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Nineteen Jamaicans detained in Trinidad, Ja gov't investigates

Published:Friday | September 13, 2013 | 5:14 PM

Jamaica's Foreign Affairs Ministry has launched an investigation into reports that a group of nineteen Jamaicans were denied entry into Trinidad and Tobago, at Piarco Airport, on September 10.

The ministry says preliminary checks indicate that the Jamaicans are being held for return, subject to the availability of flights out of Port-of-Spain.

The Ministry, says through its High Commission in Port-of-Spain, it has launched an investigation into the matter, in order to determine the precise circumstances under which the Jamaicans were denied entry.

Jamaica is a signatory to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and a participant in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The ministry says in an effort to make travel in the region hassle-free, CARICOM Member States have agreed to a number of steps, which include more efficient clearance procedures for CARICOM Nationals at airports in the region and an automatic entry for six months.

"While it is fully recognized that CARICOM Governments retain the right to establish and enforce their immigration laws and regulations, Jamaica highlights, in the context of the Free Movement Regime, that care should be taken to ensure that treatment at the various points of entry into CARICOM countries should not be arbitrary or discriminatory, and should be respectful of the personal dignity of nationals entering a particular jurisdiction," a ministry spokesperson said in a release this afternoon.

"If, in the determination of the immigration authorities, nationals are subject to refusal of entry, incarceration or detention, the conditions under which they are held should always be consistent with certain minimum standards," the spokesperson continued.

At the same time, the Ministry takes the opportunity to remind that prospective travellers to CARICOM Countries for business, study, tourism, or personal affairs, must be in possession of the following:

1. A valid passport with at least six (6) months validity;

2. A return airline ticket as appropriate to the purpose of the visit;

3. An adequate amount of money to meet living expenses during the visit;

4. Information (name, complete address and contact details) for their accommodation, whether hotel or private residence;

5. The name and full details of their host or sponsor;

6. Where possible, documentation confirming the purpose of the visit; and

7. The name and telephone number, preferably the mobile number, of anyone meeting them at the airport and as appropriate, specific arrangements should be made for transportation from the airport.

The ministry says whenever Jamaicans are detained or refused entry in CARICOM countries, they should on return here and lodge a written report with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.


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