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A T&T Coast Guard vessel anchored at the Coast Guard base in Scarborough.

The Coast Guard’s Damen vessels are down since officials from Holland don’t want to fly to this part of the world amid the COVID pandemic to repair them, says National Security Minister Stuart Young.

Confirming the situation yesterday in Parliament, Young said he’s calling the Dutch Ambassador next week on the issue.

Young was responding to accusations made in a motion on crime by the UNC’s Saddam Hosein who slammed Government on the Venezuelan migration issue, claiming a TV report stated only one of the Coast Guard’s 13 vessels was working.

Hosein said, “Guns and drugs are no longer coming into our country because of open borders, humans and animals coming through. Imagine you have vessels loaded with man, woman, children, goat and cow entering our shores and Government can’t do anything to stop it?”

“It’s because of the porous borders we have this crisis at our doorsteps with illegal immigrants entering our borders because of lack of patrols and detection. We have persons….we don’t know their names, where they from, whether they have a criminal passport or carriers of COVID-19.”

“This situation of the Venezuelan children has now attracted international attention. Government has embarrassed our country again….they put women and children in a pirogue and set them off to sail back to Venezuela. This situation could have been avoided with proper border management.

Hosein dismissed Government’s claim that gangs had been reduced and argued against the Anti-Gang bill.

But a fuming Young said blood rests on the UNC’s hand and whenever someone, unfortunately, meets their fate at the hands of an automatic weapon in T&T the responsibility solely lies at the door of the UNC which hasn’t supported certain anti-crime legislation.

Young decried the Opposition’s lack of support on the Anti-Gang bill and another bill to stop people carrying bombs.

“They refuse to do what is right and support the police who asked for the bill to fight crime. The Opposition will not be forgiven for this. They’re always attacking the police, Coast Guard and intelligence agencies…and I know why they’re attacking the intelligence agencies,” he said.

He queried if the UNC refused to support the Interception of Communication bill because a certain Parliamentarian had been having conversations with people in prison.

“Everything they say is self-serving and then they want to come here and talk about crime?!!!” he asked.

Young said the Government was not only fighting gangs and crime but also went after white-collar crime as the UNC was demanding.

He noted a court judgement stating a sham transaction had occurred where the NGC had to sue SIS, “owned by Mamoo who’s now in Panama.”

He cited the People Partnership’s contract on the Point Fortin highway and noted legal issues with the Estate Management Business Development Company, a cartel and contractors.

Young noted a judgement by Justice James Aboud which indicates UNC MP Roodal Moonilal had questions to answer in that matter, “And that too is being pursued.”

Young said Government was doing its work to fight corruption yet had to sit and listen to “those who may have participated in corruption, lecturing T&T.”

Earlier, replying to a question, Young said there’s been a variation of the delivery date for the two Cape Class vessels which Government ordered from Australian shipbuilders. He said this was also due to delays caused by the COVID pandemic but assured the vessels are still being delivered in 2021.