Police officials are hunting for a child trafficker. (Credits: Ian Alleyne, Facebook)

 Authorities search for 38-year-old child trafficker in Tunapuna

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is locating 38-year-old Anthony Michael Smith of Tunapuna has been charged with the trafficking of a child.

The Police personnel are seeking the public’s assistance in locating the accused, who was charged with a serious offence on Thursday, November 2, 2023.

A Search is currently going on for Smith after he disappeared and failed to appear for a court hearing. He was lastly spotted wearing an electronic monitoring device.

The accused was convicted and charged with 21 offences under Human Trafficking Act at the High Court and has been sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment, which he is supposed to serve all at once.

In the first instance, Smith was charged in January 2016, and an initiatory enquiry was conducted in his case, following which he was committed in June 2017.

As a condition of his bail in 2021, he was also ordered by the court to be electronically monitored in December and put down for a 24-hour home curfew, where he stayed for 510 days.

Notably, Smith spoke to the court for a variation of his order to grant him permission to go to his work. He was then placed on a “one-piece device”, where he stayed for another 170 days.

However, a distress signal was triggered on the strap, indicating an interference witnessed on September 24, 2023, around 6:32 a.m.

Instead of searching him several times to prove him futile, the officials still do not catch him, and he is yet to be found.

Many People expressed their frustration with his initial release and stated their opinion that he should not have been granted bail for his initial offence. Due to this, the police personnel are unable to find him now.

Officials conducted a hunt for Smith in the surrounding places, and an investigation is going on in several different places.

There is an immediate need to raise awareness among people about child trafficking or child abuse so that no perpetrator goes unpunished. Strict action should be taken against such crimes as child trafficking, which has a serious impact on children’s mental health.