SOUTH Western Division police yesterday arrested 11 foreigners, among them eight Venezuelans, two Syrians and a Guyanese, at a hotel in Erin for being in the country illegally.
Police also detained the 37-year-old proprietress of the hotel pending further enquires.
The arrests were part of an anti-crime exercise launched by Snr Supt Neville Adams and Supt Deonarine Basdeo, police said in a statement.
On Monday, a video of people jumping off a boat and running to the beach, with bags in their hands, began circulating on Facebook.
There were mixed reactions to the video with some people those in the boat could be seeking a better life because of hardship in their country, while others expressed fear that illegal foreigners are bringing in guns.
Police said Sgt Ancil Corrie of Erin Police Station led yesterday's exercise at the hotel in Los Iros in Erin.
The statement said police searched the hotel and arrested seven men and four women. The men, five of whom are Venezuelans, are between the ages of 31 to 55 years. There was also a Guyanese and a Syrian man. Three of the women are Venezuelans and the fourth, a Syrian. They are between the ages 18 to 49.
The foreigners were handed over to the Immigration Department in San Fernando.
Minister of National Security Stuart Young on a CNC3 news report described the video as disturbing.
He said the authorities were working on increasing border protection.
Young also said he was taking to Cabinet a number of initiatives directed at tackling the situation of the country's borders being too porous.