22 Venezuelans fined $3,000 each for illegal entry

A teacher, a stu­dent and a trainee po­lice­man were among 22 Venezue­lans who fled their cri­sis-strick­en home­land to Trinidad in search of work, food and a bet­ter life.

On Mon­day, they all ap­peared in the San Fer­nan­do Mag­is­trates Court charged with il­le­gal­ly en­ter­ing the coun­try. The 20 men and two women plead­ed guilty.

Hav­ing lost their jobs, un­able to find work or food and pen­ni­less, they came to Trinidad leav­ing be­hind their chil­dren and spous­es in Venezuela.

Some of them said they were work­ing on an agri­cul­tur­al farm in Erin. They ap­peared be­fore First Court Se­nior Mag­is­trate Jo-Anne Con­nor who read the charge that on an un­known date they en­tered the coun­try in a place not des­ig­nat­ed as a port of en­try and failed to re­port to an im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cer.

They ar­rived in the coun­ty about two weeks ago. Their ages ranged from 18 to 45 years old and they were charged by Cpl Richard­son of the Im­mi­gra­tion Di­vi­sion.

The 18-year-old, the po­lice trainee, and one of the women, age 45, were rep­ri­mand­ed and dis­charged. The oth­ers were each fined $3,000. They were giv­en three months to pay the mon­ey or serve six months in jail.

Reporter: Sascha Wilson

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