Men sentenced to death for deadly 2018 pirate attack off Suriname’s coast
Berbice businessman, Nakool Manohar, known as ‘Fyah’ and his co-accused, Premnauth Persaud, known as ‘Sanbat,’ were sentenced to death for their involvement in the deadly pirate attack of seven fishermen off the coast of Suriname in 2018.
The assault of 20 fishermen, who were in four fishing boats 30 miles (48 km) from the Surinamese coast, was described by then President David Granger as a “massacre” and a major setback to curbing piracy long rife in the waters of 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 sentenced by Justice Navindra Singh at the Berbice High Court.
In November 2022, a 12-member jury found the pair guilty of the crime which stated that between April – June in 2018, while in Guyana’s territorial waters, they murdered Mahesh Sarjoo, known as ‘Kuba’ and Tilaknauth Mohabir called “Camion” onboard 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 known as ‘Bora’, and Lokesh DeCouite and another 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.
During the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Rahamat told the court that both accused showed no remorse and continued to deny their involvement. She added that it was Manohar who gave the instruction to rob the vessel and murder its occupants, which Persaud happily complied for his bounty.
State witness Alexander DenHart, called “Shame Face”, who was also initially charged with the crime was called to give a victim impact statement.
He said, “From then to now, I can’t live comfortably. I bothers me all the innocent people who lose they life…”
Meanwhile, one of survivors of the attack, Darandeo Persaud, known as ‘Archie Bai’ also gave his victim statement as he faced his attackers in court for the last time.
Persaud said that he is still traumatised from the attack and lives in fear. He remembers being chopped and thrown overboard – a nightmare he often relives at night.
Justice Singh, in his sentencing remarks, said this was the most “cruel, gruesome, heinous and cold blooded murder.”
“I’m trying to figure out how can a human being decide to do something like this, and then carry it out? These men cannot be rehabilitated and it would be reckless to let them return to civil society,” the judge said.
Local and Surinamese authorities firmly believed that the attack was one of revenge after Manohar’s brother, Somnauth Manohar, was gunned down in Suriname.
Of the 20 fishermen attacked, several are still missing and considered dead. Five men survived.
I feel relieved that justice has been served. May the deceased souls rest in peace at last How could mankind commit such a heinous crime and live with their consciences not bothering them.