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.