TT police capture convicted human trafficker

February 12, 2024
Anthony Smith (Contributed Photo)

The police in Trinidad and Tobago said they had captured businessman, Anthony Smith, who was the first person to be convicted as a human trafficker in the twin republic.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) said in a statement that Smith, 30 was captured on Sunday night by a team of police officers.

Smith had absconded from his court trial last September and had s since been on the run from law enforcement though having been convicted for several offences between 2014 and 2015.

The police said a 20 year-old female, whom they believe was aiding and abetting the fugitive has also been arrested in the police operation and is currently assisting a team of detectives with ongoing enquiries.

Police said that on February 6, officers of the North-Central Division Gang and Intelligence Unit (NCDGIU) along with the North-Central Division Task Force (NCDTF) and Northern Community-Oriented Policing Section had observed a companion of Smith in Kelly Village, Caroni,  in Central Trinidad.

They said the officers subsequently moved in and captured and arrested Anthony Smith and his companion.

SMITH, 38, was first arrested and charged on January 5,  2016, for recruiting a child for the purpose of trafficking; 17 charges of sexually penetrating a child; five charges of child prostitution and three charges of assault. The offences occurred during the period December 2014 to July 2015.

The matter was set for trial on September 18,  2023, but after two days of evidence, the accused absconded.

The victim’s name, age and nationality were withheld  as required by the Children’s Act and Trafficking in Persons Act under which the charges were laid. The legislation defines a child as anyone under the age of 18.

The trial continued in his absence and on November 2, last year, a jury found Smith guilty on all five counts of Trafficking of a Child. He was sentenced to 15 years on each count with the sentences to run concurrently and to begin on his arrest.

He has since been handed over to prisons authorities. The authorities said investigations will continue into his unlawful escape and he will face the relevant charges.


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