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The Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and the Iwokrama International Centre (IIC) will be closely monitoring vehicles passing through the Iwokrama forest after it was discovered that some transport operators are trafficking illegal aliens, likely from Brazil, to Guyana.
In a release on Thursday, the IIC noted that, on June 13, two bus drivers transported groups of aliens likely from Brazil. On July 6, 2020 at Iwokrama’s ranger station at Corkwood, the IIC said that the police found three illegal Brazilians on a bus. The foreigners were dropped off at the popular Oasis restaurant while the bus continued to Georgetown.
“A few days later on a tip, Iwokrama staffers unearthed yet another very disturbing development within the Iwokrama Forest, a secret way of bypassing the monitoring stations and getting illegals past the police at Corkwood and Kurupukari,” the IIC stated, adding:
“A few days later, two persons where caught coming out of one of these trails, one Brazilian and one Guyanese. They were handed over to police and the Brazilian has since been deported. Investigations are continuing on the detained Guyanese to assess whether or not he is a trafficker or guide.”
The IIC said that its management is taking this situation very seriously as the trafficking of illegal persons is criminal and poses a serious COVID-19 health risk to communities. The statement pointed out: “[The] COVID-19 health situation is very serious and Iwokrama Management is requesting that transport providers be very careful and that they pay attention to the situation at hand. There is an upsurge of cases now in the Rupnununi and most of these are linked to persons crossing the border.”
Teaming up with the GPF and MOPH the ICC hopes to find road users complicit in such acts and hopes to see a ban placed on these vehicles passing through the Iwokrama Forest for at least three months. It noted that the Ministry of Citizenship will also be taking action.