Detainees released in human trafficking probe

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All of the detainees who were being questioned during the weekend on suspicion of human trafficking and breaching immigration and labour laws have been released.
Police and immigration sources said this was done pending further investigations.
More than 30 people were arrested late Friday night and early Saturday morning following law enforcement raids at two nightclubs.
Some were Antiguans and Barbudans and others included at least one Barbadian and several Jamaicans. Most of the detainees were women.
They were released between Sunday and yesterday.
On Sunday, a source close to the investigation said three Antiguans and Barbudans and one Barbadian were freed after they provided documents to prove their nationalities and that they had no connection to the suspected cases of human trafficking which led to raids under an operation dubbed “Libertado.”
Most of the detainees immediately received legal representation from attorneys Leon Chaku Symister and Michael Archibald. 
Symister confirmed the release of the detainees saying none of them had immigration or labour issues and that they were actually patrons at the time of the raids at the G-Spot Nightclub and the Cheetah Nightclub, both located in the capital, St. John’s. 
Several of those who were in custody were asked whether or not they were coerced into coming to Antigua and made to work as strippers and dancers at the two entities that were raided.
The public safety ministry issued a statement on Saturday morning saying that the local operation was given the name Libertado because it was part of a joint region-wide Action Day Operations in collaboration with INTERPOL.
The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention) Committee, within the Ministry of Public Safety and Labour spearheaded the operation.
Other participating organisations included members of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, the Fire Department, the Department of Immigration, the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy, the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, and Emergency Medical Services.

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