KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday September 24, 2013, CMC – Jamaican law enforcement authorities have charged a businesswoman and two members of her family with facilitating human trafficking.
The Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force has also charged Hermalinda Parker with human trafficking, facilitating human trafficking and withholding passports. She is due to appear in court early next year.
Her daughter Liz Scantibury and husband, Anthony Parker have also been charged.
Government prosecutors reported that in May 2010, Parker visited Guyana and convinced the family of a 16-year-old girl to allow her on a trip to Jamaica.
However, on arrival, the teenager was allegedly forced to become a dancer at the Latin Movement Nightclub which she operated. The prosecutors also allege that the Guyanese teenager was also forced into prostitution.
The Crown said, the teenager was told that she had to dance at the club and have sex with patrons in order to repay expenses incurred by Parker in bringing her to Jamaica. Members of the Organised Crime Unit raided the club in September 2010, and arrested the dancers, including the teenager.
Several women of held were from Panama and the Dominican Republic.
Meanwhile, more than 20 children have been rescued from human traffickers here since the start of the year, according to Senior Superintendent Clifford Chambers, head of the OCID.
“We have conducted in excess of 213 raids island wide up to March of this year and they are conducted at places to include massage parlours, go-go clubs and certain areas pointed to us as locations as to where these activities are operated.”
Chambers said the OCID has embarked on a sensitization project, in which over 900 police officers have been trained..