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Rowley slams immigration officers: ‘A country held to ransom’

Trinidad Express / Public servants will not be allowed to hold the country to ransom. 

This was the assertion made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley today, as he expressed outrage at supposed sick-out action taken by immigration officers at the Piarco International Airport on Sunday. 

On Sunday, only two out of 15 immigration officers turned up for duty, resulting in chaos for hundreds of travellers waiting to be processed after arriving on flights.

 Some reported waiting for upwards of four hours in long lines that included elderly persons and children. 

Speaking during the opening of the Spaniol Road bridge in Covigne, Diego Martin, Rowley assured that those responsible will be dealt with accordingly.

 He said he had received a detailed report from Minister of National Security Edmund Dillion, which is now in the hands of the Attorney General.

Dillon has said that action would be taken against anyone found in breach of the Immigration Act. 

Rowley did not elaborate on what action would be taken, but slammed the immigration officers who he said had created a dangerous situation and threatened the security of the country. 

“That was a very dangerous situation. Immigration is part of the national security apparatus. There could have been people in that crowd that was sick. There could have been people in there who have all kinds of reasons to not be in there and look at what happened. We are not to be subjected to that and the government is not going to tolerate it.”

 He further criticised the immigration officers who he said are the most comfortable public servants in the country. 

He said the government has made it clear that the country is facing challenging circumstances and need people to work together, yet in spite of this, there are those taking things for granted.

More on this story in Wednesday’s edition of the Trinidad Express

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