Five men were today charged with the capital offence of murder under the Piracy Act when they made their first court appearance at the Number 51 Magistrate’s Court, Berbice.
Ramchand Latchman, Ganesh Naidoo, Leon Sammy, Stephen Leacock and Ramesh Singh all of Corentyne, Berbice, were not required to plead to the charge and were remanded to prison.
The case has been postponed until July 06, 2016 for report.
According to the police, acting on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack, the charge of murder was instituted against the five men.
They men are being accused of murdering Hemchand Sookdeo of Number 55 village Corentyne Berbice during an act of piracy which was allegedly committed on May 28 in the Corentyne River where Sookdeo was thrown overboard and left to drown.
One of the five men arrested by Police following three daring pirate attacks had confessed to the crime(s) committed and gave the police a confession statement which also implicated the captain and other crew members of a boat suspected to be involved in piracy.
Police Divisional Commander of Berbice, Ian Amsterdam had initially disclosed that, based on information received, the three fishermen still missing were reportedly tied to anchors and then thrown overboard by the pirates.
It was reported that the first attack was carried out on a boat captained by Seepersaud Persaud along the Corentyne River. This attack resulted in the death of Sookdeo who was a crew member on that boat.
Forty-five-year-old Sookdeo’s body was discovered tangled in seines with a chop wound at the back of his head. When the pirates had finished executing their crimes they threw Sookdeo and the others into the water after they beat him. Sookdeo’s body was later found by other fishermen as they were pulling up their seine.
The other three fishermen who are yet to be found are; Munesh Churman, called ‘Boyo’, 26; 54-year-old Dochan Sukra, called ‘Butcher’, and Dhanpaul Ramphal. All of these men are from the Upper Corentyne, Berbice.
The hijacked boat, Rosana 664, was found the following evening by its owner, Mohamed Husain Arran, drifting along the Corentyne waters after he spent many hours trying to locate it.