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Apr 11, 2014

5 fishermen home safe, while a trio of pirates is in custody

While five fishermen are home safe, a trio of pirates is in custody tonight. As we reported on Thursday night, the Belize Coast Guard responded to a robbery twenty miles southeast of Belize City where pirates held up the fisher folks at gunpoint and confiscated their produce.  There was a shootout initiated by the pirates and after a high speed chase at sea, the Coast Guard out maneuvered the pirates who are well known to the law. Isani Cayetano went back to the Coast Guard and has an update on that story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A high-speed pursuit by the coast guard’s Quick Response Team, in the vicinity of Middle Long Caye on Thursday afternoon, has resulted in the apprehension of a trio of men.  Report of an armed robbery in an area approximately twenty miles southeast of Belize City was radioed in to the headquarters of the Belize National Coast Guard sometime after twelve o’clock.


Lt. Greg Soberanis, Operations Officer, Belize National Coast Guard

Greg Soberanis

“Just after midday we received a call from fishermen that they’ve been robbed of their product and individuals had made their escape into a creek of Middle Long Caye.”


The deployment of assets was immediate and before the pirates knew it they were being chased by a patrol boat.  Their vessel, registered as Dannica, a mid-sized skiff powered by a fifty horsepower engine, would prove difficult to pin down.  A game of cat and mouse followed.


Lt. Greg Soberanis

“We went to the eastern side of Middle Long Caye and proceeded up north where a vessel was sighted.  As we approached the vessel it matched the description of the vessel that was given to us by the fishermen.  We proceeded to approach the vessel to confirm if that indeed was the vessel when the vessel fled as soon as it realized the coast guard patrol.  A hot pursuit ensued and the vessel began to, it was a smaller vessel than ours and it began to conduct evasive maneuvers near the, in the shoals of the reef where our boat has difficulty maneuvering because of the rocks.”


When the vessel finally emerged from the shallow channel, its occupants opened fire on the Boston Whaler.  The officers onboard ducked for cover and returned fire, hitting the outboard engine twice.


Lt. Greg Soberanis

“It eventually stopped or became what we call ‘dead in the water’.  So we thought it had either ran out of gas or had experienced engine failure but this was not the case.  What they were doing in actually was they were allowing the coastguard patrol to come into proximity of firing range.  They engaged the coastguard patrol with fire and members of the patrol took cover and subsequently returned fire.  The pirates then fled again and began conducting evasive maneuvers once more.  They then decided that they would make a run from the area of Rendezvous Caye, where this was happening, back to Middle Long Caye, trying to make it into the creek where it would be difficult for us to go into.  But because of the open water we were able to outmaneuver the pirates and their vessel and intercepted the vessel.”


By the time they were able to arrest the vessel and apprehend the trio, the men had already shed their weapons, as well as the produce they had stolen from the fishermen.  They were then brought to shore where they were greeted by a team of police officers.


Lt. Greg Soberanis

“Onboard were three individuals.  These three individuals are no strangers to the coastguard.  In fact, in the past two weeks we’ve been receiving complaints, just fishermen calling, saying that these individuals were stealing products, harvesting illegal lobster and were selling it to the Mexicans.  It became a concern for us as the coastguard and we had our patrol operating in that particular area just to show law enforcement presence.  So these individuals were eventually apprehended, brought to coastguard headquarters and were handed over to the police to be processed.”


Isani Cayetano

“Have you ascertained the identities of these three individuals?”


Lt. Greg Soberanis

“Yes, the identities are known.  One Mr. Murillo, Giovanni Murillo, another individual Mr. Teck and Mr. Sedacey.  Like I said, these individuals are no strangers when it comes to conducting illegal activities out at sea.  So for us it’s just a matter of working with the police as it relates to us supporting the case against these individuals.”


News Five understands that the case is being handled by lead investigator Hilberto Romero of the Crimes Investigations Branch; however it remains unclear what charges will be brought against the men. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “5 fishermen home safe, while a trio of pirates is in custody”

  1. Teddy Steinway says:

    Resisting arrest
    Attempted murder

  2. CEO says:

    Fleeing and Eluding an officer
    Resisting Arrest
    Unlawful use of a fire Arm
    Keeping an Illegal Firearm
    Being in possession ammunition….

    They can figure out what to charge them with? Really?
    Maybe this is the same reason Penner has not been charged!

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