A fisherman from the Corentyne has been taken into custody after he was said to be in possession of a seine belonging to Gajadar Bisnauth from whose boat five workers disappeared last month.
Still missing are brothers Khemraj, 42, and Narine Dhanpat, 36, known as ‘Rajan’ and ‘Shrimp,’ respectively; Ramnarine Oditnarine, 37, called ‘Rodney’; Sumesh Martin, 35, called ‘Canje’ all of Number 64 Village,
Corentyne and Clifford Singh, called ‘Eggan’ of Number 62 Village.
Reports are that workers from another boat brought the huge seine to their employer, who promised to pay them $15,000 each for it.
This newspaper was told that the employer who took the seine failed to fulfil his promise. This must have angered the workers and while consuming alcohol, one of them revealed information about the seine.
Gomtie ‘Devika’ Bisnauth said her husband approached the man at the No 66 wharf to inquire if the seine was indeed on his boat and he admitted that it was.
Bisnauth asked how he got it and then told him that he was going to the police, to which the man replied, “You do what you want to do.”
By the time Bisnauth returned to the wharf with the police the seine had already been thrown out of the boat and the man was gone. He was arrested a few days later. Police are also waiting on his crew to return from sea to question them as well.
Gomtie lamented that even if the men had found the seine they should have handed it over to the No 66 Fisheries.
The men left for sea on August 6 and were expected to return home 10 days later. After that time had elapsed relatives became worried and on the 13th day Bisnauth, along with his sons and two other persons went out in search of them.
They ended up at Coroni, Suriname and became alarmed after the empty boat was found and made a report the police in that country.
She told this newspaper that after finding their empty boat her husband learnt of piracy that had taken place on August 8. During that time a local fisherman from another boat received gunshot wounds.
The boat which just contained the ice box and had been stripped of its engine, fuel and rations was towed back home.
Bisnauth made a report to the police in Suriname and the cops showed him his fishing licence which they said was found in another boat on August 9.
The No 66 Fish Port Complex has set up a fund for members and the public to make donations to the families of the missing fishermen.
A member told this newspaper that they are aware that the men were the sole breadwinners of their families.
According to him, each fisherman was asked to contribute a fish worth $1,000 on a daily basis.
He said the money would be handed over to the families as soon as enough is raised and he encouraged persons to come forward and donate toward the cause.
He said too that they were able to raise enough money to purchase fuel and groceries to assist in the search for the men.
Meanwhile, Gomtie said her husband also used up a lot of money in the search and they cannot afford to purchase another engine and other items to return to sea.
Gomtie feels that the men, including her two brothers, Khemraj and Narine, have all been killed because they recognized the pirates.
She said too that there is speculation that their bodies could have been buried in a shallow grave otherwise they would have been found already.
She is keeping Narine’s wife Vasthina ‘Prenita’ Samaroo, 28, and her two children, aged eight and three at her house to assist them during this difficult time.
Samaroo said since her husband’s disappearance she was “not getting an income from anywhere” and was happy that her sister-in-law was helping her out.
“Every day I looking out and hoping that he would come back home.
“Right now I am still not satisfied because I am not hearing anything,” the distressed woman said.
Gomtie said, “Right now she [Samaroo] feeling hurt and sad and she cannot eat her food. Sometimes she would sit and cry bitterly.”
She said too that the children would keep asking for their father and would “look out for him to come home. His birthday was on September 16 and we cried the entire day.”
The relatives of Singh would not entertain the thought that he and the others are dead. They think that the men are still alive and are being held somewhere and are still praying for their safe return
“We believe that they are still alive; they are not dead. We want to be positive and we are still waiting on good news…” a relative said.
Khemraj’s wife, Drupattie ‘Ango’ Itwar, 32 and her five-year-old son are staying with her mother, Hemwattie Itwar, 56, at Port Mourant in the meantime. Drupattie is also worried about how she would earn an income.
She said too that her son is missing his father so much that he has fallen sick; “He crying for his father to come home and I am getting so confused…”
The woman keeps praying and hoping that she would get news on what transpired and is currently on a 10-day religious fast. She said “even if they find the body of one of them I would be satisfied…”
In tears, Sumesh Martin’s wife, Chandroutie ‘Usha’ Gewan, 34, also said she is finding it hard to cope since her husband’s disappearance.
She is worried about how she would be able to take care of her two children, aged 12 and three. She has “never worked before; he [Martin] never wanted me to work. Now I looking for work and I can’t get any.” She is grateful that relatives are assisting a little.
She said too that it was “hard [not hearing about her husband] but I have to make up my mind because of my children. My smaller son is getting sick. Even if I hear he dead I would content.” But she too is holding on to hope that he would return.
She lamented that when she heard that the seine was found “I start fuh holler because dem finding everything and they can’t find dem.”
Her neighbours had to run over to comfort her.
She said he was attacked by pirates many times but yet he was brave to return to sea because that was the only job he knew.
Ouditnarine’s mother, Savitri Bisnauth said she suffers from ill health and her son was taking care of her and his younger brother, who is epileptic. She said now they would “have to try” to make ends meet.