A Guyanese man and his Brazilian friend were on Monday charged for Trafficking nine Brazilian women at the over the weekend. The duo appeared before Magistrate Lerone Daly.
Mario Figueira of Bel Air Gardens was slapped with nine charges of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and granted bail bail in the sum of $120,000 on each charge when he made his appearance in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
He will have to post bail totaling $1.08 million before he could be released from custody.
Meanwhile,, the Brazilian national who also pleaded not guilty along with Figueira, was remanded to prison until September 14.
According to the prosecution facts, the two men, between August 18 and 24, recruited, transported and harbored nine women from neighboring Brazil for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The women were being held at a house in Providence, East Bank Demerara where they claimed they were beaten and threatened.
They managed to escape and went to the Providence Police Station where a report was made.
However, Figueira’s Attorney denied this to be true.
He said the women were brought to Guyana to attend a private party at a nightclub over the weekend.
They reportedly returned home after the party on Saturday night and could not gain access to the house after which the report was made.
The nine women were not in Court but it was related that they came to Guyana legally and are expected to return before the end of the week.
Over the past year, Guyana has been stepping up its fight against human trafficking. A recent US report on human trafficking placed Guyana on a Tier 2 list, maintaining that Guyana is a country where human trafficking takes place.