COMMISSIONER of Police Gary Griffith is asking that consideration be made to deport all Venezuelans, who, through intelligence gathering, have been found to be involved in criminal activity.
He made the statement earlier at a police press briefing held at the TTPS Administration building in Port of Spain, a day after Government announced that registration for legal and illegal Venezuelan immigrants would be undertaken in June.
Griffith's statement was also made hours before two more Venezuelan men were killed, this time in a shoot-out with police in Central TT.
Griffith said three Venezuelans had been murdered for the year, and investigations had indicated that they were linked with criminal elements. He added that several others had been arrested for various crimes. According to Griffith, six were arrested for their involvement in robberies, three were held with firearms, one was held with narcotics, two were arrested in relation to malicious woundings, one, in relation to a kidnapping and another for sexual offences.
“While we are doing the charitable thing and we are trying to help, my point is charity must begin at home. There is a clear and present danger when certain Venezuelans are entering this country and they are involved in one thing and one thing alone – criminal activity.” Griffith said.
“The reason I am saying this is, as much as they would have all the people who would like to say that Jesus was a refugee and we have to take care of everyone, the fact is that I have to take care of TT citizens.”
Griffith explained Venezuelan refugees are coming into the country, and because they are in desperate need of work some are being lured into a life of crime by criminals, while others who have had a criminal past in Venezuela, have managed to come into the country with the intention of continuing their lives of crime.
Griffith said letting these criminal elements into the country unchecked would severely damage the work being done by police to protect the citizens of TT and reduce crime and the fear of crime.
“This situation with Venezuelan nationals coming in here with a deliberate intention to be involved in criminal activity is unacceptable... What they are basically getting is a “get out of jail free card.”