4 kidnapped Venezuelan women rescued; held in fake police station

Four Venezuelan women who were held captive in a house in Diego Martin have been rescued by officers of the Special Operations Response Team(SORT).

The women were being kept in a house painted in the colours of a police station with the design of the Star of David on the gates.

Investigators told Guardian Media that three men in their mid-twenties were held for questioning after police raided the house.

Senior sources say that two of the Venezuelan women in their twenties went house hunting for a place to rent in the Four Roads area yesterday morning.

The women were directed to a house where men posing as fake police officers snatched them and brought them to the house resembling a police station along Union Drive, off Morne Coco Road in Diego Martin.

The women also met two other Venezuelan women in the house that was also being held captive by the suspects. 

SORT officers obtained credible intelligence and swooped down on the house just after noon apprehending the suspects and rescuing the women. 

The suspects all from the area in their mid-20s were later taken into custody.

The operation was conducted with the help of ACP Sterling of the Western Divison and Inspector Vincent of the Four Road Police Station with Sgt Mark Hernandez spearheading the SORT team. 

The Police Service issued this statement on the rescue:

The Special Operations Response Team (SORT), the AntiKidnapping Unit (AKU) and officers of the Western Division have rescued four Venezuelan nationals, who were reportedly kidnapped.

The rescue occurred around 11:50 am, on Friday 12th April, 2019, at a house located at Union Road, Four Roads, Diego Martin.

Missing persons reports were filed at the St. James Police Station, after two of the women, did not return to where they were staying; after leaving earlier in the day to go in search of apartments to rent in the St. James area.

Acting on intelligence, officers went to the house in Diego Martin, where they rescued a total of four women, who were being held hostage at the residence.

Officers have since arrested three men for kidnapping, robbery and sexually assaulting these women.

Several units of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service are now involved in this investigation.

- by Mark Bassant. Photos by Abraham Diaz.

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