Saddened by the enslavement of Venezuelan migrants who are only seeking to fill empty stomachs in T&T, recently-installed moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan, says her flock will use their resources to alleviate the migrants’ hunger.
She said it was worrisome to think that police officers were involved in human trafficking of refugees to have them practice modern day slavery.
Seventeen Venezuelans have been caught hiding in an abandoned hotel infested with bats and rats at Chatham South beach.
They were picked up by the T&T Coast Guard after dawn, having been dropped off by a Venezuelan pirogue.
Among the 17 Venezuelans were nine females, one of whom is pregnant, a baby and seven men.
A source said the women were hiding in the abandoned hotel; while some were found in the bushes and on the beach.
The patrolling officers became alerted when they saw a few cars, waiting to pick up the Venezuelans.
Having endured a grueling boat ride from Tucupita to Trinidad and then several days of hiding in the forests of Palo Seco before their arrests, 17 Venezuelans have finally settled into a house at Morne Diablo, Penal.
They have limited food, a trickle of water and no medicine for their sick children.
Yet to them Trinidad is like a paradise. Compared to their homeland, there is no shortage of food here. The family gave Guardian Media an exclusive interview of their plight and their hopes for the future.
The family is renting the house for $3,000 a month.
Even as aid is being sought for more 100 Venezuelans migrants found hiding in the Palo Seco area, 46 others appeared in court this morning charged with entering the country illegally.
The majority of them were convicted and ordered to pay fines of $2,000 and $3,000.
They were given three months to pay the fines or serve six and four months in jail. Most were men and they came into the country at different dates between last August and this month.
While police locked down the coastal points at Beach Camp, Palo Seco and Erin on Wednesday night, three more boatloads of Venezuelans arrived at Icacos Beach and Columbus Bay, while many more hid in the forests.
A source who requested anonymity said the boats came in between 11 pm on Wednesday to 1.30 am on Thursday.
Shortly after midnight, a contingent of police officers arrived searching for the Venezuelans.
It is believed they fled into the forests near Constance Estate, La Vega Estate, St Quintin Estate near Columbus Bay.
Desperate to escape being caught by the police, more than 50 Venezuelan women and their children are hiding in the forests of Icacos, feeding off mangoes and coconuts.
By dusk, when the mosquitoes, gnats and sandflies descend to feed, the hungry women stumble out of the forests in search of food, holding their children protectively around them.
Guardian Media went in search of the bush families on Thursday and saw evidence of their existence. Fresh foot tracks were seen in the forest leading to the sea and a knapsack was spotted on the road.
Scores of Venezuelan nationals who entered this country by boat illegally more than a week ago are still in hiding.
A woman, her husband and young child which she had strapped to her back said that they entered Trinidad by boat through a lonely beach at Morne Diablo in Penal.
They hid in a swamp for several days and later met up with other illegal immigrants in Palo Seco.
The Venezuelan family was rounded up in a massive police exercise yesterday in which illegal immigrants were held in Palo Seco,Erin and Cedros.
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.
Villagers are calling on police to investigate reports that five Venezuelan women are being held hostage as sex slaves in a secret garden camp at Cokal mangroves in Los Iros.
Even though villagers have reported the matter to the police, the women have not been rescued as police officers are believed to be part of the operation.
A source who requested anonymity said the women are being pimped for $400 and $500 an hour.
Two people who tipped off the Erin police were severely beaten last week.