An operation led by the Belize Coast Guard to tackle coastal piracy has resulted in the arrest of an individual who is believed to be the prime suspect in the attack of an Austrian national off the coast of Placencia two weeks ago. Along with his capture was the confiscation of two vessels outfitted with outboard engines used in the commission of crimes in Belizean waters. The breakthrough, according to Acting Commandant Gregory Soberanis, is the result of an inter-agency approach.
Gregory Soberanis, Acting Commandant, Belize Coast Guard
“As recent as yesterday, two vessels were brought to the coast guard headquarters that we found hidden in a particular area down south. We believe this particular are to be an area that is used by the criminal element to hide vessels and engines that are stolen in the southern sector. Due to the efforts of the coast guard, Fisheries, the GI-3 Unit, working with Officer Commanding Jones and Officer Commanding Ramclam, we were able to put together the pieces, put together the puzzle, the information that we’ve been getting from the community. We were able to locate two vessels, two engines. We were also able to arrest one of the key suspects that we believe perpetrated the crime in Placencia. We also were able to seize one of his assets, along with two engines as well. So the collaboration has been great and we will not stop until others that are involved in this particular network or in these crimes are caught and brought to justice. We will continue to work with our international partners, primarily Honduras in locating those vessels that we know are taken to Honduras once the, when they are stolen from Belize and we also continue to work with the Honduran navy in the patrolling of our waters.”