Five Berbice fishermen charged over ganja, one pleads guilty

Five fishermen reappeared before Magistrate Krishndat Persaud at the Springlands Court on Friday charged with possession of narcotics.

Reports are that on September 25 while in a boat at the Eversham shore, the men: Darshanand Bharrat, Mark Samaroo, Roy Morgan, Steve O’ Neil and Deodat Satnarine, all of Rosignol were in possession of five grammes of marijuana.

Bharrat pleaded guilty to the charge and informed the magistrate that he used the substance for his asthmatic condition.

To this the magistrate responded that he found it “strange” that he (Bharrat)suffers from asthma and works at sea where he is exposed to the elements.

Bharrat was fined $6,000 or an alternative of three months imprisonment. Additionally, he was ordered to perform six months community service, five days per week for four hours at the Blairmont Police Station.

The other men pleaded not guilty and were granted $30,000 bail each.

Piracy

Meanwhile, the men were also being investigated in relation to piracy attacks on the high seas.

They were expected to be rearrested shortly after even as bail was being posted for three of them.

The grey-coloured boat that was equipped with fishing gear was intercepted and is moored at the No 66 Fisheries.

A radio belonging to a fisherman who was robbed was also found in the boat.

This newspaper had learnt that other fishermen from the Corentyne recognized the boat as one that was reportedly used to carry out piracy attacks on them.

They contacted members of the Berbice Anti-Piracy Committee and the police and the crew was arrested.

However, the owner of the boat, Jasoda of D’ Edward Village denied that her boat was ever involved in piracy. She pointed out that recently her workers were among other fishers who were attacked and robbed by pirates of a quantity of articles.

The woman said too that her boat is being held wrongfully at the No 66 wharf and that she is unable to earn an income.

Further, she said a battery was stolen from the boat.

At the time of the arrest the crew had stopped to take a “drink” after encountering problems with a seine.

According to reports, no weapon was found on the boat.

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