The action by the police and immigration officers on Friday night on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, should be welcome news for citizens of this country.
The exercise was aimed at getting at the numerous illegal immigrants in Trinidad and Tobago, who are operating with total freedom.
Just take Ariapita Avenue alone!
Venezuelans, Chinese, Jamaica, Ghanians and Guyanese are working/selling illegally. Most of the gyro operators are illegal, but they give patrons attitude when purchasing items.
A lot of the Syrian gyro operators did not come from Syria. They lived in Venezuela but decided to come to Trinidad for a better way of life and to get away from President Nicholas Maduro. So they said!
They set up their gyro stalls and operate at will. No food badges, the places are not clean, and there are no washrooms or basins to wash your hands. These operators wear no gloves and they handle money while preparing your meals.
A certain members’ club operates with mostly illegal foreigners, except for the security. You cannot ask for proper service because the female workers speak Spanish and know very little or no English.
Some of them are into prostitution as they organize with the customers at the members’ club to wait for them when they finish work. The operators of this members’ club know fully well that what they are doing is illegally. They also house these Venezuelan women in apartments in Woodbrook, and pay them very small wages.
How come? Well, the Venezuelan women cannot complain so they take the abuse and the small pay. The Immigration Department, if the officers do their surveillance, they will find out that nearly all of the workers at this members’ club are illegally in Trinidad.
Don’t leave out the Chinese!
They behave worse than the Venezuelans and they are very unsanitary. When they cook, they wear no gloves. Check several kitchens on the Avenue and the public health officials will see a lot needs to be done.
Prostitutes who lined Murray Street for years awaiting their clients are now complaining they are being forced out of business as the Venezuelan women have secured and are in control of the market.
The street prostitutes have no where to take their clients. As part of the service, it is the client who must find a hotel to have this relationship. Not so for the Venezuelans – they have a ready made apartment for the client. And it is booming in Woodbrook. Ask the residents who are now fed up with what is taking place in their community.
The operators of this private members’ club should be held accountable for hiring illegal immigrants. No wonder why the Government increased taxes on these clubs by 100 per cent in the last Budget. Remember, Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, spoke of murder linked to a casino. Well, that is just the tip of the iceberg as many other crimes are linked to these gambling outlets – robbery, money laundering, counterfeit foreign currency, etc.
To the authorities, clean up Woodbrook first, then tackle other areas and see how things would change.
As one patron said on Friday night, the immigration officers could not turn up for duty at Piarco International Airport last Sunday, but went after the overtime for working on Friday night in Woodbrook.
Going after a client
Venezuelan women hauled to court for prostitution
FLASHBACK: These Chinese chefs working in restaurants in South, pleaded guilty for having no work permits to work in Trinidad.