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Friday 17 August 2018
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Cedros fishermen not yet home

Hematie Sankar points to the Icacos beach where her intended husband, Awardnath Hijarie, and son Nicholas, were captured last Thursday.

CEDROS bride-to-be Heermatie Sankar stood on the shoreline of the Icacos beach yesterday, anxiously awaiting the return of her fiance, fisherman Awardnath Hajarie, and their son, Nicholas.

In 16 days, the couple are expected to be married. Hajarie, 50, Nicholas, 26 and neighbour, Shami Seepersad, 35, who were taken from the terrritorial waters of TT by Venezuela’s Guardia Nacional, two weeks ago, were expected to return home yesterday.

The three were expected to be escorted by the Coast Guard and the Guardia Nacional but Sankar’s hopes of reuniting with her loved ones were crushed when she was told that a malfunctioning engine of the Guardia Nacional vessel has delayed the fishermen’s return.

After their apprehension, close to one of Trinmar’s platform in the waters off Cedros, the men were taken to Tucupita and then to Pedernales, where they appeared in court.

The Ministry of National Security said court fines were paid for the men’s release after they were found to be fishing in Venezuelan waters.

Speaking to Newsday, Coast Guard officials said the men were expected to be released by the Venezuelan authorities yesterday.

Coast Guard communications officer, Lt Sheron Manswell, said arrangements were made to have the men brought to TT by 11 am, yesterday. He said the Guardia Nacional boat was scheduled to escort the men back to Trinidad, but could not.

At about 2 pm yesterday, a frustrated Sankar begged for information on the men’s return.

“I wish they could tell me some more what is happening to them. Why are they taking so long to send them home? Why why? Please I am begging, just send them home.”

“The day of our wedding is already set - May 16 and that is the day of my birthday. What am I to do now? I was looking forward to get married. I love my family so much and I just want them home,”she said.

Sources said an issue with the Venezuelan vessel prevented the men’s return yesterday and they are now expected back in Trinidad sometime this week.

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