Maharaj, Charles raise questions on human trafficking

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Former UNC senator Devant Maharaj.

FORMER People’s Partnership (PP) government minister Devant Maharaj and Naparima MP Rodney Charles on Monday raised questions about allegations of human trafficking against the Opposition UNC and the Government, respectively.

In a statement, Maharaj questioned recent comments by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar that she was unaware of a report he made to her about alleged prostitution and human trafficking activity taking place while the PP was in office between May 2010 and September 2015.

“Did anyone expect the UNC or the leader (Persad-Bissessar) to say that she got the report and was aware of it and still continued to support the individuals involved? “

Maharaj acknowledged Commissioner of Police (CoP) Erla Harewood-Christopher’s commitment on March 1, that the police will investigate allegations of human trafficking made against “senior government politicians” in the 2022 US State Department’s report trafficking in persons.

“Thankfully there is an investigation now which may or may not unearth the truth despite the constraints of time.

Maharaj reiterated, “It is an open secret in the UNC of what and who is involved.”

He claimed these people ” are prepared to remain silent and circle the wagons hoping that if the UNC returns to the office, they will be rewarded with access to the national treasury. “

Last month, Maharaj supported a statement made by Dr Rowley in Parliament about Opposition members allegedly being involved in human trafficking.

He said he personally assisted an internal investigation into allegations of human trafficking when the PP was in offices.

In a separate statement, Charles demanded the police question Rowley about his comments in Parliament last month about Opposition members allegedly being involved in human trafficking.

Charles claimed there was unconfirmed information on social media which claimed governnment officials were involved in human trafficking.

He hoped the police investigation into this matter would be “comprehensive, independent, wide ranging and apolitical.”