Trinidad: 70 il­le­gal im­mi­grants held in 2 weeks

Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL NEWS -

(Trinidad Guardian) T&T’s for­mer por­ous bor­ders have “hard­ened” in the last two weeks with ap­prox­i­mately 70 peo­ple ap­pre­hended, seek­ing il­le­gal en­try, says Na­tional Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Stu­art Young.

Plus, an­i­mals which were smug­gled into T&T from Venezuela have been de­stroyed.

Young con­firmed this in Par­lia­ment on Fri­day re­ply­ing to Op­po­si­tion queries.

His news comes in the wake of an in­ci­dent where a group of for­eign­ers were seen sneak­ing into T&T via boat at Erin a few weeks ago. Young said in the last cou­ple weeks a Coast Guard fast pa­trol boat has been cen­tred in the South West pre­vent­ing il­le­gals reach­ing shore and other boats are based on the North Coast.

Both Coast Guard and po­lice ser­vice boats are pa­trolling ar­eas where in­tel­li­gence in­for­ma­tion re­veal il­le­gals are land­ing.

He said 50 to 70 peo­ple have been held and a num­ber of them were pre­vented from land­ing: “The bor­ders have hard­ened in the last two weeks.”

He also noted that Coast Guard on Novem­ber 14 in­ter­cepted 15 ves­sels at­tempt­ing to trans­port Venezue­lan na­tion­als into Trinidad as they made their way to Matelot: “This in­tel­li­gence led op­er­a­tion lead to the ar­rest of six Venezue­lans who were handed over to po­lice and Im­mi­gra­tion.”

Young con­firmed there are 214 il­le­gal ports be­tween Trinidad and Tobago.

He added that the De­fence Force col­lab­o­rates with key na­tional stake­hold­ers on rou­tine and in­ci­dent-spe­cific in­tel­li­gence-driven op­er­a­tions for bor­der pro­tec­tion.

“Op­er­a­tions are con­ducted through use of con­tem­po­rary risk-based tech­niques in con­junc­tion with up to date surveil­lance equip­ment in­clud­ing im­age de­tec­tion sys­tems from static and mo­bile plat­forms,” he ex­plained.

“Joint bor­der se­cu­rity teams con­duct fre­quent three-di­men­sional pa­trols to de­tect, de­ter and pre­vent in­cur­sions and to pro­vide early warn­ing and in­di­ca­tors of po­ten­tial threats to bor­ders. Strate­gies have led to quicker, more ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponses to the evolv­ing threats.

Na­tional Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Stu­art Young

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