Ship carrying refugees was Trinidad-bound
Richard Charan South Bureau
Friday, February 1st 2008
Trinidad was the destination of a ship carrying starving refugees from Africa, that was found adrift off the coast of Brazil.
On Wednesday immigration officials said the emigrants were being lured by Trinidad's booming economy and the promise of jobs.
A news report out of Rio De Janeiro stated that a barge drifting in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday was carrying 13 people, who had spent 17 days at sea making a trip across the Atlantic Ocean of almost 2,000 miles to get to Trinidad. The refugees were said to be showing signs or malnutrition and dehydration, the report stated.
They were taken into custody and joined more than 80 other people from 11 African States who were arrested in the Brazilian city of Sao Paolo.
Local immigration officers said the refugees were arriving in growing numbers along Trinidad's unsecured south coast, brought in by smugglers coming from Guyana and Venezuela.
A Ghanian man was held in Moruga last Friday in a police roadblock and went to court yesterday, charged with illegally entering Trinidad. He was denied bail and taken to prison.
Three other men believed to be from Ghana, and who arrived by fishing boat in Moruga, are being sought by police, who said that many of the Africans trying to get to Trinidad were from Sierra Leone, Nigeria.
Last month, six Vietnamese nationals were held in South Trinidad, and held for deportation.
A source in the Immigration Department said that emigrants were coming to work in construction jobs, knowing their ethnicity would make them anonymous. And they were being forced to make the Atlantic trip because of tough new visa requirements to get into Europe and strict enforcement of laws against illegal immigration. There is no visa requirement to land in Brazil.
With refugees coming in at Erin, Quinam, Moruga and Point Fortin, there are only three police investigators attached to the south Immigration Department to prosecute cases, the Express was told.
Yes yuh dotish white nigger lovin cont.
Yuh see nigga running for Trinidad. Yuh ever see any Indians running and coming here illegally?