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Jan 7, 2019

14 Honduran Nationals in the West; is it Human Trafficking?

Joseph Myvett

Sometime around eight on Friday night, San Ignacio Police was on mobile patrol when they came across a vehicle carrying fourteen Honduran nationals. The patrol unit was in the Santa Elena area when they came across a heavily tinted vehicle and a Benque Viejo resident behind the wheel. When police stopped the vehicle, they came across the group which they suspect to be a case of human trafficking. Police say the driver may face human trafficking charges depending on the outcome of the investigation.  ACP Joseph Myvett explains.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“They observed a black and grey Ford Expedition, heavily tinted, within town. As a result, that vehicle was stopped by San Ignacio Police. At the time it was being driven by fifty-eight-year-old Fernando Moh of Benque Viejo.  Upon approaching the driver, the vehicle was found to contain fourteen other occupants, all Honduran nationals; two adult females, three adult males and nine minors. The minors were placed in the care of the Human Development Department whilst the others, along with the driver, are detained pending immigration related charges.”

 

Reporter

“Do police suspect that this was a human trafficking, human-smuggling type operation?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Yes, we do believe so.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Sir, is there anything to indicate if Belize was their final destination or if they were heading to another country – to cross the border?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“At this point in time they are being interviewed in relation to that part of the investigation.”

 

Reporter

“Are you able to say if it was intelligence or just by chance the officers stopped this vehicle?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“They were on patrol and decided to stop the vehicle.”

 

Reporter

“Has this person ever showed up on police’s radar for this type of activity that you all suspect?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“I cannot say for sure. I will have to confirm that.”

 

Reporter

“And for this person, is it likely that he will face human trafficking charges for those persons?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Well that is dependent on the investigation. When these persons detained are interviewed and we ascertain whether or not any of them are victims of trafficking in persons.”

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