National Security Minister Stuart Young gave the assurance yesterday that the plan to register Venezuelans in T&T is not a get out of jail card for criminals.
“The registration card is not going to help anyone (who is involved in criminality). If a Venezuelan who registers in this country commits a crime that person will be arrested, charged, incarcerated and deported,” he said in a media release.
Young explained that Venezuelans who register will be searched against an Interpol watch list and other intelligence that will be provided by the T&T Police Service (TTPS) and other areas of national security. Should an applicant appear on the watch list, that person will be denied a reprieve, detained and deported.
“We are mindful that we don’t know who will be coming to Trinidad and Tobago and for this reason we have taken the decision to work with the police as well as our international law enforcement partners to vet those who are seeking to live and work among us,” the minister said,
He reiterated that Venezuelans who are ex-convicts and have committed serious crimes, will not be granted registration status in T&T.
Young added that the registration process is necessary because Government is cognizant of the trying and difficult circumstances that face Venezuelans. He said in those circumstances failing to ascertain the number of Venezuelans who are here and in what numbers is not an option.