NATIONAL Security Minister Stuart Young says there are conflicting reports about the alleged sinking of a Venezuelan pirogue, and the Coast Guard so far has found nothing.
He was responding to an urgent question in the Senate yesterday from Opposition Senator Wade Mark on actions to locate and provide assistance after reports that the Venezuelan pirogue Ana Maria may have capsized at sea, leading to the drowning of several passengers.
Young replied that all that has been verified was that a person who appears to be a citizen of Venezuela was picked up by a private marine vessel on its way to Grenada, and that person was taken to Grenada by that vessel.
"To date there were reports that the vessel (in question) emanated from Margarita or from Güiria (both on north east coast of Venezuela), two completely different areas. To date the TT Coast Guard has found absolutely no evidence of any vessel being sunk or anybody being on such a vessel in the water or anything being associated with a vessel in the water."
He said the Coast Guard had patrolled in the general area and found nothing.
"They have been in contact with their colleagues from the Venezuelan authorities, who are also conducting patrols, and at this stage have found nothing either. TT Coast Guard stand ready to assist in any way that they can."