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Monday 9 December 2019
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CoP dismisses ‘rumshop talk’ of mass migration

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith said the police were working with their regional and international partners in performing thorough background checks and ensuring the safety of citizens, in relation to the influx of migrants from Venezuela. He dismissed reports of criminals being among the immigrants as "rumshop talk."

Griffith made the remarks during this morning's weekly media briefing at the Police Administration Building on Sackville Street, Port of Spain.

He said while the police were aware of the influx, contrary to the perception of some, there was no mass immigration to TT through illegal ports.

Referring to a television screen in the briefing room of the building, Griffith showed a photo showing Havelock Street, outside the Queen's Park Oval, empty. He said this was taken before the deadline for the registration of Venezuelan migrants and asserted that reports of a large-scale movements of migrants were untrue.

"Where are the tens of thousands? This (photo) was way prior to the deadline on Friday at the Queen's Park Oval, so why would people flock here in their numbers through ships, boats, submarines and hovercraft, but don't register?

"The wrong perception we continue to have where people love to give rumshop talk...I wish to assure the citizens that there is no such situation that took place or is taking place with respect to this mass influx of people entering illegal ports of entry."

Griffith also said while there was no cause for panic surrounding an influx of migrants, there were plans for the police to do their part in securing borders, which would involve assisting the Defence Force on interceptor vessels around the coast and in swamplands.

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