Venezuelans plead guilty to armed robbery of fishing boat, engines
Three Venezuelan nationals were on Tuesday remanded to prison after they admitted to the armed robbery of a boat and two engines.
They have been identified as 23-year-old Jose Beria, 21-year-old Aleyandio Valenzuela and 23-year-old Reniel Valenzuela.
The men were arrested on March 7 at Waini River Mouth, North West District; they are accused of robbing Rajendra Singh of a white fibre glass boat valued at $600,000, a 15 horsepower outboard engine valued at $700,000 and a 40 horsepower engine valued $1.1 million.
According to Police Headquarters, the trio appeared at the Diamond Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Sunil Scarce, who read the charge of armed robbery contrary to section three of the Hijacking and Piracy act Chapter 10:08.
The three accused pleaded guilty and were remanded to prison for sentencing on May 22, 2023.
“However, on their next appearance, the men will be tried for possession of firearms and ammunition without a license,” the Police press release noted.
The Police Force had previously noted that the three men were nabbed in Guyana’s waters by ranks of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard as they attempted to flee with the stolen items.
It was noted that two Guyanese fishermen were asleep on the vessel, which was moored at Waini Point, when they were awoken by three suspects, two pointing long guns at them. The suspects were all wearing flashlights on their foreheads.
The victims said the alleged ‘pirates’ spoke to them in a foreign language (believed to be Spanish) and ordered them off the boat.
The suspects then took control of the boat and fled toward the Venezuelan border.
The incident was reported to the Police at Morawhanna Police Station and as a result, Police and Coast Guard ranks swiftly proceeded to a notorious area on the water top called ‘Crab Dog’ where they intercepted the stolen boat with the suspects inside.
Robbery on the river or ocean is deemed piracy, as I understand it, therefore a charge for piracy is forthcoming. This should be dealt with the utmost seriousness as the law allows.