Accused Human Traffickers Offered $1m Bail

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Latest Jamaica News, St James: A mother and her daughter accused of exploiting two females by forcing them to engage into immoral activities, were each offered bail in the sum of $1 million when they appeared before the St. James Parish Court on Tuesday, July 9.

Forty-three-year-old Ionie Ricketts and her 19-year-old daughter Lisa-Shay Whyte, both of New Ramble, Bogue in St. James, have been charged alongside Jerome Murray, who is said to be the boyfriend of Ricketts..

Ricketts is charged with human trafficking while Whyte and Murray are facing a charge of facilitating human trafficking.

The matter was set for mention for an application to be processed to ensure the safety of the witnesses so that the prosecution could make a decision on bail.

However, the court was told on Tuesday that the process has started but would take up to three months to finalize.

Based on the length of time that the process will take, the prosecution did not object to bail. Presiding judge Sandria Wong-Small subsequently offered the two women bail in the sum of $1 million each with reporting conditions attached and a curfew order imposed.

Murray will remain in custody until October 2 when the case returns to court.

It is alleged that on April 26, 2019, the two young ladies were walking along a road in St. James when they were chased by Ricketts and Whyte. One of the complainants escaped, but the other was captured, placed inside of a motorcar and taken away.

Family members of the captured female reported her missing and sought the assistance of the other complainant in finding her.

On May 4, the police visited Rickett’s home in New Ramble where they saw Murray. He was taken to the police station where he contacted Ricketts and called her to the station.

Rickets later arrived at the station where she admitted to knowing the whereabouts of the missing complainant then contacted Whyte who later showed up at the station with the missing girl.

The police conducted an interview with the two complainants and it was revealed that the three defendants were exploiting the two young ladies. All three were arrested and charged.

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