The captain of a Parika / Supenaam Ferry and his crew have been accused of threatening , beating and robbing passengers at the Wakenaam Ferry Stelling shortly after 21:00 hours on Tuesday night.
According to reports, the MV Torani was scheduled to depart Parika at 12:00 midday, but because of an extra run it was delayed. The ship was subsequently loaded by 16:30 hours, but the Captain was not available to sail the ship until after 18:00 hours. It is reported that the Captain was seen drinking.
The boat remained moored for over an hour and a half at Parika with one plant between the boat and the stelling.
Several motorists travelled by speedboat to Wakenaam where they went to retrieve their vehicles, as the tide was ebbing and they had their families, including infants.
The captain reportedly attacked the driver of a canter truck and blocked him from entering the truck to drive off the stelling.
When a reporter arrived, the captain and crew who were on the road outside the stelling threatened to break the camera and throw the reporter overboard. One motorist who intervened and prevented the mob from attacking the reporter was attacked. His brother who was several feet away and wearing an expensive gold chain was pushed down on the road where he was cuffed and kicked by several of the men. When they were done with him, his gold chain was reportedly missing.
The gang also tried to pull a driver out of his canter truck to beat him while the truck was on the road, but were unsuccessful.
The police were called in but took a long time to respond to the scene. When they arrived the men refused to cooperate. The Sergeant who went there told the rank that the Commander ordered the release of one of the suspected perpetrators that was held.
When this newspaper contacted the Commander he said he was unaware of the incident but promised an immediate investigation. No one was held that night and the ferry continued its journey to Supenaam.
Yesterday ranks from ‘G’ Division were on the island taking statements from residents as promised by the Commander. Meanwhile it has been learnt that the Transport and Harbours Department is conducting its own investigations into the allegations against the captain and crew.
Commuters using the ferry service say that it is not strange that captains operate the ferry boat valued millions of dollars while under the influence of alcohol. They are calling for a thorough investigation.
Recently the same MV Torani crashed into the Wakenaam Stelling at high tide. While the boat did not suffer damage, the stelling was badly damaged. So far the floor of the stelling has since been repaired (Harry Seymour).
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