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Guyana wants to question seven persons in Suriname about deadly piracy attack

The body of a fisherman being taken ashore Wednesday night in Suriname.

Guyana wants Suriname to send several Guyanese back home to be questioned by local police about last month’s piracy attack, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan said Friday.

He said, through Police Commissioner David Ramnarine, a request for mutual  assistance would be dispatched to Suriname “for the witnesses to come over to Guyana and  to be cross-examined by our CID (Criminal Investigations Department).”

The Public Security Minister said Surinamese authorities have sent him all they have done so far on a daily basis, and now it was time for Guyanese police to garner additional information. “We need some more information before we can fully complete whatever investigation we want because those witnesses are over there,” he said.

Ramjattan said there was also the option of Guyanese senior police officers journeying to Suriname to interview the seven witnesses, accused persons and those who are on remand. “We need to that ourselves so it is a very close working relationship. It has been so for some time,” he said.

Back on April 27, 2018 pirates attacked 20 fishermen in four boats off the north-eastern coast of Suriname nearer the border with French Guiana. At least 12 of the 16 who had been chopped and thrown overboard with batteries tied to their bodies have not yet been recovered.

Investigators believed that attack was to avenge the drive-by shooting death of a Guyanese fishermen in March in Suriname. The dispute appeared to have been over rights to fishing grounds.

Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge has told the House that one must not discount that fishermen engage in illegal activities and that is why they have been resisting the installation of transponders and radio communication set that would help to monitor their locations at sea.