NATIONAL Security Minister Stuart Young has rubbished claims that Venezuelans are coming to TT by boat in the “thousands.” He was contributing to Senate debate yesterday on a private Opposition motion calling on Government to implement a strategic crime prevention plan.
He said in efforts to secure the nation’s borders a decision was taken to upgrade the radar system and it is operational. He recalled he saw the system in action last Friday.
“Despite all of the noise, all of the untruths, all of the attempts to mislead the population of TT with persons coming in on our southern coast the day after the 14th of June when the registration process came in the radar system – and I met with the analyst and the technician and I saw it for myself – one vessel, one vessel that tried to come into our borders from Venezuela.”
He said Siparia Regional Corporation chairman Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh has said “thousands were coming in” and another councillor “of no worth whatsoever” was “screaming, ‘Boatloads of them coming.’”
Young said these claims were completely untrue and the technology had proved it. He explained the technology was being used to analyse the data and look at pathways that were being repeatedly used and this was where the limited resources were being driven. He said a lot of illegal arms were being picked up and yesterday there was a big find of marijuana.
He said the intake of illegal drugs in this country has been reduced and this has resulted in some murders “because people can’t pay for the consignments their drugs and then the gangs deal with each other that way, unfortunately.”
He said a lot of illegal firearms and ammunition were available in TT and this was not only because of porous borders on the sea front but issues at Piarco Airport. He stressed the dismantling of some of the equipment at Piarco between 2010 and 2015 “allowed porous entry both in our legal airports and also at our ports.”
He said scanners were being used at the sea ports, Point Lisas and Port of Spain: “Despite all of the noise and all of the lies told, they are in use.” He added the dismantling of equipment at Piarco by the previous administration allowed the entry of illegal arms.