FIVE Venezuelans and one Trinidadian were arrested during an anti-crime exercise conducted in the Santa Flora and Erin Districts on Friday.
The arrest as National Security Minister Stuart Young on Saturday warned locals that it is illegal to harbour illegal immigrants and cautioned Venezuelans who engage in smuggling immigrants that will lose their registration cards.
According to police, the six were held at a house in Palo Seco in an exercise carried out Siparia, Santa Flora and Erin CID officers.
Police said they received a tip-off and went to a wooden house at in Palo Seco and held a 36-year-old labourer of Trace Beach Road, and five Venezuelans ages 40, 20, 26, two and one. They were all taken for medical testing and then sent to the Heliport in Chaguaramas for quarantine.
This arrest happened two days after 33 Venezuelans were detained by South-Western and Tobago Division police. Police said in Erin, the South-Western Task Force got a tip 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 examined and were later taken to the Chaguaramas Heliport for a 14-day quarantine period.
In the second arrest, Crown Point police and immigration officers went to guest houses at Gaskin Bay Road, Bon Accord and at Alfred Crescent, Bon Accord, Tobago and held 18 Venezuelans. The group is being held at the Crown Point Police Station pending further enquiries.
Even as these arrests are being made Venezuelans are advertising they can deliver safe passage from Venezuela to TT.
The cost of illegal entry is between US$250 and US$300. For this small fee, people are guaranteed to be transported “up to your front door” of local traffickers.
One Facebook page offered the package deal under the title Trinidad Tucupita with a TT cell contact number on a 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.”
In a third flyer, posted on Thursday, the Express of the Sea offered to take Venezuelans from Valencia in Venezuela to Trinidad. Other posts also offer authentic Venezuelan passports, international drivers permit and extensions on passports.