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Saturday 17 August 2019
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Kidnapped fishermen yet to return home

KIDNAPPED Cedros fishermen 52-year-old Awardnath Hajarie, his 26-year-old son Nicholas Hajarie and 35-year-old friend Shami Seepersad did not return home yesterday as expected. Family members said they may have to wait one more day.

Awardnath’s bride-to-be Hermatie Sankar, 50, said she was hopeful and just could not wait to have him and their son safely home.

“I love them so much,” Sankar said. “I have a wedding to continue planning.”

Sankar’s other son Vicky, 32, left Cedros last Saturday in his pirogue in search of his father, brother and Seepersad.

Video footage which began circulating last Thursday showed the fishermen being forced out of their pirogue and into another by Spanish-speaking men off the coast of Cedros.

With guns pointing at them, the Spanish-speaking men forced the three onto their pirogue and sped away. The incident occurred at Soldado rock, which is about seven miles from the coast of the Venezuelan mainland.

The armed foreigners, believed to be members of Venezuela’s Guardia Nacional, sped away. Sankar was able to make contact with his in-laws in Venezuela and arrangements were being made for the three men to return to the island.

Fishermen on the beach told Newsday for the past 15 years fishermen have been taken against their will and ransom demanded by Spanish-speaking men. If the ransom is not paid on time, the fishermen said, those held are charged with entering Venezuela illegally and, in some cases, jailed.

Hajarie and Sankar’s wedding is scheduled for May 16.

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