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The GDF is concerned about reports alleging the inaction by the Coast Guard led to four persons held by some fishermen being handed over to Surinamese authorities following acts of robberies at sea yesterday.

Consequent to a report by an official of the No 66 Fisheries Cooperative at around noon yesterday about a robbery at sea, the Coast Guard deployed from New Amsterdam to respond to the report.  

A subsequent call was received from the Fisheries Cooperative Official around 1500 hours where he indicated they had located the vessel in the Eversham Village area and there was an exchange of gunfire.  He was advised that the Coast Guard had already deployed and was heading to the area.

At around 1545 a call was received from a Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries department official who requested the Coast Guard and Police presence at the No 66 Village Fisheries Cooperative location so that the arrested persons could be taken in to custody.  Another Coast Guard team was deployed, this time to the No 66 Village Fisheries Cooperative location.

While at that location the commander was informed that the vessel and crew were already handed over to the Surinamese authorities.  The GDF is concerned that alleged perpetrators of acts of piracy in Guyana’s waters were handed over to Surinamese authorities instead of Guyanese authorities for investigation and prosecution.