A three-year-old child was among four Venezuelans arrested in a car near the Los Iros beach on Tuesday night.
It is believed that they made the journey to Trinidad via boat and entered the country illegally. Due to the difficult economic situation in their country, which is starved for food, medicine and work, thousands of Venezuelans have been fleeing to Trinidad illegally with the hope of making a better life for themselves and their families.
Their arrest came less than 24 hours after 11 foreigners were arrested within the same area following a video on social media of a group of people believed to be entering the country illegally was seen jumping off a boat at a beach in Erin and quickly wading through the sea to shore.
Some of them were holding bags. The person recording the video claimed a child was among them. This prompted acting Senior Supt Neville Adams and Supt Basdeo of the South Western Division to launch an exercise on Tuesday morning at the Los Iros Beach where officers of the Erin Police Station, searched a hotel.
The officers arrested seven men, ranging between 31 and 55 years old, five of whom were Venezuelans, a Guyanese and a Syrian. The women, ages 18 to 49, included three Venezuelans and one Syrian. The hotel owner was also held.
The T&T Guardian was told that the three-year-old boy will be placed in the care of the Children’s Authority while investigations are being carried out.
The latest arrest took place during a police exercise, led by Sgt Richardson of the Santa Flora Police Station. The police said around 10 pm the officers searched a Nissan Almera which was parked near a bar, not far from the beach, in which two Trinidadians and the four Venezuelans were occupants.
Police inquiries led the police to believe that the three Venezuelan women, ages ranging from 22 to 41 years, and the child were in the country illegally.
They along with two men from Penal were all taken to the Erin Police Station.
Up to late yesterday, no charges were laid and inquiries were continuing.