Princes Town MP Barry Padarath has distanced himself from a feud between National Security Minister Stuart Young and businesswoman Sacha Singh.
Padarath was initially scheduled to fly to Trinidad today on board a private charter, Blissful Jets, with which Singh is now affiliated.
However, although Padarath has an exemption to enter Trinidad, the other passengers did not.
The flight has since been cancelled.
Padarath told the Express that he is now set to fly from Miami to Antigua and then a charter from Antigua to Trinidad on Friday.
“I have already made alternative arrangements which were approved by Minister Young,” said Padarath.
He said he will not be travelling alone from Antigua but with a family of three, including a new-born who received exemptions.
During a virtual news conference on Monday, without calling names, Young expressed concern about a charter company advertising flights and said an investigation would be launched into companies offering flights to citizens without approval.
“I am going to be asking the authorities to investigate whether persons were fooled or tricked into paying their money on the basis that, by the payment of that money they would get approval to enter Trinidad and Tobago,” said Young.
“There is no charter company in the world that has the authority to bring people in with the individuals getting approval...I can say without fear of contradiction that this is completely false and misleading,” he added.
Singh, who had released a video advertisement for Blissful Jets in which she is featured, fired back at the Minister yesterday.
She told the Express that Young was “emotional” over an e-mail she sent him pleading for nationals to be granted exemptions to return home.
Asked whether persons paid any money and if they were reimbursed, Singh said of ten passengers, six paid and all six were reimbursed.
Singh said there are hundreds of Trinidad and Tobago nationals awaiting exemptions and was contacted by about 60 persons.
She said the company successfully flew persons from the United States to other Caribbean islands and recently a flight of more than 100 people went to Guyana with full cooperation from the various governments and embassies.
She said it is only in Trinidad and Tobago there is difficulty.
Singh said she also has a voice recording of a Ministry official explaining the required documents and process to be submitted to obtain exemptions — all of which were submitted.
Singh later issued a video making it clear the company is not involved in any trickery and is legitimately seeking to return persons to their home countries.
The advertising, she said, was not “misrepresentative” and did not claim to provide exemptions for payment.
“This private jet company followed the protocols of your Ministry outlines, which was apply as a group, show full receipt of payment and hotel accommodation and they would be entered in. We followed your Ministry’s guidelines, we did not get up upon ourselves and misrepresent to say we can get you in, come and pay money. That’s what you are purporting it to be and that is incorrect,” she said
Singh added that she reached out to Young to inform him of the services being offered via an e-mail.
However, despite her message to him concerning the many pleas of those stranded, her messages were ignored.
The Express attempted to contact Young for comment but there was no response.