Four armed pirates who attacked and robbed several fishing boats off the shore at No. 43 Village, Corentyne on Saturday have been captured and two unlicensed shotguns with eight cartridges were recovered.
Police also held the boat which belongs to a senior member of the No. 66 Fisheries and which was used to carry ut the attack. A fifth pirate was also involved in the attack.
Reports are that the fisheries member sent his captain and three crew members out to fish in the Atlantic and was shocked to learn that they were involved in piracy.
He confirmed to this newspaper that his captain and three crew members were in custody and up to last evening he, too, was at the No. 51 Police Station assisting with investigations.
It was reported that approximately 30 fishermen were attacked and robbed in six separate instances by these pirates.
Owner of one of the hijacked boats, Nakool Manohar, 32 of No. 43 Village told Stabroek News that the pirates attacked his workers around 3 pm and warned them not to say anything to their “boss man.”
According to him the pirates are also from No. 43 Village but were apparently not familiar with the boat – or the workers – because the vessel was new and had only gone out to sea for the second time.
He said most of his workers were from the East Coast of Demerara and one of the pirates felt confident enough to remove his mask during the attack.
They stole a quantity of fish and other items and ordered the men into the fish pen. It was only after they went into the cabin that they saw a worker from the village and learnt that the boat belonged to Manohar.
They proceeded to beat the worker and also warned him not to tell the owner. Nakool who was also fishing at another location during the piracy recalled when he and the pirates anchored at the koker at No. 43 Village at the same time on Sunday at around 10 am.
He chatted with them not knowing that they had just robbed his other boat. Around 3 a.m. on Monday when his workers arrived at the koker and saw the vessel with the pirates they borrowed a phone to call and inform him.
He told this newspaper that he left around 9:30 “when the water came up” to confront the men but when they saw his boat they fled. He followed them until they docked at the No. 66 Village wharf and informed the police.
Yesterday morning Manohar was at the No. 66 wharf when one of the pirates he had chatted with at the koker walked in. He said he grabbed the man and turned him over to the police. Some of the fishermen recognized one of the pirates by a tattoo on his hand.
Meanwhile, Manohar said that only last week pirates also hijacked his boat and stole a quantity of fish and gasoline.
They also broke his engine before escaping.
According to Eshwar Samaroo, one of the men who was working on the ‘Uprising’ boat, five men approached them, two of whom were armed with guns while two had cutlasses and the fifth drove the engine.
“They stick we up, take away we fish, carry away one of the engines, take parts from the other engine and then they break it… they take away the foodstuff, the generator and they broadside two of the workers on the boat,” Samaroo told this newspaper last evening.
The man said he and his five other crew members were left adrift until the following day when they were rescued by a captain they were familiar with called ‘Momo’.
“On the 18th, around 4:30pm, they towed us in at Meadowbank in town where we normally park,” he stated, while adding that ‘Momo’ suffered similar losses only one week prior to his attack.
Samaroo and the owner of ‘Uprising’, Indarjeet Ramkissoon, were travelling to Berbice when this newspaper contacted them. Ramkissoon indicated that they were going there to identify the engine which was reportedly found by police.
Meanwhile, owner of ‘Ashley’, Andy Singh, said five men were working on his boat when the attack was launched.
He related what his employees said, reporting that the crew appeared to be “normal fishermen” but as they got closer, they saw that the men were armed and were subsequently ordered into their cabin.
“They say the man jump in they boat and then call them out one by one… they discharge the fish into their boat and order the captain to loose the engine and give them, then they bruck up the other one,” the owner stated.
He said that his boat came in at Berbice on Monday and the engine was immediately fixed.
His men, he said, returned to sea on Monday night and are expected to return sometime before Christmas. Police said in a release that a captain, Leslie Veerasammy, 46, of Mon Repos Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara and his three crew members were attacked and robbed by five men armed with firearms and cutlasses.
They took away a quantity of fish, fish glue, groceries, a 48 HP outboard engine, a 12 volts battery, a compass and a GPS and escaped, leaving the victims adrift.”
The release said too that Veerasammy and “the other victims managed to reach ashore on Monday and reported the matter to the police who, acting on information received, arrested four men.”