Vessel seized at Port Kaituma a “modernised boat” – Police

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Acting Crime Chief, Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Williams has revealed that the vessel discovered in a creek at Annbisi River in Port Kaituma, North West District (Region One) on Saturday last is not submersible but in fact a “modernised boat”.

Last weekend, acting on intelligence received about a submerged craft being seen at the bank of the creek, Police ranks went to the area and arrested two men, including the Venezuelan owner, and confiscated the vessel.

The “modernised” boat that was found in a creek at Port Kaituma

At the time of the discovery, the vessel – about 25 metres long, 2.7 metres wide, and 2.8 metres in depth – was undergoing maintenance work which was being carried out by a Guyanese welder.
The craft was subsequently brought to the city and has been lodged at CID Headquarters in Georgetown.
However, Williams explained that the owner used the boat to transport fuel. He noted that in its original form, the vessel had a capacity to hold approximately 80 to 90 barrels of fuel and as such the owner wanted to “modernise” the boat to expand its capacity so that it can carry a larger quantity of fuel.
Nevertheless, the acting Crime Chief noted that the probe is still active as the Police are trying to verify the documents for the boat. He added that they are also checking with the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to find out whether there are any legal requirements to make such changes to a vessel and whether the changes were registered, if required.
Further, Williams disclosed that investigators are also working along with the Transport and Harbour Department (T&HD) to ascertain whether the vessel was found in illegal waters, that is, waterways earmarked for non-traversing by vessels.
According to the acting Crime Chief, there are no reasons to believe that the vessel was being used for any illegal activities.
Over the years, local security agencies have been working on tightening the policing of the country’s vast hinterland regions with the aim of clamping down on illegal activities such as narcotic trafficking, which has found the interior as a safe haven.
In fact, the discovery of the vessel initially spurred concerns among law enforcement officials since it was thought to be a submersible craft; the type usually linked to the narco trade.
In September 2014, a self-propellant semi-submersible (SPSS) vessel was discovered in the Waini River, Region One during an intelligence-led operation between the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force. The vessel weighed approximately 18 tonnes and was 63 feet long.
There were reports of the vessel having links to Colombia however, this was never substantiated.

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