Young refutes speculation about drowning incident

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    The National Security Minister says T&T has not received any information on whether the persons who recently drowned in Venezuelan waters had any relatives residing in this country.

    In the Senate yesterday, Mr. Stuart Young provided an update on what is known about the incident, which occurred off the coastal town of Guiria.

    He also sought to shoot down rumours that T&T’s Coast Guard would have turned a boat of migrants away, leading to the incident.

    It was reported that a vessel left Guiria on December, 6th with more than 20 persons on board.

    On Saturday it was reported that 11 bodies were found, and on Sunday various online reports claimed that three more were recovered.

    Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for Human Rights says according to the Venezuelan authorities, 21 bodies were found.

    The office has called on T&T and Venezuelan authorities to promptly, effectively, thoroughly and transparently investigate the tragic incident in which a boat of migrants trying to cross the sea drowned.

    The UN office says it is also extremely important for the two Governments to coordinate and cooperate regarding safe migration routes.

    In addition, it has echoed calls by other UN agencies for urgent efforts to stop smugglers and human traffickers sending refugees and migrants on dangerous sea journeys.