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Dec 17, 2009

Guyanese national charged in US for human trafficking via Belize

Belize’s strategic location makes it a common port for transnational smuggling of illegal drugs, weapons and human trafficking. According to international reports, a Guyanese National was charged in the United States on Wednesday with Conspiracy and Alien Smuggling for her role in attempting to enter four Indian nationals into the US via Belize and other Central American countries. Annita Devi Gerald, also known as Annita Rampersad, managed to fraudulently obtain Belizean visas for the nationals in November. They were brought to the Jewel where Gerald provided accommodations while their next move was arranged. One of the Indian nationals made it across the Mexican border where he was met by Gerald’s associate, who has not been identified. From there, he was handed over to another smuggler who was paid to take him across the Mexico/US border to meet a co-conspirator in Houston. It is known that the Houston based accomplice was paid prior to releasing the Indian National. But his freedom was short-lived because the illegal immigrant was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Gerald now faces a possible jail term and fine of up to two hundred and fifty thousand US dollars. Meanwhile, the whereabouts other three Indian nationals is unknown, which means they may still be in Belize. Authorities in Belize have not commented on this latest bust.

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