Caribbean News Service (CNS).
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Apr 02 2016 – The Trinidad and Tobago government says it had prevented 12 Jamaican nationals from entering the island late last month because they were “deemed likely to become charges on public funds”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said that Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Dennis Moses met with Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, David Prendergast on Tuesday to discuss the issue.
“All related issues were discussed in an open, frank and courteous fashion befitting the strong relationship between both countries,” the statement noted.
Last month, the Jamaica government said it was probing allegations that two of their nationals were ill-treated on their arrival here and reminded Jamaicans that there is a CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Complaints Procedure which may be used to ensure that nationals who have been denied entry, detained or mistreated at the ports of entry of other CARICOM states.
Jamaica said it was advising its nationals that they could lodge complaints with the CARICOM office established for that and may also file a formal complaint with the Ministry on return to Jamaica.
But Port of Spain said that Moses had received a report on the refusal of entry of the 12 Jamaicans who arrived at Piarco International Airport on Caribbean Airlines flights BW459 at 7:53 p.m. and BW455 at 8:43 p.m. and departed for Kingston, Jamaica at 7:50 am on March 22.
It said that Section 8 (1) (h) of the Immigration Act denies entry to persons who may be deemed likely to become charges on public funds.
“All of the passengers were denied entry in accordance with this Section,” the statement said, adding “in keeping with Section 21 of the Immigration Act, both the passengers and Airline were duly notified and served with the relevant notices”.
It said that “at approximately 11.00 pm, the passengers were taken into the care of the airline – Caribbean Airlines Limited, to await an outward-bound flight to Kingston, Jamaica on Caribbean Airlines flight BW414 at 7:50 a.m. on 22nd March, 2016.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Jamaicans “were served a meal and drinks and were provided with blankets by representatives of the airline in keeping with usual airline procedure.
“They had access to a water cooler and were escorted to the washroom facilities… upon request…”