PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Jamaica's High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Sharon Saunders, yesterday dismissed media reports in Kingston that a group of 20 Jamaicans had been deported from Port of Spain earlier this week.
On Thursday, there were media reports that the Jamaicans, who had arrived here on Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flight 457 on Wednesday night, had been given a rude awakening on arrival at the Piarco International Airport.
The report claimed that the Jamaicans were detained by Immigration and Customs officials and sent home the following day. It also said that the Trinidadian authorities had blamed Jamaicans for an increase in the crime levels here.
But Saunders, speaking on a radio programme here, said the reports were inaccurate and "unfortunate".
"I have to confirm that there is no truth to what was carried, I believe on Nationwide Radio yesterday, that 20 Jamaicans were returned who arrived the previous evening.
"The fact is there were two female Jamaicans who were not allowed entry and were returned safely to Jamaica yesterday morning via Caribbean Airlines. So it is a falsehood," she said, noting, however, that a similar situation did occur last month when several Jamaicans were sent back home, forcing an intervention by her office.
"There was an instance where several persons were returned from one flight and indeed we set up (a meeting) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Trinidad (and) Immigration Department and we are satisfied with the explanation that was given to us.
"Obviously from time to time persons are denied entry and it is the job of the border control officials to determine who are bona fide business persons, tourists, visitors etc, whether from Caricom (Caribbean Community) nations or otherwise".
Last week, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice ruled in favour of a Jamaican national who had been denied entry into Barbados.