Guyanese fisher killed in second pirate attack

—crew reportedly terrorized

Hardeo Beechan

A second piracy attack on a fishing boat in Suriname waters, nearly a week after the first, which left 16 fishermen missing, has resulted in the death of Guyanese fisherman Hardeo Beechan,

Beechan, called Ganesh, 32, of Woodley Park, West Coast Berbice, was reportedly shot and beaten before being thrown overboard.

The attack, Surinamese news agencies reported, was carried out on the coast of Matapica Canal, approximately eight miles from the Paramaribo River mouth. Four other crew members were reportedly injured during the encounter.

Police, along with coast guards, have since journeyed to the area to carry out an investigation. They were expected to return last night with the crewmembers.

Mark Lall, secretary of the Fishermen Collective in Suriname, confirmed the attack and the death of Beechan to news agencies in Suriname. Lall indicated that details on the other crew members remain unknown.

Beechan’s brother, Heeralall, told Stabroek News via phone yesterday that the attack occurred sometime on Wednesday night. The family was informed yesterday morning.

“A crewman told me that when they came to the boat they fire a shot and my brother jumped overboard. And them man seh, “oh you want jump overboard?” And they scramble him and pull he in their boat and beat him. The [crew] man seh after that, he hear one scream and they throw he overboard,” Heeralall explained

He learnt that his brother was shot once in his abdomen and beaten before he was thrown into the river.

Heeralall stated that from the little information they received, the crewmen were also beaten and terrorized by their attackers. He added that it is unclear what was stolen from the boat.

The man noted that they will only be able to understand what transpired when they speak to the crew members, who they believe were left on the boat.

“The crew members are supposed to be coming in tonight… with the police and that is when we would get more information,” he said.

According to Heeralall, he and his brother have been residing in Suriname for some years now, with their immediate family.

He noted that his brother has been a part of the fishing trade for approximately 15 years.

The attack comes almost a week after a brazen piracy attack was carried out by five pirates on four fishing boats, in the vicinity of the Wia Wia bank in Suriname. It was reported that each fishing boat was occupied by five persons, comprising the captain and four fishermen.

Of the 20 crew members who came under attack last Friday, five survived; four making it to shore soon after the attack, and the fifth, being rescued yesterday. Three bodies were discovered but remain unidentified, while 12 remain missing.

The pirates, reportedly armed with cutlasses and guns, chopped and beat the fishermen before robbing them.

It had been reported that some of the men were ordered to jump overboard with their injuries, while others were thrown overboard with batteries strapped to their legs.

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