A Linden farmer, who has been identified as 44-year-old Tito Browne, was sentenced to four years imprisonment after he was found guilty of trafficking two Jamaican nationals.
Browne, also known as ‘Tommy’ and ‘Yankee’, received two four-year term sentences when he appeared before Magistrate Wanda Fortune at the Linden Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. The two sentences will run concurrently.
The Guyana Police Force, in a statement today, said Browne was also sentenced to one-year imprisonment on the count of withholding the passports of the two Jamaican nationals. He was also fined $200,000 and ordered to pay $6.3M in restitution to the victims.
Magistrate Fortune handed down the sentences after an eight-month-long trial that began in December 2021 and concluded last August.
According to the prosecution’s case, in November 2020, one of the victims met an individual in Jamaica, who indicated that Browne needed someone to work on his farm at Kara Kara Creek, Linden, Guyana, and was willing to pay US$5,000 for the work to be done.
The first victim reportedly informed the second victim about the opportunity, and together they arranged with Browne, who promised to facilitate all their travel expenses.
The men left Jamaica on December 12, 2020, and upon their arrival in Guyana, Browne instructed them to inform immigration that they would only be spending two weeks.
“Upon arriving at the campsite at Kara Kara Creek, Browne informed them that they would be spending six months at the campsite and confiscated their passports. The victims recounted that from the date of entry to 24th April 2021, they worked at the Kara Kara camp but never received any compensation from Browne,” the police detailed.
The victims added that Browne would visit periodically and demand that they work more diligently. Though he continuously promised to pay them, he never did. They were only allowed to contact their families from Browne’s phone whenever he visited the campsite.
They told the police that for three weeks, no one visited them, and their supplies ran low, forcing them to leave the site.
“The victims were forced to venture from the camp in search of other campsites, walking through bushes and swamplands until they managed to locate a logger who eventually took them to a village where they related their story and made a police report,” the police detailed.
Browne was arrested on April 28, 2021 one day after a wanted bulletin had been issued for him by the police.
Just last week, a wildlife trade, Feezal Shaw was sentenced to three years imprisonment on one count of human Trafficking and ordered to pay $2.1M in restitution to the survivor.
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