A national identification card bearing the name of a Venezuelan national has sparked an investigation and claims of voter-padding as the State gets ready to roll out an amnesty policy to allow migrants to live an work legally in this country.
National Security Minister Stuart Young in a statement said he had requested an urgent investigation into this matter to determine the facts.
He said the matter was also forwarded to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Immigration Division and the Election and Boundaries Commission. The EBC in a statement on Sunday said it had completed a thorough search of its database and can assure that no T&T national identification card was ever issued to Juan-Luis Marcano Navarro, nor does that name exist on its database.
“The EBC reassures the public that it’s national database, which has the biodata of every person, duly registered in accordance with the Representation of the People’s Act Chapter 2:01, has not been compromised.
“The EBC advises that there may be other persons operating with fraudulent documents. If you are aware of anyone using fraudulent ID cards bring it to the attention of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the EBC,” the release stated.
But the Venezuelan national Juan-Luis Marcano Navarro, whose photo appears on the identification card, yesterday denied that he has a local identification card.
“That’s me, but I do not have ID,” he said, in response to a query on Facebook messenger.
He was also not aware if an ID card was created in his name or was duplicated.
Navarro confirmed that he currently lives and works in Trinidad but did not want to say how long he has been working in the country.
“Friend, excuse me but I don’t want to have a problem. I do not have ID and thank you for letting me know,” he said. Guardian Media pressed to find out how long he was working in the country.
“I cannot tell that because I do not want a problem and I apologise,” he said.
The identification card carries the same number as Tunapuna resident Temika Rane Smart.
In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, 24-year-old Smart said she was shocked and concerned when the picture was sent to her on a private WhatsApp chat group.
“Would him potentially getting in trouble with the law roll back on me? Seeing that he’s using my number?” Smart asked. “Any credit of course; I haven’t taken any loans yet, but what if I need to? To pay school or purchase my first home, I also want to venture into business (animal rescue). Everything that happens to him or with him or because of him may connect to me,” she said.
Smart said if the images weren’t sent to her or highlighted on social media, she would be operating in the dark, while someone else had her same ID number. She applied to the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) in Tunapuna since 2011 for her card. On social media, several people stated they were not shocked that there was a duplication of numbers. One woman claimed it happened to her father and when it was brought to the EBC’s attention, they said they would “fix it.”