Corentyne boat owner charged with two sea robberies

-was in custody over piracy attack off Suriname

Nakool Manohar

A Corentyne man who was held in connection with the recent piracy attack off Suriname, was yesterday remanded to prison, after he was charged with committing two robberies on the sea in 2015 and 2016.

Nakool Manohar, 39, of Lot 1, Number 43 Village, Corentyne, Berbice, was brought into the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, who read the charges to him under Section 3 of the Piracy Act 10:08.

The first charge against the accused stated that he, between April 1, 2015 and April 30, 2015, in the territorial waters of Guyana, in the company of others and armed with guns and cutlasses, robbed the vessel “Sir Navin”, owned by Daneshwar Reddy called “Smalley”, of two 48 horsepower outboard engines valued at $1,800,000, property of Reddy.

It was further alleged that Manohar, called ‘Fyah’ between August 1, 2016 and August 30, 2016, in Guyana’s territorial waters, in the company of others and armed with guns and cutlasses, robbed Vikash Balkissoon of a fishing vessel,  “Captain Vikash”,  valued at $2,300,000, property of Balkissoon.

The defendant was not required to plead to the indictable charges.

Police prosecutor Gordon Mansfield objected to bail being granted, citing the seriousness of the offence. He noted that the defendant is the subject of several other investigations, referencing the recent pirate attack on four fishing vessels off of Suriname.

According to the prosecutor, the accused is a flight risk and if granted bail, he may tamper with the witnesses.

The defendant’s attorney, Joel Edmund, later requested bail for his client, citing the fact that he has been living at the same address for a number of years and so will not flee the jurisdiction. The attorney further noted that his client operates 10 fishing vessels but does not go out to sea. According to Edmund, his client was arrested on May 2, based on an allegation pertaining to a matter that did not occur within the shores of Guyana and is only being charged because of pressure within the jurisdiction.

Manohar, he added, is diabetic and has back pains.

Prosecutor Mansfield, in response to the attorney, informed the court that three extensions of custody were granted in relation to the matter. He went on to state that the two charges against the defendant arose as a result of the current investigations.

The bail request was denied by the Chief Magistrate, who cited the seriousness of the offence and the fact that Manohar is being investigated in relation to another matter.

He was then remanded to prison and the matter adjourned to May 30, when it is expected to be heard at the Springlands Magistrate’s Court.

The recent piracy attack, which occurred on the night of April 27, left 16 of 20 fishermen missing.

The pirates, reportedly armed with cutlasses and guns, chopped and beat the fishermen before robbing them, and then proceeded to throw them overboard or ordering them to jump with weights strapped to their legs. However, four men who survived the attack, swam until they were rescued by passing vessels and last week, one survivor was found. Three other bodies have also since been recovered.

On Thursday, another body, suspected to be that of one of the missing fishermen, washed up on the Number 63 Beach, Corentyne. That body was identified by a tattoo as being Gavin Outar, but a formal identification has not yet taken place.

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