Two found guilty of deadly 2018 pirate attack off Surinamese coast

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Berbice businessman Nakool Manohar called “Fyah” and co-accused Premnauth Persaud called “Sanbat” were on Monday found guilty of their involvement in the deadly pirate attack off the coast of Suriname in 2018.

The assault on 20 fishermen who were in four fishing boats 30 miles (48 km) from the Surianmese coast was described by then President David Granger as a “massacre” and a major setback to curbing piracy long rife in the waters off both countries.

The pirates burned the Guyanese fishermen with hot oil, attacked them with cutlasses and forced them overboard tied to anchors.

Manohar, formerly of Number 43 Village, Corentyne, and Persaud, of Cromarty Village, were on trial before Justice Navindra Singh at the Berbice High Court.

Earlier this month the men had denied that between April – June in 2018, while in Guyana’s territorial waters, they murdered Mahesh Sarjoo called “Kuba” and Tilaknauth Mohabir called “Camion” on board the vessel Romina SK 764 that was under a piracy attack.

It was further alleged that the men, during the same period, murdered Bandara called “Spanish man”, Laita Sumair called “Bora”, and Lokesh DeCouite, on board the vessel Joshua SK 1418 while committing the offence of piracy.

The State was represented by special prosecutor attorney Latchmie Rahamat and State prosecutor Nafeeza Baig.

On Monday afternoon, a 12-member jury, after deliberating for almost two hours, found the men unanimously guilty of the capital offence.

Sentencing was deferred until January 16, 2023.

Local and Surinamese authorities had firmly believed that the attack was one of revenge after Manohar’s brother, Somnauth Manohar, was gunned down in Suriname.

Of the twenty fishermen attacked, several are still missing and considered dead. Five men survived.

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