Diamond Night Club owner fails to appear in court on TIP charges
Freeman Fordyce, the owner of the Diamond Strip Club, has been formally charged by Police with two counts of trafficking Venezuelan women to Guyana for sexual exploitation.
The 41-year-old Fordyce of Nandy Park, East Bank Demerara was set to appear before the Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on Friday but did not show up in court to answer to the charges.
Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers told the court that Fordyce was charged at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and placed on self-bail with reporting conditions, pending his arraignment in court.
According to the Prosecutor, Fordyce has not been reporting to the CID and he is currently being sought by the police.
The Chief Magistrate issued a summons for Fordyce and adjourned the matter to March 14, 2019.
During the month of February 2019, the Diamond Strip Club was raided by ranks from the Guyana Police Force which led to the arrest of 15 women, all said to be foreign nationals.
The raid was prompted following a video on social media, which showed a woman jumping over a locked gate to get into the Diamond Hotel and Night Club compound.
The woman was being assisted by four of her ‘friends’ who were on the other side of the fence; they were holding up the security barb wire so that the woman could have gained entry.
Hours after the video hit social media, police raided the compound and detained the 15 women, whom the investigators suspect to be victims of trafficking.
Two months ago, Fordyce was handed a four-year suspended sentence by Principal Magistrate Faith McGusty after being found guilty of gun and ammunition charges.
The Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had appealed the decision.
Fordyce is currently on trial for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.
He was charged after video footage showed him (Fordyce) resisting being searched and then punching Inspector Narine in the face.
In January, Fiona Hopkinson, an employee of the night club, was charged for trafficking four Venezuelan women and forcing them to work as strippers at the entity.
She was also charged for withholding the women’s travel documents.
In 2018, Hopkinson and Rodwell Dempster, another employee of the entity, were jointly charged for trafficking five Venezuelans for sexual exploitation at the same night club and hotel.