Guyana’s reaction on piracy late, Surinamese official says

(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO — Suriname has been sounding the alarm for a year already about the shocking incidents at sea, but neighbouring Guyana has never responded. Surinamese officials say the western neighbours could have done more to stem the increasing cases of piracy at sea. ‘Now they are complaining and point the finger to Suriname. But what have they been doing all the while? Lt. Colonel Jerry Slijngard, of the Coast Guard fumes it is no time for the blame game.

The Coast Guard official reacts to the ruckus in Guyana about the umpteenth gruesome act of piracy in Surinamese waters early this month. Four fishermen, the youngest 19 and the oldest 41, were thrown in sea with tied hands and feet. A fifth victim, Feroze Hack, captain of the boat, survived the incident which took place on 8 July off the Surinamese coast.

The body of 41-year-old Andre Gopie washed ashore ten days later in Guyana. No trace of the other victims, Vinesh Drunarain (24), Raymond Gomez (37) and Chandrapaul Jallim (19) has yet been found. The authorities assume these men, all Guyanese, are dead.


‘These are most likely illegal fishermen operating in Surinamese waters. The pirates are Guyanese and they deliberately targeted their countrymen knowing that they would not report their case to the Surinamese officials,’ Mark Lall, of the Fishermen Association which registers most small-scale fishermen, assumes.

‘Guyana should be glad Suriname is moving to fight piracy. We have a coast guard and fishermen have a GPS tracking system for their protection. Why don’t the Guyanese do the same,’ he adds. Slijngard thinks the Guyanese reactions stems more from the fact that this time the victims were their own.

‘I reported in the media that the men were tied on hand and foot, cut up with machetes and then thrown overboard. Guyana had to react much sooner instead of launching accusations,’ he emphasizes. Earlier this year Surinamese authorities had criticized the Guyanese laxity towards piracy at sea.


There allegedly is proof of organized crime happening with the consent of local Guyanese officials. Slijngard cannot comprehend why the criminals can flee to the Guyanese side without consequences. Lall says the figures show that almost all pirates at sea come from Guyana.

Slijngard emphasizes that cooperation between the police of both countries is inefficient to stem the problem. ‘We have to step up cooperation at all levels, including exchange of information in order to react. The army official favors more political cooperation and assistance from the coast guards of both countries, stating that neither country can deal with the problem on its own.

More in Local News

The newly commissioned $26.5 million Student Loan Agency, located at the University of Guyana Turkeyen’s campus

UG loan defaulters face travel ban

Government yesterday outlined proposed measures to ensure that University of Guyana (UG) students repay their loans, including barring those with outstanding debts from leaving the country.

default placeholder

Sexually-abused girls, ages 13 to 15, largest group in children’s homes

Over the last ten years, the number of children in institutional care in Guyana has increased by almost 50%, with girls between the ages of 13 and 15, many of whom have been victims of sexual abuse, representing the largest single age group.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil seeking more acreage for oil search

American oil firm ExxonMobil is seeking to acquire more acreage offshore Guyana and a top executive has reiterated that the plan for production is “probably early into the next decade at this point.” In a quarterly earnings call with analysts yesterday, ExxonMobil’s Vice President, Investor Relations and Secretary Jeffrey J.

default placeholder

Troy records second quarter drop in gold production

Australian mining company Troy Resources Limited has produced 34,740 ounces of gold for the year up to the end of June at its Karouni gold project here and adverse weather conditions and teething problems at its mill are being blamed for hindering operations in the last quarter.

default placeholder

GGMC workers to get six weeks’ pay bonus for 2015

While they anticipate as much as a 25% increase in salary for 2016, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) workers yesterday welcomed an announcement by government of a one-off six weeks’ payout for last year.

Leroy Bennett

Teen repairman dies after fall from rice mill’s roof

A young repairman lost his life yesterday when he fell from the roof of the Ancient County Rice Mill, in Berbice.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: