Move to ramp up T&T's border patrols

Bor­der se­cu­ri­ty be­tween T&T and Venezuela is be­ing stepped up in an­tic­i­pa­tion of an in­creased in­flux of Venezue­lans fol­low­ing the cri­sis in that coun­try, says Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young.

At yes­ter­day’s post-Cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing he said, “As things de­vel­op and if they de­vel­op in a man­ner that’s not one of calm we - be­ing one of the neigh­bour­ing coun­tries to Venezuela - can ex­pect an in­flux of im­mi­grants.”

He said he has spo­ken to se­cu­ri­ty heads in­clud­ing the Chief of De­fence Staff. He said T&T Po­lice Ser­vice and Coast Guard pa­trols will in­crease pres­ence and op­er­a­tions will be more in­tel­li­gence dri­ven.

“The bor­ders have been made less porous and I want them even more se­cure and that’s oc­cur­ring,” he said.

He meets next week with oth­er agen­cies to im­prove se­cu­ri­ty at ports of en­try. Young said the Unit­ed Na­tions es­ti­mates there are 40,000 Venezue­lans in T&T.

Not­ing the cur­rent ten­sion sur­round­ing in­cum­bent Pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro and op­po­si­tion leader Juan Guai­do, who has de­clared him­self in­ter­im Pres­i­dent, Young al­so said Gov­ern­ment hoped that re­gard­less of who is in pow­er in Venezuela, the Drag­on Field gas project will con­tin­ue in the same way that when Gov­ern­ments change in T&T, projects con­tin­ue once there are prop­er con­tracts.

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