­lice of­fi­cers are not done with their in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to the Trans­formed Life Min­istry and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre.

On Wednes­day po­lice of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing ones from the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team (SORT) swooped down on the church and cen­tre in Arou­ca and re­moved 69 peo­ple, many of whom were be­ing kept in cages.

 
Of­fi­cers led by Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith, said the 69 re­moved ranged in ages 19 to 70 and com­prised the el­der­ly, men­tal­ly ill and so­cial­ly dis­placed.

Tasers, ba­tons and oth­er weapon-like items were al­so found in­side the premis­es, lead­ing of­fi­cers to con­clude those be­ing held there were be­ing abused.

The de­vel­op­ment gained wide­spread lo­cal and in­ter­na­tion­al at­ten­tion with even Reuters and the New York Post hav­ing ar­ti­cles with the head­line, “Dozens found caged, chained at ex-con ‘re­hab’ cen­ter in Trinidad”.

The pas­tor Glen Awong was held and ques­tioned by of­fi­cers.

He was sub­se­quent­ly re­leased and on Thurs­day pro­claimed his in­no­cence, say­ing he did noth­ing wrong and de­scribed the Com­mis­sion­er’s la­belling of the mat­ter as “hu­man traf­fick­ing’” and “mod­ern-day slav­ery” as an at­tack against him for mon­ey owed to him by the State.

De­spite Awong be­ing re­leased by po­lice, of­fi­cers told Guardian Me­dia yes­ter­day they were still work­ing fever­ish­ly on the case.

In fact, of­fi­cers said: “Ex­pect ma­jor de­vel­op­ments (in the mat­ter) next week.”

The 69 peo­ple who were held at the fa­cil­i­ty, have been re­unit­ed with loved ones, while oth­ers were tak­en to the St Ann’s Psy­chi­atric Hos­pi­tal for eval­u­a­tion.

Source: Stabroek News.

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