Director General of the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) Francis Regis has denied that monitoring sanctioned and embargoed assets were part of the body's mandate.
Regis, in a telephone interview on Saturday, said that questions on who was responsible for a sanctioned plane landing in the country needed to be directed to the Ministry of National Security.
"The monitoring of assets of any country is not the responsibility of Civil Aviation," Regis said.
When asked who instructed Civil Aviation to let the plane land in a time of border restrictions, Regis once again directed questions to the Ministry of National Security.
"Any issue at this point in time in Trinidad and Tobago, anything to do with borders, you have to speak with the Ministry of National Security," Regis said.
At an impromptu address to the media on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley denied any knowledge that the plane that brought in Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and a delegation of executives from Venezuelan State energy company PDVSA was sanctioned by the US.
Earlier on Friday, Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar produced a copy of the passenger manifest of the Venezuelan delegation.
According to that manifest, Rodriguez was accompanied by a group of Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA) executives. PDVSA is the Venezuelan state-owned energy company.
The group that accompanied Rodriguez and met with Rowley included Asdurbal Jose Chavez Jiminez, who was named president of PDVSA weeks after the visit, Alejandra Carolina Bastidas Gonzalez, Kenny Antonio Diaz Rosario, Euclides Neptali Sanchez Romero and Juan Vicente Santana Maglicion who is the current vice president of gas at PDVSA.
That same document lists the owners of the and operator of the aircraft as Petroleos de Venezuela, SA.
Despite claims that the meeting was COVID-19 related, there were no health officials from either country at the meeting.
The PM said that he was never introduced to anyone of the men that accompanied Rodriguez to the meeting.
When asked why Rowley would say that Civil Aviation was responsible for that plane landing, Regis directed questions back to Rowley.
"You have to ask the Prime Minister," Regis said,
"You have to ask him," he reiterated.