Police to question child bride

Arrangements are being made between the Child Protection Unit (CPU) and the Children’s Authority regarding the custody of a 13-year-old Venezuelan girl who was brought to T&T last week as a child bride.

The child was under protection at the Living Water Community in Port-of-Spain up to yesterday while investigators from the CPU and Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) were arranging with an interpreter to conduct another interview.

Meanwhile, the child’s 24-year-old husband, who was said to live in Moruga, has not been found.

ACP Irwin Hackshaw told the T&T Guardian yesterday that given the trade between T&T and Venezuela, police were going hard at those engaged in smuggling people into the country for whatever purpose.

On March 28, South Western Division Task Force and Penal CID led by Insp Seecharan and Sgt Ablacksingh were responding to a tip-off that a flock of macaws was being illegally held captive at a sawmill at Teeluck Trace along the Penal Rock Road.

While on the compound, they arrested a Jamaican man who was found in an apartment with a woman. As the officers continued to search the compound, they found the girl lying on a mattress in a room.

The CPU was called in but because she was smuggled into the country, the CTU got involved.

Investigators learned that the child lived in a Warao village along the Orinoco River bank that does trade with the locals who transport goods via pirogue.

The girl’s husband was among a group of traders who went across to Venezuela on March 26.

Because the tribe had no money or items to trade, the girl was used as barter.

She was wed to her husband in a ceremony there before coming to Trinidad. It was learned that girls get married as young as 10 years in the tribe.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Kevon Felmine)

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