Trinidad and Tobago will impose stiffer penalties on those trafficking migrants from neighbouring Venezuela, after a Venezuelan boat headed to the Caribbean twin-island nation sank, killing at least 28 people last month.
A humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has spurred the mass migration of millions, including to Trinidad and Tobago, where at least 40,000 Venezuelans now live, while dozens have gone missing since vessels they boarded to get there sunk.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley believes Trinidad has more fleeing Venezuelans than any other nation “per square kilometre and per capita” and there would be “new and firmer laws for persons who encourage illegal trade and stiffer penalties for human trafficking”.
Meanwhile, the president of the Latin Association of Trinidad and Tobago, David Edghill, believes that Trinidadian businessmen are involved in trading Venezuelans for prostitution and also sale of their organs.
“We have a next issue which is the exploitation, human trafficking, organ harvesting, narco and ammunitions trafficking involving the migrants supported by citizens and businessmen of Trinidad and Tobago,” Edghill said just before Christmas.
Edghill claimed Venezuelans are entering the country illegally and rings of illegal activities are happening without consequence.
The Latin Association, he said, is willing to work with authorities to make things better.