20 arrested as police intercept vessel seeking illegal entry

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20 arrested as police intercept vessel seeking illegal entry

Eighteen Venezuelans and two Trinidadians were arrested after officers of the Coastal and Riverine Patrol Unit (CRPU) intercepted a vessel attempting to enter the country illegally on Thursday February 10th 2022.

During the period from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm on Thursday, officers of the Coastal and Riverine Patrol Unit (CRPU) conducted an intelligence-led exercise at Alcan Bay, in the Carenage Police Station District, where surveillance was done on several persons of interest. Based on information received an exercise led by Inspector Taitt was launched, where an observation post was set up on Gasparee Island.

Around 4.30 pm, officers observed one person in a thirty-foot pirogue, heading in an easterly direction towards Gasparee Islands. As a result, the CRPU Interceptor 002 proceeded towards the approaching vessel. On seeing the TTPS Interceptor vessel, the pirogue began to take evasive action. A high-speed chase ensued, however, the attempts to evade the police failed and the vessel was successfully stopped.

Officers then observed several persons aboard the pirogue. When checks were conducted the officers found 18 Venezuelans, consisting of seven men, five women and six children between the ages of one and 12, and two Trinidadians.

The vessel was escorted to the Coast Guard base at Staubles Bay, the suspects disembarked the vessel, they were interviewed, but were unable to produce legal documents.
The captain of the intercepted vessel and another man were also detained for harbouring the illegal immigrants.
All detainees were medically examined and subsequently quarantined at the Coast Guard, Staubles Bay Facility.
Investigations are continuing.