Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Coast Guard investigates allegations of abuse made by Icacos fishermen

Christina Ramsaran, the wife of one of the fishermen posted several photos on Facebook on Monday April 20, claiming that her husband was beaten at sea by members of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG).

Christina Ramsaran, the wife of one of the fishermen posted several photos on Facebook on Monday April 20, claiming that her husband was beaten at sea by members of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG).

The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) says it is investigating claims of abuse and mistreatment by Coast Guardsmen on patrol.

It follows claims by three Icacos fishermen that they were allegedly beaten by Coast Guard officers, after they were caught returning from an area near the Venezuelan border on Saturday.

Christina Ramsaran, the wife of one of the fishermen posted several photos on Facebook on Monday, claiming that her husband was beaten at sea by members of the Coast Guard.

In a statement, the TTCG said is aware that there are members of the public who have been making allegations of mistreatment and abuse by Coast Guardsmen on patrol particularly on the South Coast of Trinidad.

It assured that all such allegations will be thoroughly investigated and the appropriate corrective measures will be taken if any breach of the TTCG’s established protocols have occurred.

However, the TTCG reminded members of the public that the maritime borders of Trinidad and Tobago are closed and it is thus illegal for persons from Trinidad and Tobago to travel by vessel to Venezuela and vice versa for any reason other than commercial activity, which must take place at a recognised Port of Entry.

As such, the Coast Guard said it intends to steadfastly continue to patrol the maritime borders of Trinidad and Tobago in order to deter and, if necessary, detain all persons suspected of illegally crossing the maritime borders.

It said all such persons will be handed over to the relevant authorities in order for them to be quarantined and/or prosecuted to the full extent of the laws.

The Coast Guard added that it continues to provide border security services in the face
of the threat of COVID-19 in order to maintain the safety and security of Trinidad and Tobago through the conduct of maritime security patrols.

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