Pirate attack a great massacre, President says


President David Granger has described the piracy attack off the coast of Suriname this past weekend as a “great massacre, a great tragedy” and said authorities here were working with the Surinamese to find the 14 men still missing.

“We are deeply grieved by the tragedy; clearly some Guyanese have been victims, and we are in touch with the Surinamese government and the Surinamese Police authorities,” Granger told reporters earlier in the day.

He said the Government plans to observe “formal mourning” for the victims. Surinamese authorities are currently still looking for 14 Guyanese fishermen.

“We have been very successful over the last three years in curbing piracy; this has come as a setback,” Granger stated in extending sympathies to the families of the missing men.

The Surinamese Police and Army have undertaken both sea and aerial patrols to find the men as detectives in Guyana hunt those suspected to have attacked the fishermen aboard their vessels and them dumping them in the high seas.

While police remain tight-lipped on the details of the man in custody, scores of persons flocked the Police Station in Niew Amsterdam, Suriname, to get a glimpse and express their disgust and anger. They had to be controlled by Police from giving the man a sound thrashing.

The body of one man, Ganesh Persaud, 29, of No.2 Village, East Canje, Berbice, has so far been recovered.

According to one of the survivors, Darmendrew Persaud, when the pirates boarded the four fishing vessels they said their intention was to “kill.”

Persaud said the men fired shots in their direction and inflicted several chops on their bodies as well as hit them with bamboo. Not satisfied, the men then tied them to the anchor, batteries and other heavy items and ordered them to jump overboard.

Those who refused to comply were chopped and thrown out forcefully. The boats were then destroyed after the catch and other valuables were looted.

The other persons who were identified as missing are Vicky Persaud 23; Ramesh Sanchara, 51; Ralph Anthony Couchman, 19; Glenroy Jones, 19; Tikaknauth Mohabir, 50; Randy Burnette, 19;  Bharat Heeralall; and Bobby Ibrahim.

On Wednesday, Guyana’s Police Commissioner David Ramnarine said that the Guyana Police Force is working in close cooperation with their Surinamese counterparts to find the pirates.

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