The five are expected to be charged with supporting a gang, trafficking in children, inciting a child to become a prostitute, arranging and facilitating the prostitution of a child, and sexual penetration of a child.
Three of the men are also expected to be charged with being gang leaders.
The five were held between Friday and Saturday, following enquiries by officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Northern Division and Arima Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
The officers first executed a search warrant at a house located at John Shaw Avenue, off Eastern Main Road, Arima, on Friday.
While there, police found and rescued several foreign nationals, including minors.
Sex paraphernalia, a quantity of condoms, a large amount of alcohol, a quantity of cash and a roulette machine were among the other items found and seized from the unlicensed premises.
The items found there led officers to conduct further enquires, which resulted in search warrants being executed on Saturday, including at the home of a police officer.
This led to the seizure of one kilogramme of marijuana, $45,000 in cash, and other items.
Depraved and heartless criminals
Acting Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob told the Express yesterday that the operation was a direct result of strategic decision-making by his executive team this year, which resulted in the Northern Division, which is the largest police division, being divided into two areas—namely the North and North-Central Districts.
He said the split was done to bring about more effective crime management and greater operational and administrative efficiency, which would ultimately lead to reduced crime and safer communities.
He said with this operation, significant inroads have been made into the scourge of human traffickng and the exploitation of women and children who are seen as vulnerable and easy targets by unscrupulous gangs.
He said the “TTPS will continue to relentlessly pursue these depraved and heartless criminals who have no regard for humanity, the innocence of children and the sanctity of life”.
He also thanked the officers involved and the external agencies, including Immigration Division and Counter-Trafficking Unit.
The investigation was spearheaded by ACP Ramnarine Samaroo, co-ordinated by Snr Supt Christopher Paponette, Supt Edwards, and Insp Pitt, under the legal directions and advice of TTPS legal officer Zaheer Ali.
Cpl Persad of the Northern Division Criminal Investigations Division (CID) conducted the exercise with the assistance of other officers from the Northern Division, Multi-Operational Police Section (MOPS), as well as Cpl Antoine and other officers of the Special Task Force.