Death of Suriname cop not seen as linked to piracy attack – crime chief

Ravikant Premcharan

The death of Surinamese policeman Ravikant Premcharan, who was found in a vehicle on Passiebloem Straat in Paramaribo, Suriname on May 13th has not been linked to the April 27th piracy attack in Surinamese waters which left over a dozen Guyanese missing  and now presumed dead, Crime Chief Paul Williams said.

Williams last night told Stabroek News that during the visit of senior police officials from Suriname last week, the death of the officer was discussed and he was told that the death is not linked to the attack carried out on the fishermen at sea.

“We had a meeting with them and during that meeting the matter was raised and they said his death has no link to the piracy. They said it is nothing of the sort,” Williams said.

Initial news reports coming out of Suriname suggested that his death was an act of revenge for the attack on the fishermen.

Williams further stated that the piracy killings have been an “eye opener” for Surinamese authorities. He noted that the authorities have put rigid security systems in place, which include frequent patrols on the water. Fishermen have since returned to Surinamese waters.

The crime chief added that the meetings between the two police forces touched on areas in which they can improve their partnership and communication.

The crime chief also said from the discussions, he was told that of the 14 persons arrested by the Surinamese police, they are certain that 12 of the men were involved in the April 27th attack.

 “They are still investigating and with their laws they are allowed to detain persons for as long as 90 days,” he explained.

Four boats carrying a total of 20 persons were attacked off the Suriname coast on April 27th. It was reported that each boat was occupied by five persons, comprising the captain and four fishermen. The perpetrators, reportedly armed with guns and cutlasses, chopped and beat the fishermen before robbing them. Some of the men were ordered to jump overboard with their injuries, while others were thrown overboard with batteries strapped to their legs.

Four men who survived the attack swam until they were rescued by passing vessels. Two weeks ago, another survivor was found. Four bodies have also since been recovered. The piracy attack was seen as a reprisal for the killing of a Guyanese based in Suriname.

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