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Tuesday 18 September 2018
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Nat Sec officials aware of high seas kidnapping

PHOTO BY ANIL RAMPERSAD.

Contrary to earlier reports of kidnapping and piracy, three TT fishermen who were recorded being taken captive by Venezuelan nationals off the coast of Cedros on Thursday were legally detained by Venezuelan authorities.

This is according to a release from this country's national security ministry.

The release said the men were allegedly found fishing in Venezuelan waters, which constitutes an offence under the United Nations International Law of the Sea.

However, the circumstances surrounding the capture of the three men raised more questions, as it was revealed the fishermen were chased by the Venezuelan Coast Guards, back into Trinidad waters where they were arrested, which also constitutes as breaking the law.

Earlier today, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Vel Lewis said various agencies within the ministry were working at full capacity to gather information and act on the incident.

Speaking with Newsday this morning, Lewis said that details at this time were still sketchy but confirmed the incident did take place and said the ministry was doing all in its power to reunite the fishermen with their families.

Newsday also visited the Venezuelan Embassy on Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain this morning but was told by an official on the compound that they were closed for the day.

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