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Dominicans, Venezuelans and Colombians among the members of the network that was dedicated to human trafficking

Santo Domingo, DR.

The Public Ministry launched this Thursday the operation Cattleya with dozens of raids in the National and Bávaro Districtproduct of an extensive investigation initiated nine months ago and with which it dismantles transnational networks dedicated to human trafficking, under the modality of commercial sexual exploitation and with which it rescued more than 80 women.

The General Directorate of Persecution of the Public Ministry and the Specialized Attorney against Illicit Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons (PETT), in a press release, announced that the prosecutors criminal charges will be filed against 10 accused Venezuelans, Colombians and Dominicans.

The defendants created a transnational criminal organization dedicated to attract women between 18 and 23 years of age, in different countries, specifically from Colombia and Venezuela, for the commission of the illegal trafficking of persons under the modality of commercial sexual exploitation. The young women were held at the Hotel Caribe, in the National District, and at the Residencial Coco Real, in Bávaro, Punta Cana, La Altagracia province.

Criminal networks mobilized young women with the promise of a well-paid job in the Dominican Republica. However, they were sexually exploited.

In the Bávaro area, they offered the sexual services of the victims at a cost of 100 to 150 dollars for one hour and up to 400 dollars per night.

Once brought to the country, the victims were forced to admit that they had a debt contracted between US$3,000 and US$4,000 with the networks that mobilized them, forced them to consume controlled substancessubjected them to humiliating and inhumane treatment and did not allow them any freedom typical of any human being, which led several of them to escape.

As part of the operation cattleyathe Public Ministry is investigating at least 14 people for committing the crime of trafficking, including two from Colombia and six from Venezuela.

The operation has the support of the Special Division for the Investigation of Transnational Crimes (Deidet) and the Trafficking in Persons Department of the National Police. Also, with the international cooperation of the United States Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM)). In addition, the NGOs Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), Destiny Rescue and the Anti Trafficking Bureau (ATB).

Johanna Bejarán Álvarez, head of the PETT, explained that the actions against the human trafficking They respond to the actions promoted by the Attorney General Miriam Germán Brito against transnational crime.

Bejarán Álvarez indicated that 25 prosecutors, more than 200 agents of the National Police and more than 50 investigation technicians and specialists in victim assistance. During the operations, the teams seized controlled substances, such as marijuana and synthetic drugs.

“We must thank the cooperation of other countries in this operation, especially that of the United States, a nation that in its report this year on human trafficking recognizes that, although we must overcome limitations, the authorities of the Dominican Republic make sustained efforts to fight against crimes such as trafficking and sex trafficking,” said Bejarán Álvarez.

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