September 28, 2022

Businessman freed of human trafficking in case involving J’cans

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Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 11.33.37 AMFrom Jamaica Observer

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — A 61-year-old businessman has been freed of three counts of human trafficking after the prosecution withdrew the charges against him.

Adrian Deane of Brighton, owner of Farmer’s Market Bakery & Snackette in Arnos Vale, appeared in court charged with trafficking three Jamaicans to the island, charges which he denied.

Deane was charged on October 5, 2015 and had been granted EC$80,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) bail.

Deane told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) Monday after he was freed that he had invited one of the Jamaicans, a man, who was at the time in Cayman Islands with his girlfriend, to St. Vincent after he claimed to have expertise that Deane thought was an asset to his business.

The two other Jamaican came here in 2014 and spent five days as guests at Deane’s house before returning to the Cayman Island.
Deane said they returned in May 2015, and the man insisted on bringing his girlfriend, and she insisted on bringing her 19-year-old son, who was in Jamaica at the time.

Immigration officials allowed them six months stay and Deane said he accommodated them at his home and later at a hotel and a rented private home, at great expense to himself.

In addition to providing lodging for the three Jamaicans, Deane said he provided food for them, including meeting their particular demands for bottled water and snapper fish.

Deane said he also provided healthcare for the man and his common-law wife, paying for a dental procedure for her and to treat a cyst on the man’s eye.

By July, the relationship broke down after one of the Jamaicans allegedly pulled a cutlass on him in his own home, which he reported to the police. But he gave the trio a second chance, after they asked his forgiveness.

However, the relationship broke down again while they were awaiting the outcome of applications for work permits.

“After I got charged, I went and researched what human trafficking is and what is the legal definition to see where I was in violation of any law. And to me, nothing lined up with the legal definition,” Deane told CMC.

He, however, said that his faith in God helped him through the difficult ordeal, which he said cost him an estimated EC$30, 000.

Deane’s lawyer, Grant Connell, said the charges against his client were “just another case where the police put the cart before the horse.

“The case had not merit. I guess it was done in haste to prove to the world that we were being effective, but in the process sacrificed a hard-working Vincentian who runs a business trying to make ends meet in this harsh economic climate.

“The police are in dire need of proper training. If the powers that be fail to address the issue the society will pay the price,” he said.

The charges against Deane came three months after the United States State Department released its 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, in which it placed St. Vincent and the Grenadines on its Tier 2 Watch List, a downgrade of the 2014 ranking.

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