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Security Fear

Discussion in 'latest News in Trinidad & Tobago' started by Neo, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Neo

    Neo Guest


    Over 30 Venezuelan nationals who were incarcerated at the Maximum Security Prison (MSP) were recently transferred to the Eastern Correctional Rehabilitation Centre (ECRC) at Santa Rosa Heights, Arima, because a “high-security risk” was detected.

    The T&T Guardian understands there were 94 Spanish-speaking inmates at the MSP currently on gun and drug-related charges.

    However, Commissioner of Prisons Gerard Wilson gave instructions to move them and the first batch was taken to ECRC on Saturday.

    Ironically, this was the same day some 82 Venezuelan nationals were also repatriated back to their home country, including some who had in their possession asylum/refugee certificates and those who had already initiated the process.

    According to prison sources, the integration of the Venezuelans and local inmates “wasn’t viable” and several issues came up, including their negative influences with local inmates and health concerns.

    Up to last week there were approximately 69 Venezuelans incarcerated at the MSP. Of this figure, 24 of them have already been convicted and once they serve out their respective sentences they will be transferred to the Immigration Detention Centre for repatriation.

    Many more are said to be coming into the system almost on a daily basis, prison sources told the T&T Guardian. Several of the arrested individuals are being charged with guns and ammunition and drug trafficking offences. Just yesterday, nine Venezuelan nationals—five men and four women—were arrested for being in the country illegally. However, that group was handed over to Immigration officers.“They (Venezuelans) coming in the prisons and are forming gangs against the locals, some of them are influencing locals who are in for ‘small criminal offences’ to get themselves involved in bigger criminal offences for ‘big money’,” a prison source said.

    The source added that many of the incarcerated Venezuelans are believed to be lacking mandatory vaccinations and are suspected of “getting local inmates sick.”

    During the recent refurbishment works carried out at the Immigration Detention Centre, the ECRC housed the illegal immigrants— about 75 of them—but they were all returned to the IDC in early March.

    When contacted yesterday for comment, Wilson only confirmed that he sanctioned the transfer of Venezuelan inmates.

    “It is a security issue and some of them were transferred because of security concerns,” Wilson told the T&T Guardian.

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