Relatives deny paying US$7000-$15000 to smuggle men into US

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While relatives of the four missing Guyanese are holding out that they did not attempt to illegally cross into the United States via The Bahamas, information reaching this publication suggests that relatives paid between US$7000 to $15000 for the trip.

The men, Kevin Sukraj also called “Davin” and his brother-in-law, Krishna Sukraj also called “Mark”, and two friends, Rayan Bhodoo and Anil Deonarine, went missing after it is believed that the boat in which they were using to travel into the United States capsized.

Well-placed sources told this publication that the men were each allegedly required to pay US$7000 before the trip and upon arrival in the US, an additional sum would have been handed over. The additional sum, this publication was told, was US$8000.

But when contacted, Vannie Sukraj, who resides in the US, refuted the claims that her brother, Kevin, and husband, Krishna, travelled to The Bahamas to enter the US illegally and more so, that relatives would have paid an exorbitant amount of money to get them there.

In fact, she explained that after the men went missing, she contacted the US Coast Guard when she saw television reports that a boat had capsized. She admitted that the Coast Guard would have given relatives a detailed report on the rescue mission.

To date, however, she noted that they cannot ascertain if those who were on the boat were in fact her relatives.

Initially, the family claimed that they were never in contact with the US Coast Guard but a recording of the rescue operation was forwarded to this publication by a source.

When questioned about the reason for the visit, Sukraj explained that they were in The Bahamas on vacation.

“The Coast Guard did not find any bodies… we don’t know what happened to them… we are just waiting and praying for some miracle that they are on some other island or something.”

No missing person’s report

When INews contacted the Police in The Bahamas, spokesperson, Superintendent Pinder, directed all questions to the Immigration Department but calls to that unit went unanswered.

But a new report coming out of the island stated that the authorities (Police and Immigration) were not in possession of any reports on the missing Guyanese.

Meanwhile, the wife of Kevin Sukraj was contacted on Tuesday and she related that the last time she heard from him was on February 10, 2021 – the same night he allegedly disappeared.

She noted that he had called to speak to his son briefly to inform him that he was “heading home soon.” “That was the last time we heard from him… I know that he and some guys had a scuffle in the hotel and they were arrested by immigration and their passport were taken away… his mother has been updating me from time to time,” the woman added.

She further stated that they had separated more than a year ago but he would still visit and take care of his children.

She also claimed that she had no idea that he had left Guyana until he called to speak with his son. His daughter, she noted, lives with him in Sophia, Greater Georgetown.

To date, it is believed that the men had planned to travel to The Bahamas where they would have crossed into the US illegally. In a previous report, it was stated that a recording obtained proved that the US Coast Guard was updating relatives on the search and rescue mission after the four men along with two others had disappeared after the boat in which they were illegally crossing over into the US capsized.

The boat reportedly capsized due to bad weather.

During the update, members of the US Coast Guard were heard telling the relatives of Sukraj that after more than 63 hours of searching over a three-day period, there were no signs of the missing men. Several boats and aircraft were used in the mission but all came up empty-handed.

The Coast Guards were also heard informing the relatives that based on the location where the boat went down, swimming to shore is quite impossible. Due to the weather and no sighting of the men, the US Coast Guard had made a decision to suspend the mission.

In a report posted on February 13, 2021, on WPTV News in Florida captioned “1 person rescued after boat capsizes off Fort Pierce; Coast Guard searching for 6 other people,” it was stated that the boat capsized off Fort Pierce on February 10, 2021 – the same day one of the sisters last heard from her brother Kevin.

It was reported that the lone survivor was the captain of the 18-foot vessel. The captain, Orville Lyons, a Jamaican, was rescued by another boat captained by Chase Cornell.

He recalled seeing Lyons’ hands waving at them. “I didn’t know what to do other than start screaming, ‘There’s a guy in the water up there!’”, he reportedly told the Coast Guard.

Cornell, of Southern Eagle Charters in Fort Pierce, was at the time on a fishing expedition with a few others. Nevertheless, with the assistance of the others, they reportedly tossed a life ring attached to a rope to Lyons and pulled him to safety.

“We got on the VHF radio and called the Coast Guard who told us to stay with the boat,” Cornell said. “They asked us a bunch of questions about our position I’m assuming so they begin planning a grid search for the others.”

They were about 20 miles offshore Fort Pierce Inlet.