Nov 29, 2017 News
– ‘B’ Division Commander
The high profile case of two girls, aged 12 and 13, who were reportedly abducted, abused and starved at a camp located along the Berbice River has engaged the attention of the Ministry of Social Protection and Berbice police.
In a release issued yesterday, the Ministry of Social Protection stated that it “takes seriously any case of alleged Trafficking in Persons reported to the Ministry. The Ministry was recently contacted in regards to the allegations of TIP in the Berbice area and is in close contact with the officers in the Berbice district to ensure…the safety of those involved is taken as priority. In the interest and well being of all alleged victims, the Ministry advocates that all matters be reported to the relevant authorities to facilitate the trained officers are able to do their work effectively.”
Commander of B Division, Assistant Commissioner Lindon Alves told Kaieteur News that the police interviewed the elder girl yesterday.
“We engaged with the young lady, but she told detectives a far different story than that which was published. Based on what she said to us, we have since gone in search of a woman she implicated.”
Commander Alves revealed that the teen is contradicting what was published by Kaieteur News, and implicating a female relative of hers as the architect behind what she told the media.
“We are trying to locate the woman to have a confrontation. Our engagement with her will be able to point us in a general direction.”
He divulged that the teen is now claiming that she has no knowledge of where she was when she was abducted.
The mother of the other girl, who is still missing, is accusing the relevant authorities of dragging their feet on the matter. She is questioning why after five months of going missing, her 12-year-old daughter could not be located and rescued.
She alleged that she made several futile attempts to meet the divisional commander after her daughter disappeared. She finally contacted senior police ranks, but it still seemed as though they were not taking her case seriously.
She was eventually advised to visit the office of the Prime Minister in Region Six, where she spoke with Mr. Gobin Harbhajan, the Regional representative. She questioned how the police were able to rescue the 13-year-old girl, while her daughter was left behind.
Commander Alves, commenting on her accusation that her daughter was left behind, questioned: “Does that make any sense? Why would the police rescue one and leave the other?”
The story which was first brought to light by this publication had detailed from the point of the girls being allegedly taken against their will, to the alleged abuse and torture endured at the hands of their captors.
The girls were reportedly taken to a “ganja farm” up the Berbice River by a woman and her two adult sons.
The 13-year-old, who was rescued by police in ‘B’ Division a month later, disclosed that on June 16, 2017 she accompanied her father, a vendor, to the New Amsterdam Market to uplift some vegetables, and was told by her father to wait until he returned, since it was raining.
A woman, she said, approached her and asked if she collected a “perfume and Vaseline,” but she responded in the negative, saying, “my mother don’t collect ting from any and all body, only clothes”.
The woman then told her to accompany her to Stanleytown, New Amsterdam, to uplift money for her father, and she went along. She said they travelled by car to Kordbradt Village, East Bank Berbice, where a motorcycle was waiting with a male armed with a gun. She was then beaten and forced to mount the motorcycle.
The teenager said that they travelled further up the East Bank to the Mara Foreshore where she saw her friend lying on the ground with her hands and feet bound.
“Dem carry the two ah we in the boat to a camp and the lady other son meet we and dem start beat we fuh come out the boat, because both ah dem had gun. Me school friend was crying”.
She stated that they were kept at the camp by the brothers and were sexually abused, beaten and even starved.
Attempts were made to escape, she said, but were unsuccessful.
The 13-year-old told this publication that it was weeks after that police rescued her, but failed to rescue her friend.
“Dem come and rescue me, but dem ain’t get she because the boy grab she and run and go in the bush”.
Meanwhile, the mother of the missing 12-year-old relayed that her daughter left to make a purchase at a nearby shop in her area on June 16, 2017, which was the same day the 13-year-old also disappeared.
The woman said they were “back and forth” with the police, and were not seeing any progress in locating her daughter.
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