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Wildlife trader jailed for human trafficking, ordered to pay over $2M in restitution to survivor

Wildlife trader Feezal Shaw has been sentenced to three years behind bars on one count of Trafficking in Persons by City Magistrate Faith McGusty.

Shaw of Soesdyke Public Road, East Bank Demerara (EBD), was also ordered to pay $2,127,000 in restitution to the survivor.

The restitution request was presented by a Senior Officer attached to the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Counter-Trafficking in Persons Unit.

It was reported that between February 14 and June 14, 2018, Shaw recruited, harboured, or transported two Venezuelan men to work but did not pay them.

He had told the men they would build cages for his exotic animals at Soesdyke. However, the men were paid for their first three days and were paid on June 1, 2018.

The duo later asked for the money owed, and the businessman took their passports and threatened to report them to the authorities if they did not continue working.

In 2018, similar Shaw was slapped with several charges. But these charges were dismissed owing to insufficient evidence.

In commenting on the case, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, said that her Ministry is satisfied that there is not only a conviction, but restitution has been awarded to the victim.

“I hope many more perpetrators face the full force of the law in the future, […] a conviction and restitution are steps in the direction we want.”

She added, “The restitution is a significant step in the right direction, and I believe it will definitely let the person affected understand that justice is served, and I am pleased to know justice was served in this case.”

The Ministry reiterates and encourages persons to report all suspicious activities to the hotline on 227-4083 or 623-5030. For Spanish-speaking persons, contact can be made to 624-0079.

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