Oil Spill Shows Breakdown in National Security – Tancoo

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By Prior Beharry

THE oil spill in Tobago from a capsized unknown vessel shows a breakdown in the national security of Trinidad and Tobago.

This is the claim being made by Oropouche MP Davendranath Tancoo in a release on Monday.

He said, “This incident starkly illustrates the breakdown of our national security under the current Rowley-led administration. The fact that a vessel of such size could infiltrate our waters undetected, leading to an environmental disaster of this magnitude, speaks volumes about the neglect and incompetence at the highest levels of government. It’s a wake-up call that cannot be ignored.”


He was responding to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley at a press conference in Tobago on Sunday. Dr Rowley said, “An unknown vessel has apparently drifted upside down into Tobago’s literal zone. That vessel, we don’t know who it belongs to. We have no idea where it came from and we also don’t know all that it contains. 

“What we do know, it appears to be broken having made contact here and is leaking some kind of hydrocarbon that is fouling the water and the coastline.

“That vessel could have come to us from any kind of operation, especially if the operation is illicit.”


Tanco said the prime minister’s confession that the clandestine entry and sinking of a large ship in our waters without the knowledge of any state agency, radar, or coast guard is a clear indication that Trinidad and Tobago’s national security has collapsed.

He said, “In a clear attempt at damage control, Prime Minister Keith Rowley faced the media, reacting belatedly to the Tobago oil spill. Notably absent was the Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds.

Tancoo said the situation was “a shameless admission of failure” by those in charge. 

He said, “The absence of accountability and detailed information regarding the incident is alarming. It is critical to question how a ship with unknown intentions and cargo was able to enter our waters unchallenged, potentially carrying illegal drugs, arms, ammunition, or illegal fuel.”


Tancoo said, “The Prime Minister’s acknowledgment that international criminals view Trinidad and Tobago as an attractive target due to our poor security record under the PNM is a damning indictment of the current administration’s failure to safeguard our nation.

“While the government is distracted, focusing on fetes, criminals are exploiting our weaknesses, running freely. This is a clear sign that national security has effectively collapsed under their watch.”

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