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Mar 1, 2021

Placencia Couple Busted for Human Trafficking

Joseph Myvett

A sixteen-year-old girl has escaped what she reported as captivity in Placencia where she says she was being forced to work against her will.  In mid-January, the minor reported to police that a couple had been holding her against her will and had taken away her travel documents.  She also alleged that she was living in a washroom on their property.  An investigation was immediately launched and it was later discovered that a South African national and a Guatemalan woman had in fact committed the crime of human trafficking.  Assistant Commissioner of Police Joseph Myvett has additional details.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“On the fourteenth of January, members of the police’s anti-trafficking in persons unit received information from a sixteen-year-old minor and as a result, an investigation was carried out in Placencia Village where the home of one Jonathan Blitz, a forty-one-year-old South African and that of Ana Lucretia Ponce, a thirty-five-year-old Guatemalan was visited and a search was conducted where they were detained pending the investigation.  During the course of the investigation, it led police to prefer charges on them on the twenty-fourth of February for the crime of trafficking in persons for the purpose of labor, exploitation, to wit forced labor.  What the minor actually reported is that she was made to work for the two accused persons where her documents were withheld and she was made to live in a washroom and was forced to work during the period.  It’s still an ongoing investigation but both persons have appeared in court and their matter was adjourned until the twenty-second of June.”


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