After weeks of staking out suspected smugglers at the Number 63 Beach, the East Berbice Corentyne Agriculture Association (EBCAA), which is a group of fishermen, who hail from the Corentyne area, with the help of Customs officers and ranks attached to the Number 51 Police Station, on Thursday nabbed two suspected smugglers.
Suedat Persaud, Secretary of the EBCAA said, “On Thursday, at Number 63 beach we saw the boat come in, they offload 17 pails of shrimps into the car. We were in another car and we trail them from there. In 58 Village, they stop and one smuggler open the car door and run away.”
He said they continued to follow the car, which subsequently broke down. This allowed the EBCAA members time to rush to the Number 51 Police Station and collect two officers, which led to the arrest of two suspected smugglers, who were still in the car.
The car with the catch was then taken to the Number 51 Police Station. According to Persaud, a Public Health official visited and deemed the catch unfit for public consumption, which led to the catch being disposed of.
Persaud said smuggling has been a problem affecting the fishermen of that area for over 15 years now. He opined that the law as regards smuggling is outdated and should be looked at.
Persaud also highlighted that Surinamese officials do not issue ‘Authorization of Wholesomeness’ for shrimp but they do for tilapia.
According to a source, the two men who were arrested have been released on bail. However, the car has been seized by Customs officers.