(Trinidad Express) As the economic crisis deepens in neighbouring Venezuela, fishermen plying their trade off the southwestern coast are fearing for their lives.
The latest in a series of attacks occurred on Monday evening when five fishermen were reportedly kidnapped and taken to Venezuela.
A ransom of US$200,000 has been demanded for the men’s safe release. Relatives have been warned to pay the money by Friday or the men would be dismembered.
Southwestern Division police confirmed that fishermen, Jason O’Brian, 38, Ricky Rhambarose, 35, Jerry O’Brian, 36, Brandon Arjoon, 38, and Linton Manohar, 35, were victims of a pirate attack.
A report stated that the men set sail on a fishing pirogue off Morne Diablo when they were attacked by Spanish-speaking men.
The men’s relatives were informed of the attack by another fisherman.
A voice note circulating on social media claiming to be one of the victims stated that the men were fearful for their lives.
Two weeks ago, two cousins from Moruga were kidnapped by Venezuelans and a US$40,000 ransom demanded for their release.
Kenrick Joseph Morgan, 17, of Gran Chemin, and his cousin, Kendell Singh, 24, of Basse Terre, went on a fishing trip in the waters off Moruga.
The next day, Singh’s family received voice notes and WhatsApp messages from someone who claimed that Joseph and Singh were kidnapped and they would be killed if a $40,000 US ransom was not paid.