Scores of undocumented Venezuelans detained in St James

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Scores of undocumented Venezuelans detained in St James

Two hundred Venezuelan nationals were detained during a joint exercise in St James on Sunday.

The detainees were held as they partied at a popular bar along the Western Main Road.

Officials carried out the raid between 1.30 am and noon yesterday, and interviewed the attendees who were reportedly guests at a birthday party hosted by the manager of the establishment and another business owner.

The group included people between the ages of 17 to 46.
Police said several of the male individuals held were dressed as women.

The TTPS exercise included members of the Defence Force as well as the Immigration Division.

The detainees were subsequently taken to the Heliport, Chaguaramas.

Officials said a final count resulted in 96 males and 95 females being detained, as they were suspected to be illegal immigrants after failing to produce any documents permitting them to be in T&T.

Local activist Yesenia Gonzalez, in a GML report, expressed sadness and anger over the situation.

She claimed, “My information is that many of them are asylum seekers who are here in transit to places like Canada.”

She defended them, “They are not breaking any other laws, yet they are being arrested and detained like criminals, and most likely they will be deported.”

Gonzales said the State had more serious issues to address than undocumented people enjoying a night out.

(photo: GML)