TEN persons who did not possess any passport or any form of identification and claiming to be Haitian nationals were found at the Swiss Hotel, Skeldon, Corentyne, Berbice, Region Six on Thursday. According to a Government of Guyana release, five of these persons are females and five are males and when questioned by the police, one in the group who speaks English explained that they were brought from Suriname by speedboat and left at the hotel since Monday.
The release noted that the person who brought them reportedly took away their passports, documents, money and other personal belongings.
“It has long been suspected that there is a huge trafficking in persons and human smuggling ring, including children, taking place in the region and Guyana is being used as a transit point in this racket, which includes Cubans, Nigerians and Haitians, among others. This is the latest manifestation of this nefarious racket at work which seems to be operating on a daily basis,” the release noted. The Brazilian Government has already expressed concern about the situation. The Surinamese Government has also shared intelligence which suggests that the racket extends to that neighbouring republic.
The Government has already engaged the Cuban Ambassador to Guyana on this issue. It is believed that these persons, including children, are being trafficked to various parts of the world.
Only last Wednesday, the police arrested a number of Haitians, Nigerians and Cubans in close vicinity to Lethem, Region Nine.
Some of these persons did not have entry stamps in their passports in relation to Guyana.
The government observed that this is taking place when all neighbouring borders with Guyana are currently closed and there is a continuous influx of these persons at both Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Eugene Correia International Airport at Ogle.
“In the circumstances, the Government of Guyana feels compelled to inform the relevant international agencies dealing with human trafficking and smuggling of persons, including children. In this regard, we will engage the United Nations Human Rights Council, the International Organisation for Migration and INTERPOL and request their urgent intervention and assistance. The Government of Guyana will also immediately review its immigration protocols and impose such lawful restrictions and conditions that it considers necessary in the circumstances,” the Government of Guyana release concluded.