National Security Minister Stuart Young says while T&T will continue to assist the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) with relief supplies, the MV Galleons Passage will not return to the island.
The vessel, laden with much-needed aid and a contingent of Ministry of National Security officers, including from the Defence Force and Coast Guard, made the journey to the island on Tuesday morning.
It returned to T&T on Thursday, carrying 75 repatriated citizens who were in the SVG.
Yesterday, when asked if the vessel will return to the island, Young said, “I do not know where this false narrative of the Galleons Passage returning to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) originated from. There is currently no intention to have the Galleons Passage return to SVG.”
However, he said this does not mean that T&T will stop rendering aid to the SVG. Young said the ongoing relief includes the provision of marine service vessels to assist with the provision of water to various parts of the island.
“More supplies are on the way to SVG and more will be taken up over time,” he said.
Asked about the situation with three children who were not permitted to return to T&T on the Galleons Passage on Wednesday night, Young said the Government could not approve minors being brought home with no prior arrangements being in place.
“The questions were asked as to where were the parents or guardians of the minors and no satisfactory responses were provided. It would have been irresponsible to permit minors onto a vessel, with no supervision, and further, no arrangements in place in Trinidad for the minors to be received by parents or guardians,” Young said.
He said there was no information whatsoever provided about the whereabouts of the parents or guardians of the minors and who would be responsible for them in T&T.
He said a total of 75 people were repatriated and are currently being quarantined in accordance with COVID-19 health protocols.
Guardian Media has been trying to get an update on the situation with the three minors but up to press time, GML was unable to make any contact with relatives of the children.