Researcher and retired nurse Marilyn Awong staged a livid one-woman protest outside Parliament at the International Waterfront Tower D yesterday against what she described as a grave disservice against her by the TT Customs and Excise Division.
Awong returned to TT in July after completing research on behalf of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Faculty of Medical Sciences in the United States and expected her vehicle, furniture and other personal effects to be shipped shortly after her arrival, however, Awong was later informed by officials at the Customs and Excise Division that she overstayed her visit to the US by one month and her property would be kept at the port pending approval of documents.
“It’s been more than two months now I’m sleeping on the floor of my home. I have been appealing for help from everyone from the Port Authority, the Customs and Excise Division, the Minister of Finance, I’ve even written to my Member of Parliament for Laventille West to give me some relief in this matter and I am no closer to receiving my belongings.”
Awong said despite submitting a letter from the UWI Ethics committee in August, she has not received any feedback from the Customs and Excise Division on the state of her items and was last told that the release of her items would have to come after an approval from Cabinet.
“I don’t know who else to turn to at this point and I am very disappointed in the response I’ve received from the division and the Port Authority in this matter.”
Newsday attempted to contact the Customs and Excise Division yesterday for comment but was unsuccessful.