Prime suspect confesses to throwing fishermen overboard, 3 still missing
Corentyne piracy attacks
– men were tied to anchors, search continues
Police have been able to obtain a confession statement from one of the five suspects in custody which implicates the captain and other crew members of a boat that is suspected to be involved in piracy.
Berbice Division Commander, Assistant Commissioner Ian Amsterdam told Guyana Times that the three missing men were tied to anchors and then thrown overboard. The detailed information on what transpired after the pirates had thrown the captain of a fishing boat into the ocean indicated that the four crew members were held captive and led to two other boats to steal their catch. At the end, the pirates threw Hemchand Sookdeo, 45, and the others into the water after beating him. Sookdeo’s body was found by other fishermen as they were
pulling up their seine.
The three other crew members are still missing. They are Dochan Sukra, 54, called “Butcher”, of Number 55 Village; Dhanpaul Rampaul, of Number 67 Village and Munish Churman, 26, called “Boyo”, of Number 60 Village.
On Friday night, five pirates carried out attacks on three boats in the Corentyne River. During the first attack, the hapless captain, Seepersaud Persaud, 43, of Corriverton, was thrown overboard five miles offshore but was rescued by other fishermen after swimming for three hours.
The following morning, Persaud was brought ashore and reported what transpired while he was on board.
During the second attack, the pirates sailed up alongside a fishing boat with a captain and crew of four and took away their fish and glue valued in excess of $800,000. The pirates then damaged the boat
engine. Before leaving they threw gasoline into the vessel and threatened to set it ablaze, but had a change of heart and left the crew and captain stranded, going on to attack the third boat. On this occasion, they did the same thing but made no threats.
Both crews were rescued and brought to shore on Saturday night. They were unharmed. The boat which the missing men left shore on was discovered drifting on Sunday morning in the vicinity of Number 52 Village.
Meanwhile, when the pirates returned to shore, they allegedly sold the fish to one of the owners of a boat which they had attacked the night before.
Police later arrested five men. According to the Commander, the confession statement which was given to the Police indicates that the captain of the pirate boat was the ring leader, but all of the others are being implicated. He said following the revelation by one of the suspects, the Police got assistance from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to conduct a search at sea for the missing men.
Assistant Commissioner Amsterdam said the Police were continuing their investigation. The husband of the person who the suspected piracy boat was registered to was also questioned by the Police. In the past, he has been a suspect in piracy attacks.