Venezuelan gangs suspected of robbing Guyanese sailors

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A senior regional official from Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini) his claiming that heavily armed gangs close to the Guyana-Venezuela border have been reportedly interfering with Guyanese who are engaged in fishing along the Amakuru River. This river links the two countries in the Region One.

The official, who requested anonymity, has also said that there have been reports of pirates attacking Guyanese fishing boats along that border.

He said while there is no confirmation, based on the statements taken from the affected Guyanese, these men may belong to large gangs in that country.

These gang members have been described as ‘Merczateers’. The regional official said he strongly believes some Guyanese fishers may have ventured near the Venezuelan border, as the Police station had received reports of some fishing boats being stripped and robbed by pirates.

Investigations are likely to commence following his declarations on the matter.

A high-level meeting was fixed between Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and a Venezuelan delegation to discuss the border controversy in October this year. This was aimed at reaching a resolution through the Good Offices Process until the end of 2017.

No resolution has been met since but Guyana has indicated that it is prepared to go to the International Court of Justice as the next means of settlement to the controversy.

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