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Nov 9, 2017

Are Indian Nationals, Accused of Theft, Victims of Human Trafficking?

Indian nationals Keyur Barot and Jitendra Kumar are accused of having stolen a sports utility vehicle, as well as sixty-two thousand dollars in cash from businessman Jack Charles back in September.  The salesmen worked for the well-known wholesaler and were on a trip to Dangriga on September thirteenth, to collect monies on behalf of the company when they both absconded.  An all points bulletin was subsequently issued to all police formations, as well as Interpol, before the duo was finally nabbed in Mexico, near Monterrey.  But tonight, the men are reportedly being domiciled by the Department of Human Services, following complaints that they are both victims of human trafficking.  So, are Barot and Kumar fugitives or victims of forced labor?  That’s what police and immigration officials are still trying to determine.  While charges for grand theft auto and theft of Jack Charles’ proceeds are yet to be brought against the men, the Immigration Department is still trying to ascertain if they were smuggled into the country.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“Kyur Barot.  Yes it’s a matter that the police began with a theft investigation initially.  They were brought from Mexico to Belize where police interviewed them, however, it’s a collaborative effort between the police department and the Immigration Department.  So we are looking at two different aspects of the investigation.  So the immigration is still dealing with that investigation aspect and when they are finished they’ll be passing it to the police so that the police can continue with the theft investigation.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Are these men in custody until then?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“They are still here in Belize, not in custody.”

 

Reporter

“Are they being, I understand that they are being held as, are being put up by the Department of Human Development as persons who’ve complained that they were victims of human trafficking?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well that’s a matter that is being dealt with by the Immigration Department, along with the Department of Human Services.”

 

Reporter

“Okay, now sir, these men are back in the country from October first.  Is there a window for when you can say, “Okay, you guys have been… There’s a criminal complaint of a substantial nature, theft of sixty thousand dollars and a vehicle, against you.”  The window for the human trafficking complaint has expired and we have to bring criminal charges?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well there’s no expiration date on those charges, so they can be brought at any time.  It’s an indictable matter so it can still be left open indefinitely.”

 

Reporter

“However, is it your expectation that at some point they would be charged?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well we are waiting for the results of the investigation conducted by the Immigration Department; thereafter, we’ll follow it up.”

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1 Response for “Are Indian Nationals, Accused of Theft, Victims of Human Trafficking?”

  1. Eye in the Sky says:

    I know many Indian nationals who work for Indians in Belize. They are all held as slaves against their will. Free Zone is full of them.
    The Chinese do the same thing.

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