30 persons in custody over piracy attacks, says Suriname Justice, Police Minister

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In light of the recent arrest of notorious criminal ‘Crackhead’ who was wanted by Surinamese law enforcement for the recent deadly pirate attacks, the authorities have confirmed that a total of 13 persons are in custody.

However, at a joint press conference on Monday in Suriname, Justice and Police Minister, Stuart Faith reported that 30 people have been arrested so far.

The arrests he noted were made on the water and on land. On the other hand, Suriname Defence Minister, Ronni Benschop assured that in a week’s time the fishermen can safely return to work at sea.

‘Crackhead’ after his arrest on Sunday morning (De Ware Tijd Photo)

The men were arrested between Thursday and Sunday last at several check points that police have visited.

The main suspect, ‘Crackhead’ was reportedly spotted in the boat that attacked the fishermen between May 3 and 5 in the Wia Wia bank.

INews understands that a boat owner who reported the robbery to the police described the men he recognised during the brutal attack on the fishermen.

He reportedly told the police that ‘Dick’, ‘Bolo’, ‘Crackhead’, ‘Sanbad’ and another man he did not know carried out the attack.

The owner also told officials that the suspects are all Guyanese.

One of the four fishing boats that was sunk during the first attack

News coming out of Suriname also stated that the Coast Guard has also brought in a boat and suspects and handed them over to the police.

Upon inspection of the boat, it appeared that the crew could not show a permit.

The people on board also had no identity papers.

The authorities have not ascertained the motives for the attack but there are suspicions that it was retaliation for the murder of a captain.

Nevertheless, fifteen people are still missing from two attacks.

Three bodies have been recovered and five people have survived the first attack.

On Sunday, Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan led a team to the neighbouring country where he had the opportunity to meet with the relatives of the missing men.

During his visit, Ramjattan recognised that need for improved coast guard warning systems and information sharing.

The Minister further stated that he was satisfied with the Surinamese investigations, even noting that authorities in the Dutch-speaking country are pushing for DNA testing to ensure that all bodies are properly identified.

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo interacting with Guyanese in Suriname over the weekend

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo who led a team to Suriname described the attacks as acts of terrorism, and called upon the Governments of Guyana and Suriname to work together in addressing the horrific incidents.

He urged that the full force of the law be used to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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