Minister of National Security Stuart Young has announced that he has signed deportation orders to return Venezuelan nationals to their country for criminal activity.
The minister made the announcement during today's post-Cabinet news conference.
"I have signed a number of deportation orders for a number of Venezuelans who have engaged in lives of crime in T&T," Young said.
He told the news conference that the government will not tolerate crimes in T&T, regardless of who commits them.
Minister Young said he has also made this very clear to the police and to Immigration officials.
Over the last two months, several Venezuelan nationals have been victims of crime and there have been suggestions that several of those crimes were committed by Venezuelan nationals.
A report in Venezuelan media also suggested that members of a Venezuelan gang, Evande, had already infiltrated Trinidad and Tobago.
An estimated 40,000 Venezuelans are now living in T&T, most coming as a result of the economic and political climate in Venezuela.
The IMF has forecasted that inflation in Venezuela will reach 10 million percent in 2019.
The country is currently experiencing massive protests and clashes between government and opposition supporters, as the US-backed Juan Guido seeks to replace Nicolas Maduro as president.
Young told the news conference that he met with the UN refugee organisation, UNHCR, and has informed them that the amnesty being granted to Venezuelans has nothing to do with refugee applications.
He said he told the UNHCR, that even if a Venezuelan national receives a UNHCR certificate of a registration card under the government's amnesty, they will be deported if found involved in criminal activity.
Registration for the government amnesty for Venezuelans will run from May 31 to June 14.
- by Sampson Nanton