Georgetown, Guyana – (September 25, 2015) The Government of Guyana will now be seeking to clamp down on errant airlines, which are responsible for flying individuals to Guyana, who do not have the required documentation.
According to Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, his Ministry will be collaborating with the Minister of Tourism, Catherine Hughes, to circulate the Standard Operating Procedures to several airlines, as there has been a record number of attempted illegal entries over the last few months.
At a press conference today at his office, Minister Felix disclosed that during the course of this week, several persons were denied entry into Guyana, since they did not have the necessary financial and documentary resources to sustain their visits.
“On the September 23, we had about seven Haitians arriving at the airport and they were refused entry because they had insufficient funds. They said they wanted to stay for two weeks but I don’t know how they could do it when the highest amount of money any of them had was US$200. They did not even have anyone there to receive them,” Felix told media operatives.
In addition, most of the visitors lacked a Guyana visa. The Minister noted that there have been attempted entries by citizens of the Dominican Republic as well.
“Not only did they lack sufficient funds, but they wanted to stay at the Princess Ramada Hotel and Kanuku Hotel. I don’t understand how they would have stayed there when they lacked funds and again they didn’t even have visas,” he said.
The Minister disclosed that a Syrian was allowed into Guyana from Brazil, and was scheduled to travel to St Kitts. He was, however, found in Montserrat and as such, was deported by authorities from the CARICOM nation back to Guyana.
“It would appear that a number of people seem to want to use Guyana like a conduit to get to other countries, through illegal means, however, that will not happen. We have to tighten up our ports so that our country is not misused,” said Felix.
Minister Felix made it clear that the Government and his ministry will not condone such activities and negligence and as such, the first step against such occurrences will be taken as soon as the new week commences.
“We do not have problems with the regular established airlines. It’s just the airlines that have become well known for this type of negligence. Right now I have on my desk a document to circulate to the Minister of Tourism and they will send it to the airlines to ensure that these airlines are notified that these are the requirements,” he said.
If this circulation fails to curb the situation, Minister Felix said that the Government will then contemplate instituting sanctions so that the airlines can be brought in line.
“At first you try education to stop people from going in the wrong direction. Thereafter, we will have to talk about possible sanctions against bringing persons here without,” Minister Felix said.