Trinidad police: Major developments coming in Arouca church probe
(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.