Eight Venezuelans have been committed to stand trial in the High Court on charges of importing and trafficking cocaine with a street value of $50 million.
In giving her ruling, Deputy Chief Magistrate Nanette Forde-John, presiding in the Port-of-Spain Fifth Court, found that a prima facie case had been made out against the foreigners.
They are: Victor Jose Careno, Oscar Thomas Ruiz Colmenarez, Dionya Andres Marval Salazar, Alexis Caldea Lopez, Pablo Rafael Marval Rodriguez, Jose Gregario Marval Salazar, Saul Ellia Waldrop and Jose Florentino Alcala Carrion.
Nine Venezuelan nationals were arrested and two revolvers, a pistol and a quantity of assorted ammunition seized, by officers of the South Western Division Task Force, during an anti-crime exercise in the district, yesterday.
Police said in a statement that the exercise, coordinated by Supt. Robert Phillip and including officers of the Penal CID, was conducted around 2:15pm, on Thursday 22nd February, 2018, during which the officers proceeded to a house located at St. James Crescent, La Romaine.
Three Venezuelan nationals have drowned on a journey by sea from Trinidad to Venezuela and there are claims that the recent oil spill is to blame.
The men were part of a group of seven who left Trinidad via the Cedros port.
The four men who survived say their boat sailed into the oil that spilt from a Petrotrin tank causing the engine's cooling system to be affected.
They say that caused the boat to stall.
The men drifted for three days during which the boat took in water and eventually sank causing the men to drown.
Police have held two Venezuelan nationals under suspicion of breaching immigration laws.
They were among several people detained by police in operations over the weekend.
The following is the police's account on the latest operations.
"Eastern Division – narcotics seized
This country has seen a significant increase in the number of Venezuelan nationals coming through its borders, as Venezuela goes through one of its worst ever economic crises, but most have gone back home.
Acting Prime Minister Colm Imbert says 14,000 Venezuelans entered this country legally by land and sea between January 1st and May 10th.
He told today's post-Cabinet media conference that he had requested the figures from National Security Minister Edmund Dillon.