Two days after Cabinet approved an amnesty for Venezuelan nationals fleeing their country's socio-economic and political turmoil, Freeport police officers were attacked by a group of migrants.
According to a report, two officers were on mobile patrols along Uquire Road, when around 1 am, they saw two men, one a Venezuelan national, walking along the road. The officers were questioning the men when three Venezuelan women ran out of a nearby house and together with the men, started fighting with the officers.
One of the women grabbed an officer's holstered gun, causing a shot to be fired. However, no one was injured. The officers, who tried to defend themselves without using their firearms, were outnumbered and retreated after the group started throwing stones.
They radioed for reinforcements and were able to arrest the two men and take them to the Freeport Police Station. Minutes later, the women showed up at the police station. The women started the fight the officers and during the melee, a female officer suffered a fractured arm while a male colleague was cut on his face head and hand, police said. Other officers were able to restrain the women and arrest them.
The injured officers were taken to the Chaguanas District Health Facility where they were treated and discharged.
The suspects, whose ages range between 30 and 40, are expected to be charged with assaulting police officers, obstructing the police in the execution of their duties, throwing missiles, disorderly behaviour and resisting arrest.
On Thursday, Government announced a two-week registration process for Venezuelans living in T&T at a cost of $5 million.
The registration of all illegal and legal Venezuelans living in T&T is expected to begin on May 31 and end on June 14. National Security Minister Stuart Young said that the process will help the government to determine how many Venezuelan immigrants are residing in T&T.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has said that the amnesty poses a clear and present danger of immigrants coming to T&T and joining forces with local criminals. Just last week, two Venezuelans who killed in a shootout with police.
Griffith said the amnesty will seriously hurt the Police Service in trying to maintain law and order. He wants those who are granted amnesty, if they are caught engaging in criminal activity, to be deported immediately.
- by Kevon Felmine