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Saturday 18 November 2017
Crime and Court

Coast Guard: Piracy situation under control

Despite earlier reports of an upsurge in piracy off the coast of Icacos in south western Trinidad, the Coast Guard maintains all is being done to ensure the safety and security of fishermen and others. Coast Guard public information officer Lt Sherron Manswell said patrols will continue.

“We constantly have personnel in the south coast monitoring the area. We have vessels on regular patrols. We had a vessel on Saturday all day on patrol, we also had one in the Gulf of Paria and another in the south western coast. So we are present, we are out there. But we haven’t heard anything based on that question with the piracy. No reports came in to us at all,” Manswell said. On Friday last, members of the Fullarton Village Fisherman’s Association reported an increase in incidents of piracy along the south western coast. The group claimed fishermen were being robbed at gunpoint by Spanish-speaking men using Trinidadian boats believed to have been captured in previous robberies.

Newsday spoke with head of special interest group, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) Gary Aboud, who said the reported spate of piracy has affected the livelihood of fisher folk. He said Government should focus on defending the country’s borders against foreign threats.

“The Government has no stated capacity to deal with theft on the high seas. If we as a nation have no radar capabilities to defend our people against threats we should not be a country,” Aboud said.

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