69 People Rescued from Chains, Cages, and Torture at Christian Ministry in Trinidad & Tobago Which Police Describe as ‘Biggest Human Trafficking Ring in the Country’

Images of imprisoned clients of Transformed Life Ministry in Trinidad & Tobago. | Screenshot: YouTube

Some 69 people were rescued Wednesday from a life of chains, cages and torture at a Christian ministry in the twin island nation of Trinidad & Tobago in a case local police describe as “slavery” in the largest human trafficking ring in the country.

“What we be­lieve is that we have cracked what we be­lieve is the biggest hu­man traf­fick­ing ring in the coun­try … some of them said they have been here for years … this is a much big­ger pic­ture and we have to in­ves­ti­gate each and every case…this re­lates to virtu­al slav­ery with what we have seen here,” Trinidad & Tobago’s Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith told the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian.

Police announced that they rescued 65 men and four women from the Transformed Life Ministry Rehabilitation Centre in Arouca, Trinidad, during a sting operation Wednesday morning. The victims were ranged in ages from 20 to their 60s and most of them were found “in cages and some handcuffs.”

“Some of them say they have been tor­tured. It is such a big­ger pic­ture with prof­it be­ing made out of this … fam­i­ly mem­bers de­lib­er­ate­ly send­ing their loved ones here and extract­ing the prof­its from the fam­i­lies,” Grif­fith said.

Human trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide annually, including in the U.S.

A member of the ministry speaking on condition of anonymity to the T&T Guardian denied that the people found at the facility were being trafficked and noted that the Transformed Life Ministry Rehabilitation Centre is simply a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion home for people who want to come out of drug ad­dic­tion.

“It is not hu­man traf­fick­ing. It is a re­hab so the pas­tor have [sic] the place gat­ed to prevent them from run­ning away. These peo­ple’s par­ents sign con­tracts and agree. They al­so view the places. … So why would fam­i­lies put their love one there if they saw it? Nobody there is in chains, etc., they are ly­ing. God hear me it is a lie, “the ministry mem­ber said.

It was still unclear Thursday how the victims were being used for profit but Griffiths said the “barbaric” scene they encountered at the ministry showed evidence that the victims were being tortured.

“Per­sons are seen in cages, hand­cuffed … per­sons were be­ing tor­tured. We saw tasers and ba­tons … and again this is a sit­u­a­tion of vir­tu­al mod­ern day slav­ery,” he said.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair