Hall of Justice, Port of Spain.

DEREK ACHONG

A High Court Judge has ordered the T&T Defence Force to return a group of Venezuelan migrant women and children, who were deported with legal proceedings pending yesterday.

Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams made the order at the end of a protracted emergency virtual hearing, last night.

Quinlan-Williams ordered that the 19 women and children, be brought into custody in time for a follow up hearing this afternoon.

National Security Minister Stuart Young reported attened the virtual hearing to represent his ministry.

Guardian Media understands that after the refugees were loaded unto two civilian vessels and escorted out of T&T waters by the Coast Guard around 11.30 am yesterday, they did not return to Venezuela and remained at sea in the hope of being allowed to return.

The vessels reportedly had limited food supplies and fuel when they left.

The women and minors were detained after arriving in Chatham, last Tuesday.

The migrants were tested for COVID-19 and were negative. They were held in custody until their deportation, yesterday morning.

They are being represented by Nafeesa Mohammed and Jerome Riley.