May 04, 2018 News
As local authorities continue to hunt for the suspects believed to be those who committed the deadly attack on 20 fishermen in Suriname waters, B’ Division Police have made an arrest.
Senior police sources in the Division have confirmed that Nakool “Fyah” Manohar, attached to the Number 43 Fishing Co-op, was arrested yesterday at his home in the said village. Manohar’s brother, Somnauth Manohar, was killed in his yard in Suriname during a drive-by shooting on March 30, 2018. It is suspected that the recent attack was a reprisal for his death. Somnauth was said to be involved in piracy acts on fishermen out at sea.
At the home of “Fyah”, his wife related that many times when there is a piracy attack in the waters her husband is arrested, questioned and subsequently released.
“Every time it get ah hijacking dem a come hold he up and hold he for 72 hours and then we does gotta go and tek lawyer and dem never charge he”, she explained.
The woman said that on the day of the attack at sea, her husband was at home, while making it clear that he no longer works out at sea “but get boats does go out at sea”. She went on to explain that her brother-in-law who was shot, “me husband and he never use to really talk”.
According to her, shortly after the deadly attack on the fishermen on Friday, the police had informed them that someone had called them and given evidence to prove that her husband “tek out revenge”. She also mentioned that her husband is not a licenced firearm holder but had applied. She also added that they have since employed the services of an Attorney Bernard DaSilva.
Additionally, a source in Suriname has revealed that the boat used in the pirate attack had “SK” painted on the front. It was later confirmed by this publication, that the fishing boats branded with “SK” are registered only to Guyanese.
However, amidst the horrifying news of what took place in neighbouring Suriname, fishermen from the Number 66 Fishing Co-op have expressed fear for themselves and fellow colleagues. One fisherman said that he has been fishing for over 20 years and was attacked by pirates on many occasions, one of the recent attacks left him with broken ribs.
He opined that nothing can protect fishermen when they venture out to sea and if guns are given he believes that the very fishermen who are given the guns will use on each other “when dem drink up and get ignorant”.
Indar Rampersaud, fisherman and Vice Chairman at Number 66 Co-op said that he feels sad about the situation but it is left on the Suriname authorities to act on reports when attacks occur in the waters.
“We can’t blame our police or our Coast Guard, because where we are fishing from when I leave this creek here, yuh enter into Suriname waters. Right now for our protection, our co-op has guns that was given by the previous government, so at least that is some form of protection for us out there”, Rampersaud added.
Regional Chairman David Armogan also weighed in on the attack, at the monthly statutory meeting of the Regional Democratic Council Region Six. The RDC has since condemned the murderous events that unfolded days ago.
Armogan stated, “this is a very tragic time for the relatives of these missing men and this will also put a dent on other people wanting to go out to go fish as well”.
Armogan stressed that the fishermen have been calling for guns for a very long time, “maybe if they had things to fight back these pirates or maybe if these pirates knew that these fishermen had guns it would have been a different story. So I think we need to look back at that policy and if we want fishing to proceed and grow then I think we need to enable these fishermen with radios and also firearms; their lives are in danger and their families are at risk”.
It is his firm belief that some level of safety must be provided to the fishermen who leave their homes to work for an honest dollar to maintain their respective families.
“They are at the mercy of these pirates”, Armogan charged.
Secretary for Vissercollectief Mark Lall has confirmed that only one body was brought to shore. Sources in neighbouring Suriname said that there seems to be difficulty in bringing the other bodies to shore even though they were spotted.
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