Daily Archives: May 14, 2010

St. Lucia “stealing our tourists” because Barbados tourism shareholders aren’t doing enough

Barbados not promoting the available low airfares!

This afternoon we received an email highlighting special airfares from the United States and Canada to St. Lucia.

It read ‘Airfare Sales to St. Lucia from US$99 each way’

‘Sample round-trip fares for Summer.
American Airlines, JetBlue or Delta – New York – $198 – Boston – $312 – Washington (DC) – $292 – Baltimore – $282 – Charlotte – $360 and Chicago – $312

West Jet and Air Canada – Toronto – $298’

Visit Barbados website: No promotion of fabulous bargain airfares to Barbados!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Not having seen these airfares before earlier this year, I then went of to American Airlines website and found a one way airfare of US$89 from New York to Barbados for travel in May.

Looking at the recently released forward hotel occupancy levels for this summer, I then went onto our national tourism website (www.visitbarbados.org) and was surprised not to find any links to details of these special fares.

In fact on the site only two airlines are mentioned, US Airways and Air Canada, and I understand we have already lost the US Airways Philadelphia service.

I have to pose the question again, is our inactively and lackadaisical response loosing us critical long stay visitors during the softer summer months?

Are ‘we’ really happy to accept a national hotel occupancy level of just 24% in August again this year?

Are ‘we’ allowing our Caribbean neighbours to ‘steal’ our market share by them being far more proactive?

Adrian Loveridge
14th May 2010

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

What happened with the Caribbean Child Sex Trafficking Ring mentioned online by BANGO Secretary General, Roosevelt O. King?

Have the Barbados Police acted upon the Shocking Revelations by community leader Roosevelt O. King?

On August 3, 2009 in a stunning public statement, the Secretary General of the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organisations revealed that he has personal knowledge of international trafficking of American girls as young as 14 years old for the purposes of prostitution and making porn movies in the Caribbean.

The BANGO official also stated that he speaks with the girls and the people who are recruiting and trafficking them and that he is flooded with emails, photos and videos from some of the girls being trafficked after they return to the United States.

BANGO Secretary General Roosevelt O. King

Writing under his own name on Barbados Underground, a local blog where he is a frequent contributor and featured author, Roosevelt O. King described how the young girls are brought from the USA to the Caribbean where they are prostituted to local men. According to Mr. King, pornographic movies are made for commercial purposes by the organisers of the trips.

Mr. King says the young girls are lured to the Caribbean with promises of “all inclusive” vacations and that the girls themselves recruit their friends for subsequent annual trips. King states that sometimes the parents offer their daughters for trafficking with full knowledge of what the “vacations” are all about.

On August 3, 2009, Mr. King wrote “Right now, I know of at least three tours going on in the Caribbean; I mean in progress as I write. None that I know of in Barbados this year; all gone to Jamaica.”

Mr. King’s statement clearly implies that the tours visited Barbados in previous years and that he is aware of this. He says he knows some of the girls. He stated that he was aware of sex tours as they were happening – not just afterward.

Did Mr. King alert the police to the sex-trafficking groups? Has he turned over the identities, emails, photos and videos of the children and young girls who are being sold so they can be rescued and their pimps charged?

According to Mr. King…

“I know some of these girls, yes. They stay in touch and I don’t even have to solicit any information from them but it is a cycle. These girls recruit and break-in young white girls to do this thing (incidentally, mothers recruit their girl children too and are proud of it…

When they get back home, they are going to be flooding me with pics and videos of themselves, etc., which incidentally I never save to my computer, so police don’t come; I have no evidence for you.”

… Roosevelt O. King, Secretary General of the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organisations writing at Barbados Underground blog on August 3, 2009.

Editor’s note: A photo of Mr. King’s comments appears later in our article. The comments can also be seen still posted at Barbados Underground.

Did Mr. King provide the emails, photos and videos to the police?

Each one of us has a moral duty, and sometimes a legal duty, to stop child prostitution and trafficking in persons.

In his comments, Mr. King stated that the young girls being sex trafficked had sent him emails and flooded him with “with pics and videos of themselves, etc., which incidentally I never save to my computer, so police don’t come; I have no evidence for you.”

Of course with online services like Gmail, Yahoo! or HotMail the photos, videos and emails would not be saved to Mr. King’s computer unless he did so, but they would be preserved in his online email unless he deliberately deleted them. There are also hidden files on computers where copies of photos and emails viewed on the internet are often stored even if the computer user has not downloaded the photos or emails.

Did Roosevelt O. King contact the police at the time and provide the evidence so these child prostitutes could be identified and rescued?

The public deserves a clear answer on this point from a community leader like Mr. King and from our police. We expect that the Royal Barbados Police Force would have commenced an investigation immediately upon hearing from Mr. King or reading his information on child prostitution in the Caribbean and USA.

When children are being trafficked for prostitution, “Don’t want to get involved” is not an acceptable position from anyone, let alone the leader of a public organisation like BANGO that represents citizens and citizens’ groups at various levels before our own Government and Caricom – so we expect that Mr. King did his duty and turned over the emails, videos and photos to the police so the child prostitutes can be identified and rescued.

Police Commissioner Dottin should confirm that Mr. King provided all assistance to the police.

Dear Commissioner of Police Dottin:

In light of Roosevelt O. King’s public online revelations about trafficking in child prostitutes in August of 2009, the public has a right and an interest in confirming that the police were notified by Mr. King and that he provided them with the photos, emails, videos and all relevant information about where and when he met these young girls, who was there and under what circumstances at each meeting.

We believe it is in the public interest for both BANGO and the Royal Barbados Police Force to issue a joint public statement confirming that Mr. King voluntarily approached the police and provided all assistance including the photos, videos, emails and contact information for the child prostitutes.

Mr. King may now regret being as frank as he was during a public discussion at a popular Barbados website, but what he said remains on the public record and cannot be ignored.

Trafficking in persons and child prostitution is an international fight and right now Barbados is being criticised for inaction by the international community.

We expect and demand that BANGO will immediately confirm that Secretary General Roosevelt O. King told the Royal Barbados Police Force everything he knows about this child sex trafficking ring in August of 2009 – especially the identities and contact information of the involved persons which he states he knows. We also expect that Police Commissioner Dottin will confirm that his officers interviewed Mr. King in August 2009, received his emails, photos and videos and acted upon Mr. King’s information to identify and rescue the child and teen prostitutes that Mr. King wrote about at Barbados Underground blog.

Trafficking In Persons Report confirms Mr. King’s general statements

As outrageous as Mr. King’s statements may sound to the naive, everything he says about the business of trafficking in young girls and even parental involvement is confirmed by the Trafficking in Persons Report released in June of 2009 and available on the website of the US Embassy in Barbados.

That June 2009 report criticized Barbados for not complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and further said…

“Expansion of the tourism industry is fueling an increased demand for commercial sex in Barbados, but the government made no noticeable efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Barbados has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.”

… from the Trafficking In Persons Report – June 2009 – download PDF here

Also see BFP’s September 9, 2009 article United States Vows to increase prosecution of Human Trafficking in it’s offshore territories

BANGO – Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organisations

Roosevelt O. King, 
Secretary General – BANGO

Speaking Up – Official Blog of the Barbados Association of Non Governmental Organisations

Read the full text of Mr. King’s statements below or at Barbados Underground

Note: The photo of the sex slave at the top of our article was taken from page 42 of the June 2009 Trafficking in Persons report issued by the US Department of State as introduced by Hillary Clinton.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Human Rights, Immigration, Police, Slavery