Second piracy attack Brother of missing fisherman calls for search of Corentyne River

Hardeo Beechan

A brother of the Guyanese fisherman who is still missing and feared dead from the second piracy attack is calling on the authorities in Guyana to launch a search in the Corentyne River, and routes which are closest to Suriname waters for his brother.

Hardeo Beechan, called Ganesh, 32, was the captain of the boat which was attacked last Wednesday night, out on the coast of the Matapica Canal, approximately eight miles from the mouth of the Paramaribo River. The man was reportedly chopped and thrown overboard by his attackers, while the other crew members were later found and taken to safety.

However, his brother Ganeshram Beechan, 38, of Woodley Park, West Coast Berbice, yesterday explained to Stabroek News that the survivors of the attack had told relatives in Suriname that they last saw the wounded Beechan in the attackers’ boat when they escaped at sea.

The man said that the survivors also told relatives that the attackers requested gasoline and supposedly said that they were heading to Guyana, and as such he believes that they might have dumped his brother’s body in Guyana waters.

Ganeshram further explained that another brother, other relatives and the authorities are still searching in Suriname. “They only searching in Suriname, suppose the body over this side and we don’t know, we need the authorities over here to help search this side, and relatives [are] willing to join too, we need that help,” he said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Beechan noted that he has heard reports that a body had been spotted aback of the Number 36 Village, Corentyne. The man said that he heard fisher folk are afraid to report the supposed body to the police since that they might be caught up in the ongoing investigation.

However, he said it would not hurt the authorities to make a few searches in the river, and at a few points which are used by fishermen to head to Suriname from the Corentyne Coast. This information was passed on to the police in Berbice, who said that they would make contact with Beechan.

The man also lamented that the authorities in Guyana are yet to contact him or any other relative and disclose any information about the matter or the investigation, or even offer any sort of assistance.

Meanwhile, as the investigation continues into the April 27 piracy attack which left three men dead and twelve missing, the authorities in Suriname are continuing to question the thirty persons held in custody.

According to a police source in Guyana, investigators are awaiting a report from the officers who visited Suriname over the weekend to know the way forward with the three men held in custody here.

The source stressed that Guyana is waiting to act based on information from the Surinamese authorities on what they would have gathered from the persons they have in custody. The report is expected to be provided to B Division lawmen today.

On Sunday, fishermen in Suriname held one of the prime suspects at sea. After a thrashing, the fishermen handed over the man, known as `Crackhead’, to the authorities.

`Crackhead’, who was held at Commewijne, Suriname, was one of the first suspects to be named to the investigators in Suriname. The suspect also reportedly confessed to the local fishermen that he had been involved in the attack and that he and a group of men had acted on instructions from someone.

The Surinamese source had previously told this newspaper that investigators were also speaking to close relatives of the boat owner who had been shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Suriname, on the 29th March, this year. The Surinamese police’s initial theory is that the brother of the victim of the drive-by murder, had planned the attack as an act of revenge.  The brother is one of the persons being held in custody in Guyana.

Meanwhile, fishermen have docked their boats in Paramaribo, Suriname until they are assured safety out at sea.

Suriname’s Minister of Defence, Ronni Benschop during a meeting with the fishermen said that they would be allowed to head out back to sea to ply their trade in a week’s time, noting that the authorities are putting measures in place to ensure the safety of the local fishermen.

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