A Las Cuevas man is expected to appear before a Port of Spain Magistrate today, charged with 32 counts of aiding and abetting Venezuelan nationals to enter Trinidad and Tobago illegally.

Douglas Richmond, aka ‘Dougie’, 45, of Las Cuevas, was reportedly held by personnel from the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard on July 25th.

According to official reports, the Coast Guard officers were on marine patrol along the north coast of Trinidad, when they intercepted a fishing vessel in the waters off Chacachacare island.

The vessel was found to be transporting 32 Venezuelan nationals and captained by a male suspect. They were all quarantined and the Venezuelan nationals subsequently repatriated. Upon his release from quarantine, Richmond was charged under Section 40 (i) of the Immigration Act, Chapter 18:01, by Sgt. Keston Adams on August 13th.

On summary conviction for first offence, the penalty is $50,000 or three years’ imprisonment. For a second conviction, its $100,000 or five years’ imprisonment.