Trinidad: Probe launched into fake ID card

The identification card which surfaced on social media yesterday.

(Trinidad Guardian) A na­tion­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card bear­ing the name of a Venezue­lan na­tion­al has sparked an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and claims of vot­er-padding as the State gets ready to roll out an amnesty pol­i­cy to al­low mi­grants to live and work legal­ly in this coun­try.

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young in a state­ment said he had re­quest­ed an ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to this mat­ter to de­ter­mine the facts.

He said the mat­ter was al­so for­ward­ed to the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice, the Im­mi­gra­tion Di­vi­sion and the Elec­tion and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion. The EBC in a state­ment yesterday said it had com­plet­ed a thor­ough search of its data­base and can as­sure that no T&T na­tion­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card was ever is­sued to Juan-Luis Mar­cano Navar­ro, nor does that name ex­ist on its data­base.

“The EBC re­as­sures the pub­lic that its na­tion­al data­base, which has the bio­da­ta of every per­son, du­ly reg­is­tered in ac­cor­dance with the Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the Peo­ple’s Act Chap­ter 2:01, has not been com­pro­mised.

“The EBC ad­vis­es that there may be oth­er per­sons op­er­at­ing with fraud­u­lent doc­u­ments. If you are aware of any­one us­ing fraud­u­lent ID cards bring it to the at­ten­tion of the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice and the EBC,” the re­lease stat­ed.

But the Venezue­lan na­tion­al Juan-Luis Mar­cano Navar­ro, whose pho­to ap­pears on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card, yes­ter­day de­nied that he has a lo­cal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card.

“That’s me, but I do not have ID,” he said, in re­sponse to a query on Face­book mes­sen­ger.

He was al­so not aware if an ID card was cre­at­ed in his name or was du­pli­cat­ed.

Navar­ro con­firmed that he cur­rent­ly lives and works in Trinidad but did not want to say how long he has been work­ing in the coun­try.

“Friend, ex­cuse me but I don’t want to have a prob­lem. I do not have ID and thank you for let­ting me know,” he said. Guardian Me­dia pressed to find out how long he was work­ing in the coun­try.

“I can­not tell that be­cause I do not want a prob­lem and I apol­o­gise,” he said.

The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card car­ries the same num­ber as Tu­na­puna res­i­dent Temi­ka Rane Smart.

In an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia yes­ter­day, 24-year-old Smart said she was shocked and con­cerned when the pic­ture was sent to her on a pri­vate What­sApp chat group.

“Would him po­ten­tial­ly get­ting in trou­ble with the law roll back on me? See­ing that he’s us­ing my num­ber?” Smart asked. “Any cred­it of course; I haven’t tak­en any loans yet, but what if I need to? To pay school or pur­chase my first home, I al­so want to ven­ture in­to busi­ness (an­i­mal res­cue). Every­thing that hap­pens to him or with him or be­cause of him may con­nect to me,” she said.

Smart said if the im­ages weren’t sent to her or high­light­ed on so­cial me­dia, she would be op­er­at­ing in the dark, while some­one else had her same ID num­ber. She ap­plied to the Elec­tions and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion (EBC) in Tu­na­puna since 2011 for her card. On so­cial me­dia, sev­er­al peo­ple stat­ed they were not shocked that there was a du­pli­ca­tion of num­bers. One woman claimed it hap­pened to her fa­ther and when it was brought to the EBC’s at­ten­tion, they said they would “fix it.”

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