Trinidad Police Rescue 69 People from “Modern-Day Slavery” at Church Facility

Pastor Among Six Detained

A sting operation was executed by the Special Operation Response Team (SORT) at the Transformed Life Min­istry Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday October 9, 2019 – Police in Trinidad and Tobago this morning said they had “unearthed modern-day slavery” at a church’s rehabilitation centre, rescuing 69 people who had been held in captivity and arresting a pastor and five other people.             

The revelation from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) followed a sting operation coordinated by the Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and executed by the Special Operation Response Team (SORT) at the Transformed Life Min­istry Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre on Eastern Main Road in Arouca.

Transformed Life Ministry Rehabilitation Centre

The rescued people – all citizens of the twin-island republic – included 65 men and four women ranging in ages from 20 to their 60’s The TTPS said in a statement they were “all held captive…most of them were in cages and some handcuffs”.

“We have now cracked, probably what is one of the biggest situations pertaining to human trafficking in this country,” Commissioner Griffith said on the scene.

He said some of the people had been at the facilities for years.

“This is a much bigger picture and we’ll have to investigate each and every situation…This relates to virtual slavery where persons have been in cages; we have reports from some of them that they’ve been tortured. It is a much bigger picture – there’s profit made out of this,” Griffith said.

The string operation began at approximately 12:15 a.m. today, at the church on Eastern Main Road, Arouca. Search warrants were issued after a period of monitoring and investigations.

In addition to Commissioner Griffith, the TTPS’s Victim and Witness Support Unit also on scene, assisted by a medical unit comprising of doctors, nurses and ambulance attendants from the North Central Regional Health Authority, who conducted initial on-scene examinations of the rescued individuals before taking the individuals for treatment.

The TTPS said reports had been made to senior officers months ago about possible imprisonment of persons at the facility, and Commissioner Griffith is now investigating possible negligence of duties on the part of those officers.

Speaking to the media on the scene, the top cop said that senior officers had come to him “with the audacity…to say that they were aware of reports of false imprisonment”.

“So this matter has gone a little bit further where it can actually expand into possible investigation taking place with police officers.…I will assure the public there will be full transparency,” he said.


Pastor Glen Awong

Pastor Glen Awong of  the Transformed Life Min­istry Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre.

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  • kamtanblog  On 10/10/2019 at 4:38 am

    Amusing !
    Another ” Jonestown” in triniland….

    Guns and drugs cultural capital of
    carribean…Guyana beware be aware !


    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 10/10/2019 at 2:13 pm

      Kamtan, I made the same connection with Jonestown, when he mentioned that a pastor was involved.

  • mudhead2  On 10/10/2019 at 5:42 am

    Ah so it has shown it’s ugly head again. These so call churches. They are anti Human they want to enslave all humans in to thinking that there is somthing better after death. Shame on them

  • kamtanblog  On 10/10/2019 at 6:04 am

    Simple simonsays
    It justifies the evils of the religious fanatics.
    Religion opium of church synagogue
    mosques ….


  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 10/10/2019 at 2:14 pm

    What horror for those enslaved and held against their will!

  • guyaneseonline  On 10/11/2019 at 1:24 am

    Trinidad: Pastor in raid of rehab centre breaks his silence – ‘I am no monster’

    By Stabroek News October 10, 2019
    (Trinidad Express) I am not a monster!

    Pastor Glen Awong, the founder of Transformed Life Ministry and Rehabilitation Centre in Arouca where 69 people were “rescued” from cages yesterday says Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith got it all wrong.
    Photo: Pastor Glen Awong of  the Transformed Life Min­istry Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre.

    Awong, who lives on the compound of the Centre with his wife, denied that he was ever involved in human trafficking or that his facility was a slave house.

    Pastor Glen Awong
    In fact, he believes the raid on the centre yesterday may have been because he has the State in court for non-payment of $1.4 million.

    “I worked for the Government under the street dwellers programme with the Ministry of Social Development and they are owing me money,” he told the Express via telephone early this morning.

    “There is a cabal to come strong against me and paint me in black.

    The information about human trafficking… that doesn’t exist by me. They talk about fraud…that don’t exist by me. But it seems as if it was something more they were looking for. I sued the Government and I have a case going on with them right now and I feel this is something that came from the head,” he stated.

    Awong, an ex-prisoner, said since opening his facility back in 2000 he has helped thousands of people including ex-prisoners, street dwellers, the drug addicted and mentally ill.

    “The people I work with is who the Police would kill on the streets,” he said.

    “People bring their relatives by me because their relatives want to chop them up, beat them up and burn down the house. Up to yesterday, a client put some poisonous substance in a drink for a family member who ingested it. Thank God the family member did not die,” he added.

    “I am recommended by doctors, health facilities, so all they are saying is not true. If it was true they had a right to lock me up and my staff yesterday,” Awong went on.

    Awong said contrary to reports, he was never arrested and taken into Police custody yesterday.

    “That was a lie. I was at home yesterday with the police interrogating me. Police were looking for documents. I was home with the police giving them all the information they needed,” he said.

    Awong said some clients were kept in seclusion rooms and not cages as being reported.

    Three persons are seen in cages at the Transformed Rehabilitation Life Ministry Centre, where 69 persons were found at the facility in Arouca last night, during a police exercise.
    “I deal with four women who would want to throw mess at one another, so they have to sleep in seclusion rooms. St. Ann’s Hospital has seclusion rooms. And we have to have seclusion rooms because if we don’t then when clients trigger off and get violent on you will be in trouble. You have to restrain them and I’m not restraining them how the police will restrain them by shooting and killing them,” he said.

    Awong said in June this year the Ministry of Health inspected the rehabilitation centre and recommended that he upgrade a few things, which he is still doing.

    “They said to fix the cupboards so the clothing would not be out in the open. They asked for more ventilation, which I did. I am about to build to hospital status because I have professional people working with me like psychiatrists, nurses and so on. I have 22 members of staff. There is no place in Trinidad doing what I am doing. St. Ann’s Hospital keeps patients for two weeks and they are back on the streets or with relative. A client cannot be ok in two weeks. If medication runs out what will happen?” he said.

    Awong denied that his centre was cut off from Government subventions.

    “I worked with over 100 clients from the Ministry and they were not paying and that is why I have to resort to sue them now. When they took them out of here they were in the best of conditions,” he stated.

    He said his centre is fully funded by payments from clients.

    “It’s difficult. We have to run on a tight budget. We have to pay workers, we have to feed people. Me and my wife don’t work for a salary. We might eat and drink the same food that clients drink because we are satisfied with our cooks and they are professional cooks.”

    • kamtanblog  On 10/11/2019 at 3:42 am

      Dear pastor awong
      It is responsibility of state not church to
      care for its citizens.
      Claiming benefits on behalf of citizens
      then going to courts for re- embursements”
      is “immoral”….isn’t that what jack jones
      did in Jonestown.
      With all due respects dear pastor it does
      read “Jonestown” and it’s stigmata.
      Repeat my scepticism
      Guyanese be aware and beware !


      • mudhead2  On 10/11/2019 at 3:57 am

        All of this has one message and that is this man made thing that is called religion is anti-Human, and has one aim and that is to enslave the human race with a promise of some thing better after death.

      • kamtanblog  On 10/11/2019 at 4:00 am

        Some spy in the sky !
        Fear the weapon of the ruling class !

        Fear not …want not
        My illiterate grandmother taught me !


      • Ken Persaud  On 10/12/2019 at 1:07 am

        In all my 50 years on the planet I have seen no evidence of an afterlife. It is all wishful thinking, clearly. How and why people fall victims to con artists who assure followers of a better life after death is beyond me.


  • Jasmin Prasard  On 10/12/2019 at 1:18 pm

    Glen gone wrong look like one big psychopath with his fake teaching and slavery. His big ass look show he one con artist. Hope he gets a good cage to spend his life in.

    • Zenith  On 10/12/2019 at 3:39 pm

      Filth and scum comes to mind

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