Two men for trial for killing 5 fishermen during 2018 piracy attack

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Murder accused: Premnauth Persaud(left), Nakool Manohar

A 47-year-old man will go on trial from next week Monday for allegedly killing five fishermen during a 2018 piracy attack. Premnauth Persaud, also known as “Sand Bat” pleaded not guilty to two charges for the capital offence of murder which detailed that he murdered the five men. 

It is alleged that between April 14, 2018, and June 3, 2018, he murdered Mahesh Sarjoo called “Kuba” or “Vishal”, and Tilaknauth Mohabir called “Camion” or “Kaimon”, “Pollom” or “Palam” and “Cold Record”, on board the vessel, Romina SK 764 that was under attack during piracy. 

It is further alleged that between the said dates, he murdered Bandara (only name given) called “Spanish man” or “Dora”, Lalta Sumair called “Bora” or “Puduck” and Lokesh De Couite, on board the vessel, Joshua SK 1418, that was under attack during piracy. 

The murder accused has pleaded not guilty to both charges. 

Nakool Manohar called “Fyah”, a 43-year-old of Number 43 Village, Corentyne, Berbice, was arraigned on two charges which alleged that between the said dates, he counselled, procured and commanded Persaud and others unknown to murder the fishermen during the piracy. 

Manohar has also pleaded not guilty. 

Attorney-at-Law Latchmie Rahamat was granted a fiat by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute the case in association with State Counsel Nafeeza Baig. 

According to reports, the fishermen’s slaying was in retaliation for the murder of Manohar’s brother, Somnauth Manohar, who was killed in his yard in Suriname during a drive-by shooting on March 30, 2018. The fishermen’s badly decomposed remains were discovered in Surinamese waters. Police had to rely on DNA testing to properly identify their bodies.  

Persaud of Cromarty Village, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) is suspected of being the leader of a piracy gang.

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