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Suriname: Search for missing fishermen not closed

PARAMARIBO – It is exactly four weeks ago on Saturday that four fishing boats with a total of twenty people were raided near the Wia Wiabank. So far, five survivors and four bodies have been found. Twelve fishermen are still missing and feared for their lives.

The search for them has not yet been completed, says superior Jerry Slijngard, director of the Coast Guard. “The patrols are still in progress, we are not only trying to search for the bodies, but we are also carrying out other types of checks, and when the search is completed we report it officially.” Slijngard says that such a decision must be made in consultation with all relevant authorities.

Seafarers, presumably of Guyanese origin, attacked the fishing boats at the Surinamese coast on April 28 at around 4 o’clock in the morning. There are also strong indications that it is not a robbery, but a settlement in the sector about fishing locations. Twelve suspects are detained in Suriname and one in Guyana.

The pirates have brought one boat, the other three have been completely robbed. Most crew members have been thrown overboard. According to survivors, at least three of them have a battery tied to the leg to weigh up the body. Four of the five survivors were put ashore in New Amsterdam. One man swam and walked for days to finally arrive in Braamspunt.

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