Venezuelan migrants

ILLEGAL ENTRY: Venezuelan migrants who came ashore in South Trinidad last Wednesday.

Venezuelan nationals who are legally residing in this country are being reminded that they should always have access to their registration cards.

This as 167 Venezuelans who were here illegally are being repatriated to their home country today.

The Police Service yesterday indicated that officers will be ramping up exercises and patrols to ensure there are no illegal nationals in the country, especially in light of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases that have not yet been traced.

As of yesterday, there were 15,463 Covid-19 cases in Venezuela and 142 deaths in a population of 28.4 million.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Jayson Forde, during a press briefing yesterday at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain, explained that the police will be increasing their patrols to ensure that people are in this country legally.

“Going forward we will be challenging persons who we meet out there and are going to be asking them to show documentation. I say this because on the face of it we cannot tell who is legal and who is not. So, we will be challenging them. If you are found to be wanting then you will be charged, sentenced and after court, repatriated,” Forde said.

He noted that today, 167 Venezuelan nationals are expected to be repatriated back to their home country.

Additionally, the DCP warned that people who had registration cards but breached the provisions of the documents, will also be looked at.

“When we hold persons, we enquire about their status and obviously if your status is legal, we will allow you to leave. However, there is a proviso to that. We have found situations where persons have breached the borders and gone back across to Venezuela and come back, even with registration documents. So if you find yourself in that particular situation, we are going to report you and the Minister of National Security has committed that he is going to cancel the registration document you have, and as such you will be deemed a person undesirable and you will be taken back to Venezuela,” Forde warned.

He also appealed to citizens who have information on illegal immigrants to notify the police.

“At the end of it all we want persons to adhere to the law so we can have a Covid-free T&T,” Forde said.

More than 100

held in one week

Forde noted that over the past week, more than 100 Venezuelan nationals who were here illegally had been detained.

He said the latest operation took place on Sunday in the Gulf of Paria, where Coast Guard officers were able to intercept a vessel with 32 Venezuelan nationals and one T&T citizen.

The 32 immigrants were conveyed to Staubles Bay in Chaguaramas where they were medically examined and transported to the Chaguaramas Heliport where they will undergo 14 days’ quarantine.

Sgt Adams is continuing investigations.

He noted that this operation was as a result of citizens contacting the police, informing them that boats were heading to drop off illegal immigrants in Las Cuevas.

As a result, an operation was launched in the village which resulted in eight Venezuelan nationals being arrested and detained.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Taxpayers now have to foot close to $10 million in damages to 20 former employees of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) who were dismissed by the Kamla Persad-­Bissessar regime.

The Industrial Court, in a ru­ling handed down on Wednesday, minced no words, with the panel describing the dismissals as “patently egregious” while, at the same time, slamming the Ministry of National Security under the former administration for not tendering a defence despite being ordered by the courts to do so.

Fifteen more people tested positive for the Covid-19 virus yesterday and are now in hospital. The Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 updates yesterday indicated that it was still unknown how 12 of the newest cases contracted the virus, as epidemiological investigations were being done. Three of the patients contracted the virus from recently positive Covid-19 patients, the Ministry noted.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is demanding that the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) remove an advertisement which, he said, likened black people to monkeys.

The Prime Minister was referring to a “Trinity’s Triangle” ad, in which an Afro-Trinidadian woman begs for food.

Opposition Leader Kamla Per­sad-­Bissessar has promised no one would lose their job because of race.

And she is urging the population to remain united and assured that if elected, her Government would not discriminate against anyone based on race or gender.

“As we hit the final few days, there are many who would seek to plant the seeds of fear and stir up ethnic doubts in your hearts. To me, the biggest challenge is to ignore those who do not believe in our resplendent possibilities as a people and our common destiny as a nation,” she said at a United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Thursday.

United National Congress (UNC) St Ann’s East candidate Kenya Charles has called on Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi to explain his wealth and why his family has a number of buildings throughout the country rented to the Government.