Police free Chinese couple from forced labour at Endeavour factory

Police have rescued two Chinese nationals who were being forced to work at a Chaguanas factory against their will.

A statement issued by the Police Service on Friday says that they were rescued by officers of the Counter-Trafficking Unit (CTU) on Wednesday 12th June, 2019.

The 41-year-old man and his 42-year-old wife, were allegedly brought to Trinidad by an 83-year-old businessman, who told them that they were to be employed as chefs at a popular Chinese restaurant in Centre Point Mall, Chaguanas.

However, upon arrival, the couple’s passports were taken away and they were forced to work at a factory in Endeavour, Chaguanas.

The victims were also told that they would have to provide TT$30,000 for the passports to be returned to them.

The couple was rescued following a tip sent to the CTU’s hotline (800-4CTU).

Acting on the information received, CTU spearheaded an operation which involved simultaneously executing search warrants at five locations; the Chinese restaurant at Centre Point Mall, the factory in Endeavour, two houses in Lange Park, Chaguanas, and an apartment complex in Barataria.

The couple was discovered in the factory being supervised by the restaurant owner, while their passports were found at the Chinese restaurant.

During the exercise, personnel from the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service (TTFS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) along with Public Health Inspectors, were present and detected numerous health and safety violations.

As a result, the factory was immediately closed.

CTU was supported by Interpol, Port of Spain Criminal Investigations Department, Port of Spain Division Task Force, Financial Investigations Branch, Crime Scene Unit, Chaguanas Borough Public Health, OSHA, TTFS Fire Prevention Unit and Immigration Division.

This operation was led by Sgt. Jones, and investigations are being carried out by PC George, of the CTU.