A robbery carried out by pirates has left three fishermen in shock following the incident on Friday evening in the area of Columbus Caye, just off the coast of Dangriga. The fishermen were approached by an unknown vessel and were beaten and robbed of all their marine produce they had amassed. It has been reported that the assailants were carrying high powered weapons forcing the fishermen to jump overboard as an escape; up to news time tonight one of the three men who jumped overboard is yet to be located as explained by Lieutenant Charles Francisco of the Belize Coast Guard.
LT CHARLES FRANCISCO
Meanwhile, Hampton Gamboa, Conservation Compliance Unit Supervisor at the Fisheries Department tells us about the measures the department is taking to ensure fishermen safety in the area as the sea robberies have become prevalent.
“As it relates to the fisheries department and our sister enforcement agencies we are basically embarking on an effort to have more presence in the area. The Coast Guard has since the incident happened has been there in that vicinity since it had transpired. The details of what had happened in actuality I am not at liberty to disclose that at this moment. We had recently got involved with the Belize Coast Guard strategically and have more presence there because the thing is with it is that these robberies that happened in the past and most recently on Friday are basically caused from our knowledge or information that we have received are by local fishers who were pirating within the area for the past few years so it’s something of concern and we are ensuring that we have more enforcement present in that area.”
The Fisheries Department and the Belize Coast Guard are not releasing any more details as a way of protecting the victims since their lives were threatened if they report the matter to the police.