Venezuelan pirates rob Guyanese fishermen
After a lull of several months, Guyanese fishermen are once again at the mercy of pirates who ply their nefarious trade near the Venezuelan border.
Just last week Wednesday, the crew of the Ricky II was relieved of over $1M in fish, as well as clothing and other valuables after a gang of gun-toting pirates attacked them in the Waini River.
The captain, Tameshwar Persaud, said that the crew was heading home when they spotted a small boat, powered by a 200-horsepower engine, bearing towards them at full speed.
Persaud said that they suspected that the men were pirates and tried to escape, but were unable to outrace the faster vessel.
Their suspicions were confirmed when the men in the boat fired about three shots, forcing them to stop.
According to Persaud, the men, who were masked, armed with handguns, and spoke Spanish, ordered his crew to lie facedown on the boat, but took him with them. He was then forced to hand over 1,600 pounds of fish, their rations, a battery charger and their clothing to the men.
The captain recalled that the pirates had also wanted to take one of the two 48-horsepower engines from the Ricky II.
However, the pirates changed their minds after Persaud convinced them that the other engine was defective and they would be left adrift.
The men then loaded the booty and escaped in the vicinity of Venezuela.
The matter was reported at the Morawhanna Police Station, and the crew returned to Georgetown on Sunday.
Persaud revealed that the Ricky II had suffered a similar attack two months ago in the same area. On that occasion, the pirates had made off with their seines and their catch.
The Ricky II is owned by the Lucknauth family, which has been in the fishing business for over 40 years.
A family member said that piracy has increased in recent years, and pleaded with officials to help to curb the scourge.