More news from “One Happy & Safe” island, this time human traffickers are sentenced. For the OM to believe that this was a result of a human trafficking network the sentences seem to be rather light. If one really believes that human trafficking is a serious crime would not the penalties be more severe?
The human trafficking problem seems to a real issue; however, do not remember hearing the ATA mentioning this at the travel trade shows.
Amigoe, April 16, 2007: OM surmises network of human traffickers
Two human traffickers, Hector Ramon Rojas Acosta and Henry Gonzales Henao are taken back to prison after they had heard their sentence.
ORANJESTAD – A captain and a sailor, who had transported 18 persons from Venezuela early January, were sentenced to 16 and 20 months imprisonment, for being involved in human trafficking.
On January 6th of this year, the coastguard detected a small boat on the radar that was making conspicuous movements, didn’t have lights, and was not registered. The coastguard stopped the boat near the harbour of Barcadera and arrested the 20 persons on board. The e persons on board said the two of them, the 36-year old Venezuelan citizen Hector Ramon Rojas Acosta and the 44-year old Colombian Henry Gonzales Henao were respectively the captain and the sailor. The two were locked up separately in San Nicola and the others were also locked up awaiting deportation. Purpose of the journey was to seek a new existence in Aruba . The reason they came in a small boat is that the persons had no passport and no money for an airplane ticket.
The judge said that airline tickets would have been cheaper, considering the fact that Gonzalez had paid 6400 dollars for the boat, including the motors. The group of person on board came from Colombia to Punto Figo ( Venezuela ) and paid Rojas 320 dollars each for the trip to Aruba . The people that didn’t know how to swim were promised to be put on the beach, but that they will have to swim if things do not work out.
Due to the economic situations in Colombia , people leave their country to seek better existence elsewhere, in this case in Aruba . The captain of the boat made it appear that the boat was purchased by all the person on board for this purpose, but he forgets that the people have paid for the trip and not for the boat. The OM presumes that an organized human trafficking gang is behind this transport, because close to shore, the boat made a light signal to somebody that was on the shore. This means that there is a network and that the boat with people on board was expected to arrive.
Gonzales was already deported before and he has no legal papers. The OM demanded three years against Gonzalez and 18 months against Rojas.
The judge said that this is not the first human trafficking case. The Court considers human trafficking a very bad offence. He said that Gonzales shows no respect for the law in Aruba . He was deported before, and still tried to come back to Aruba . He said that it is proven that Rojas accepted money for the trip and that he was the captain. He still was of the opinion that the OM demanded a very high punishment.