As it relates to foreign sex offenders, Trinidad and Tobago does not yet have the information to flag them when they visit the country.
This fact was revealed by Attorney General Faris Al Rawi during a press conference on Thursday.
The AG was responding to a question about Nicki Minaj’s husband’s visit to the country, and his subsequent visit to the St. Jude’s Home for Girls in spite of him being a registered sex offender.
Al Rawi said that the Government does not have that Visa arrangement with the USA, adding that there are gaps in the system. He said, “Right now we are working on the removal of customs and immigration forms and the use of harmonised forms. So as we get advanced passenger information systems coming into effect, we will know who is a sex offender or not.”
On Wednesday Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, was arrested in California after he failed to register as a sex offender in that county. He is registered in New York but since the couple moved to LA in July 2019, Petty failed to register his status.
Al Rawi said Government had suggested stamping “sex offender” in the passports of offenders who visited the country, but argued that several Non-Governmental Organizations had opposed the policy.
He said the setting up of the sex offender registry was one method used by Government to track sex offenders. But, since the site isn’t fully functional, Petty slipped through the cracks.
He said, “if the public is aware of something, then we can treat with that, but we don’t have an immediate, perfect solution right now. So you seem to know the man was a registered sex offender, (but) I don’t know that (and) immigration didn’t know that. There is no mechanism to enforce that yet.”
In 1995, according to New York State records, Petty was convicted of first-degree attempted rape. Petty, who was 16 years old at the time of the crime, served time in prison for the offense.