Venezuelans who want to travel to Trinidad and Tobago, don’t have a passport but can pay between US$250 and $300 are in luck.
For this small fee, people-smugglers are guaranteeing to transport them “up to your front door” and are suggesting that they don’t pay more than US$250.
Newsday found one Facebook page offering the package deal under the title Trinidad Tucupita. A TT cell contact number is attached to the flyer entitled “Servicio de viajes” (travel service).
Another advertisement was posted on the Facebook page Hermanos Venezolanos viajando a Trinidad (Venezuelan brothers travelling to Trinidad). The poster, placed by an account with the name Jose Miguel Bolivar, says the company can guarantee safe passage to the front door in TT. The post reads “Gentlemen actv travel actv departure from Tucupita to Trinidad without problem 100% safe with your taxi to your destination.”
Another post promises to get legitimate passports, extensions of passports and international driver’s permits from two of Venezuela’s state departments, SAIME and INTT. SAIME stands for Servicio Administrativo de Identificación, Migración y Extranjería translated to Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Immigration. INTT stands for Instituto Nacional de Transporte Terrestre: National Institute of Land Transportation.
In a third flyer, posted on Thursday, the Express of the Sea offers to take Venezuelans from Valencia in Venezuela to Trinidad.
The flyers came to light after police arrested 33 Venezuelans this week for illegally entering the country.
On Wednesday, 33 Venezuelans were detained by South-Western and Tobago Division police.
In Erin, the South-Western Task Force was tipped off and went to Ayres Road, Los Iros beach, where they arrested 15 people hiding in the bushes after they were seen disembarking from a vessel. They were taken to the Siparia Health facility to be medically examined and later taken to the Chaguaramas Heliport, from where they were to be transported for a 14-day quarantine period.
In the second arrests, police from Crown Point Police Station and immigration officers went to guesthouses at Gaskin Bay Road, Bon Accord and at Alfred Crescent, Bon Accord, and held 18 Venezuelans. The group is being held at the Crown Point Police Station pending further enquiries.
Newsday sent a flyer to Minister of National Security Stuart Young asking if he was aware of the ad and what was being done to address this situation.
Young has not responded to the message,
Newsday will update the story when he does.