A businesswoman was on Monday released on $190,000 bail by Chief Magistrate Ann
McLennan when she appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with human trafficking.
Joyce Lawrence of Samata Point, East Bank Demerara, denied the allegation which stated that between December 12 and 24, 2014, she engaged in human trafficking. It is alleged that she recruited and transported her niece, by means of threat.
The woman also denied another charge, which stated that between December 1 and 28, 2014, while being the employer of the said niece, she unlawfully withheld the young woman’s identification card. Finally, the Court heard that between July 1 and December 12, 2014 at Aishalton Night Club, Aishalton, she engaged in trafficking her niece.
Attorney Euclin Gomes appearing for the accused, posited that the matter was an “unfortunate situation”. He explained that the complainant is the woman’s niece who lived with her. He claimed the charges were “trumped up” in an act of defiance as the accused conducts her home in a disciplined manner, much to the complainant’s annoyance. He stated that his client only wants what is best for her niece and on that note made application for reasonable bail.
However, Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones objected to bail based on the gravity and penalty that the offence attracts. He stated that in 2014, the accused took the child to work at a night club without parental consent.
The Prosecutor explained that at that time, the complainant was a juvenile, and the accused had enslaved her in her home and taken away her identification card. He related that the Police received information about the young woman and when they went to the nightclub, they found the young woman pregnant.
He explained that the accused gave the Police varying addresses, adding that the complainant is currently in the custody of the Ministry of Social Protection.
The Magistrate overruled the Prosecutor’s objections and granted bail.
The matter was transferred to the Linden Magistrates’ Court for March 30.