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Monday 20 May 2019
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Venezuelan criminals in TT being monitored

Speaker of the House Brigid Annisette-George. Photo by Roger Jacob
Speaker of the House Brigid Annisette-George. Photo by Roger Jacob

HOUSING Minister Edmund Dillon says the movements of Venezuelan criminals in Trinidad are being monitored.

He was responding to an urgent question in Parliament Tuesday on what urgent measures were being taken to address the infiltration of local gangs by notorious drug cartels operating out of the Delta Amacuro region in Venezuela.

Dillon, speaking on behalf of the National Security Minister, said the question seemed to have arisen from on an article in the TT Guardian.

"(That) was, in fact, based on a master's thesis done by an individual in 2015. So even that information is sort of dated."

He said the police had put a number of measures in place to deal with the illegal entry of Venezuelans and others coming into TT. He said the measures were to establish and strengthen liaison with Interpol to identify criminals on the Interpol database coming into TT and to strengthen liaison between the local intelligence units including the Strategic Services Agency and the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit to monitor the movements of Venezuelans into Trinidad both legally and illegally.

"They are also monitoring the connections between Venezuelan criminals who have been identified in TT and the local gangs."

Naparima MP Rodney Charles asked whether Venezuelans resident in this country facilitating entry into local gangs had been identified and, if so, when they would be deported. Dillon said investigations were being done and only when those bore fruit could the move to deportations be made.

Charles asked how many people were being investigated and Dillon replied the number changed daily.

"As we speak there may be additional numbers."

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