Jun 01, 2018 News
More than one month after deadly attacks on predominantly Guyanese fishermen, off the coast of Suriname, investigators in that neighbouring country believe they have nailed a few of the main players.
A number of suspects have reportedly made full admissions to the police about their roles and that of others in the incidents, the De Ware Tijd newspaper of Suriname reports.
One of the suspects is said to be the son of Somnath Manohar, a Guyana-born fisherman/boat owner who lived in Suriname, and was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on March 30.
The attacks on four boats on April 27 are said to be retaliation in an ongoing feud among rival fishermen.
According to the De Ware Tijd, in addition to Manohar’s son, another of his family member is being held by Suriname authorities.
In Guyana, on Wednesday, Manohar’s brother, Nakool ‘Fyah’ Manohar, was slapped with murder charges for his role. He is alleged to be one of the organizers of the attacks, off the shores of Suriname, in the water between French Guiana and the former Dutch territory.
Under Dutch law, authorities can hold on to suspects pending investigations.
The revelations of confessions were made yesterday during a press conference of the Police Corps Suriname (KPS). It was also disclosed that twelve of the total of 25 victims are still missing. Eleven of them are said to be Guyanese. Eight fishermen survived the massacre.
Inspector Erwin Dort, acting head of Capital Crimes, said that the robberies of April 27th and May 3rd were carried out by the same attackers. Apart from the fact that fishermen were killed, fish, gas cylinders and outboard engines were carted off.
The police investigations in Suriname and Guyana, however, revealed that the attack was not so much for the commission of robberies. In fact, investigators were able to determine that monies were paid.
Among the 19 suspects arrested in the past few weeks are persons who were directly involved in the execution as well as others who are “indirectly involved”.
According to Inspector Dort: “Suspects have made a resounding confession”.
In the meantime, a number of suspects have been released for the time being.
Five suspects are still fugitive. One of them was said to be Manohar who was charged in Guyana on Wednesday.
Of the twelve fishermen who are still missing, no personal details are known, police in Suriname said yesterday.
It was disclosed that deadly attacks sparked a shutdown of Suriname’s fishing industry with worried relatives in Guyana journeying to find out what happened.
A number of the families will probably never experience closure as the bodies are still missing.
While Suriname has reopened fishing, authorities are signaling tighter checks to ensure fishermen are registered, instead of them just turning up and starting to work on the boats.
The incidents had seen both Guyanese and Surinamese journey between the two neighbours as part of the investigations.
Until those attacks, Guyanese officials had insisted that they had dented piracy.
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