Twenty-two more Venezuelan nationals were arrested after being caught disembarking from a boat in Beach Camp, Palo Seco.
Investigators said around 8 am on Sunday, officers led by Senior Supt Brandon- Kohn and ASP Peter Ramdeen, Insp Simon and Sgt Breedy went to Palo Seco where they saw the Venezuelans running from Beach Camp towards James Street.
The Venezuelans were arrested and taken to the Siparua Health Facility. They ranged from aged two to 50 years old. There were three teenagers in the group. They were all medically examined by Dr Dwaruca and then taken to the Erin Police station. They are expected to be conveyed to the Chaguaramas Coast Guard Base.
Over the past few days 51 more migrants were picked up by police.
Despite an increase in patrols and the 24 hours radar, many Venezuelans are still continuing to reach local shores as they flee horrific conditions in their homeland.
CoP: Womantra keeps getting facts wrong
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says is was surprised at a media release issued by Womantra, in which the NGO says there is silence by the TTPS on attacks on Venezuelan women.
Responding to an article in a daily newspaper yesterday, Griffith said Womantra has once again gotten its facts wrong.
He said Womantra mentioned 484 complaints of sexual assault by immigrants over a six-year period and that there were no arrests by the TTPS.
He said, “The Eighteenth Report of the Joint Select Committee on Inquiry into the Treatment of Migrants with specific focus on Rights to Education, Employment and Protection from Sexual Exploitation states: “during the time period 2013 to 2019, out of 484 reports received, there were 57 charges”.
He said this very Joint Select Committee Report highlighted the TTPS’ efforts by way of the Commissioner of Police.
The JSC reports, he noted, recognised the launch of the Special Victims Department (SVD) which was created by the TTPS to provide a central point for victims of all forms of violence. The SVD covers the Gender Based Violence Unit, the Child Protection Unit, and the Sexual Offences Unit.
Griffith said since the launch of the Gender Based Violence Unit (GBVU) in January 2020, the GBVU have had several meetings with Womantra. The GBVU has also participated in trainings which Womantra offered.
He said, “I’m surprised they are criticising and blaming the TTPS. While some NGOs do nothing else but put out media releases to throw blame on others, the TTPS is responding and performing. If Womantra thinks that we are silent on the matter, it simply means that they are not reading. We have done so many things to improve this aspect of policing – we have revamped the 999 and 555 system, brought on the Emergency Response Patrols (ERP), introduced the Police App, formed the Social Media Unit, and now we have on-line reporting of crimes. But none of these was ever used by Womantra to assist us. Instead of dialogue and communication whereby we would have shown them their errors, they rush to do a media release filled with inaccuracies. They have lots of information, reports from family members and victims. But they have not shared anything with us, but they are quick to criticise.”
Griffith said he has been at the forefront of attacks against women.
He said, “I was the one who led the raid when elderly women were kept in cages in Arouca. I am the person who is going after these brothels which are engaged in child prostitution, child pornography, human trafficking and abuse against women, in particular women from South America.
As to the recent attack of an 18-year-old Venezuelan woman, the CoP says that two suspects are in custody, one of them being a Special Reserve Policeman.
Griffith sai the Sexual Offences Department intends to network with both internal and external agencies to eliminate sexual exploitation, inclusive of sexual exploitation committed against migrant victims. He said communication with the respective Embassies were made in relation to migrant victims.