Counter Trafficking Unit cops participate in Spanish course

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds. File photo/ Jeff Mayers

Although many members of the protective services are fluent in Spanish, not enough speak the language “for all kinds of reasons.”

This is the view of National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds who was a guest on the Eye on Dependency radio show on i95.5 FM on Sunday.

“Only on Thursday, the head of the (ministry’s) Counter Trafficking Unit shared with me that there is a Spanish programme being run by an international agency,” Hinds said.

“I think it is with the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) for people across the counter trafficking spectrum to improve and learn Spanish.”

Hinds said he, too, is interested in learning Spanish for personal and professional reasons.

Considering the influx of Venezuelans on the island, members of the protective services regularly interact with them.

On Saturday, Coast Guard officers detained 18 migrants in Palo Seco for entering the country illegally.

Hinds said border security is one of the Government’s major priorities, but he considered it the major priority of his ministry.

The result of loose borders is blood on the streets, human trafficking, drugs and illegal guns.

Hinds said the protective services are working together to rid the streets of illegal guns and drugs.

“If we (ministry) remove all of those illegal guns from the streets, it makes the society cleaner and safer,” the minister said.

“That is one of the mandates of the police service in 2022, to focus specifically on gun retrievable, in collaboration with our tightened and improved border security efforts.”

Hinds said the recently two commissioned Cape Class vessels have helped secure the borders. He also cited one of the vessels, the TTS Scarborough, that used to detect the boat transporting the migrants on Saturday.

“Yesterday, with the help of the 360-radar system, which is 100 per cent operational and functional, they (CG) were able to identify that vessel coming into our waters,” Hinds said.

“We (government) are now making efforts to get even other vessels.”