Strip club owner remanded on charge of trafficking Venezuelan women

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Freeman Fordyce, the owner of the Diamond Strip Club, was on Monday arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan for trafficking two Venezuelan women to Guyana for sexual exploitation.

Fordyce, 41, of Nandy Park, East Bank Demerara pleaded not guilty to the two charges.

Police claimed that between September to November last year, he transported and harboured the two women for sexual exploitation.

Fordyce was represented by Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes who made an application for bail.

Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers opposed bail; he claimed that Fordyce posed as a flight risk, arguing that he has not been reporting to Police after he was released on station bail pending his appearance in court.

The Chief Magistrate ruled in the prosecution’s favour and remanded Fordyce to prison until May 8, 2019.

According to reports, the women were nabbed by Police during a roadblock on November 3, 2018, and were taken to the Criminal Investigation Department after they failed to produce their identification cards.

While in Police custody, the women claimed that during the months of September 2018, they were desperately in need of work and Fiona Hopkinson, an employee of the night club, took them to work as prostitutes at Fordyce’s Club.

It is alleged the women’s passports were taken away and they were told that the documents would be returned when a debt of US$600 is repaid for travel expenses.

Three 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.

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