Trinidad Police Officers Charged with Child Trafficking, Supporting Gangs, and Other Crimes

Acting Inspector Rajesh Gookool (right) and Acting Sergeant Richard Lalbeharry (left) have been charged with serious crimes. (Photos: TTPS)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday February 26, 2020 – Two police officers are among three people scheduled to appear in court today charged with trafficking a child for the purpose of exploitation, under Section 18 of the Trafficking in Persons Act.

The lawmen – 47-year-old Acting Inspector Rajesh Gookool and Acting Sergeant Richard Lalbeharry, 43 – both of whom were last attached to the Central Division, were also charged with receiving a benefit knowing that it resulted from the offence of trafficking in a child, supporting a gang in the commission of gang-related activity, and misbehaviour in public office.

The third accused, Matthew Ross. (Photo:TTPS)

Inspector Gookool was additionally charged with sexual penetration of a child.

The third accused, 39-year-old bar manager Matthew Ross, also faces a charge of supporting a gang in the commission of gang-related activity.

A statement form the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) said the three men were among four suspects arrested by officers of a Special Task Force put together by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, in conjunction with the Counter-Trafficking Unit, during an anti-crime exercise conducted in the Central Division last Friday.

The accused were suspected of trafficking in persons, mainly minors, from Venezuela.

Police said investigations are continuing in the matter.

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