Eighteen fishermen from the Corentyne and East Coast Demerara were terrorized and robbed in four separate boats by pirates near the Corentyne River on Thursday.The exchange rate of US $ to Guyana dollar is about 1 to 190. Thus, the Yamaha engine is worth about $3950 US dollars.
The first robbery took place just off the shore at Number 43 Village and owner/captain of the boat, William Busgith, 51, recounted the horror to this newspaper. He was robbed of his 40-ft boat valued $600,000, one 40 HP Yamaha engine worth $750,000, a 250-pound nylon seine valued $250,000, a quantity of gasoline, foodstuff, a stove and three wristwatches.
Fishermen from three other boats were also robbed of the same items and the bandits also carted off clothing and cell phones from the East Coast fishers.
Busgith said he and two workers were heading out to sea around 8:30 am when four masked gunmen abandoned their boat and jumped into his boat and fired several shots in the air.
He said he and the two workers ran into the cabin in an attempt to hide but the bandits followed them and beat them with a hammer they found in his boat. They then tied their hands and feet and also wrapped their heads in three canvas bags. They continued their attack on other fishermen using Busgith's boat.
He said the bandits robbed two other boats in the vicinity of Bush Lot and Albion and ordered the occupants into his craft. They then proceeded to the mouth of the Berbice River where the last boat, belonging to fishermen from the East Coast, was robbed around 7 pm.
The pirates dumped all of the fishermen into the East Coast boat, untied them and escaped in Busgith's boat. He could not say in which direction they headed since the place was already dark.