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Foreigners refused entry for lack of cash; Felix says credit/debit cards cant be verified

The headquarters of Guyana’s Immigration Department.

Citizenship Minister Winston Felix has revealed that Immigration Officers at Guyana’s main ports of entry have denied several foreigners from Haiti and the Dominican Republic because they did not have sufficient amount of liquid cash.

Felix at a press conference on Friday disclosed that seven Haitian and three Dominicans were denied entry in the past few weeks for the very reason added to the fact that they lacked a Visa.

“On the 23rd (September) we had about seven Haitians arriving, 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,” said the Citizenship Minister.

He noted that the incident with the nationals of the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic would have happened sometime before the Haitians but the circumstances were the same except that “the Dominicans had a little more cash.”

Felix was posed with the question of whether the persons were scanned for other forms of cash such as debit and credit cards. In response, he stated that they are no facilities to check the authenticity of such documents.

“Those are subject to serious irregularities in the form of fraud. You can’t, with our technology here, vouch for anybody giving you a debit card. What happens if it is maxed out? How do you associate the person with the credit card as being the rightful owner, these are issues we have to be careful with,” the Minister posited.

In addition to that issue, Felix noted that Guyana is being used as a “conduit” country for persons looking to gain illegal entry into other countries.

“A number of people seem to want to use Guyana like a conduit towards wanting to getting to other countries through illegal means,” he stated.

The Minister pointed to a case involving a Syrian who arrived in Guyana via Brazil and left for St Kitts and Nevis but was later deported back to Guyana from Montserrat.