Just three days before 82 Venezuelan nationals were repatriated from Trinidad & Tobago to Venezuela, the President of the Foreign Policy Committee of the National Assembly of the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela, Luis Florido, wrote to T&T's Ambassador in Caracas, Paul Byam, calling for the men to be released from T&T's Immigration Detention Centre on humanitarian grounds.
The letter stated that the Venezuelans were seeking to escape the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, adding that "this is not a crime".
Twenty-seven Venezuelan nationals were arrested during an anti-crime exercise, conducted by officers of the Southern Division, in the Barrackpore district, over the weekend.
Officers of the Southern Division Task Force and San Fernando Criminal Investigation Department conducted the exercise, which was supervised by ASP (Ag.) Peter Ramdeen and Insp. (Ag.) Don Gajadhar, between 3 am and 11 am on Saturday 7th April, 2018.
The Ministry of National Security says its Immigration offices at Temple Court, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain will be closed to the general public on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
The following Immigration offices will also be closed on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, with the exception of all port operations:
1. No. 67 Frederick Street, Port of Spain
2. No. 135 Henry Street, Port of Spain
3. Government Plaza, No. 3–9 Richmond Street, Port of Spain
4. No. 2 Knox Street, San Fernando
5. D’Marrie Hill, Guaico Main Road, Sangre Grande
On the heels of immigration officers signing a “no confidence” petition against acting Chief Immigration Officer (AgCIO) Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews, a cheque totalling $31,080 has surfaced. That hefty payment was made to a popular Hotel at Crown Point Tobago from the Immigration Department.
Senior immigration officers are calling on Gandhi-Andrews to clear the air on the purpose of the three alleged trips and stay at the Coco Reef Resort and Spa between June 2017 to September 2017.
The national security minister says automatic kiosks to replace the immigration desks at the airport should be in place by carnival next year.
The minister was responding to questions regarding what measure have been put in place to ensure there is no recurrence of what transpired on Sunday, November 12th when several immigration officers stayed away from work causing arriving passengers to wait for hours to be processed.
Minister Dillon says while investigations into that incident are ongoing, there are new contingency plans.
The Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) has apologised for the chaos that occured at the Piarco International Airport on Sunday due to a shortage of Immigration officers.
Arriving passengers had to wait for as long as five hours to clear Immigration after just two of 15 officers turned up for work.
The Airports Authority is not responsible for Immigration officers but AATT issued the following statement today: