The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) said it had detained 39 Venezuelan nationals who were attempting to enter the country illegally.
In a statement, the TTPS said that the Venezuelans, including nine women and 12 children, were detained on Tuesday after police officers in the west of the island had received information leading them to Alcan Bay and Crew’s Inn facility where they observed several persons attempting to enter the compound.
“When the officers attempted to engage the group, they ran in separate directions causing a chase to ensue. The 39 persons were subsequently detained,” the statement said, adding that the group was processed and a number of contraband items consisting of limes, various brands of alcohol, cigarettes, and cheese was discovered with them.
The group members have since been placed in quarantine and the TTPS said that they are “expected to be repatriated to their homeland following enquires”.
Venezuelans have been flocking to the nearby Trinidad following the political and upheaval in the South American country where opposition forces are seeking to remove President Nicholas Maduro from office.
The United States has recognized the Opposition Leader Juan Guiado, while Russia and china back Maduro.
In 2019, the Trinidadian government responded to the migratory influx by offering amnesty to Venezuelans who had entered the country illegally and by the end of last year, there were approximately 24,000 Venezuelan migrants and refugees registered with the government or humanitarian organizations.