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Fisheries Officers Robbed, Threatened at Bacalar Chico #551740
07/27/21 04:33 AM
07/27/21 04:33 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,041
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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Marty  Online Happy OP

There was an outrageous robbery, aggravated assault and threatening words incident this weekend but it happened on the sea, near to Belize's marine border with Mexico at the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve.

That's where a team of biologists from the Fisheries Department was investigating the possibility that there had been some disturbance with Belize's the corals when a Mexican skiff with two Mexicans onboard pulled up - fired a shot at the Fisheries officer who remained on the boat and then proceeded to steal everything form the boat including two guns.

Police told us more:

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Dir. of Communications, ComPol's Office
"They received reports of tampering with coral in the Bacalar Chico Reserve Area, and when they responded there was a Mexican skiff not too far from them. The occupants of that skiff turned away as if they were going towards Mexico. One of the fisheries officers enter the sea to make checks whether or not they were indeed tampering and that skiff returned."

"When it returned, the officer that remained on the vessel claimed that the captain on that other vessel pointed a firearm at him. While another gained access to their vessel and robbed him of several items, including two firearms and their extra fuel. This took place sometime around 2pm on Saturday and you know 22 miles out at sea is very far especially if you have gusty weather."

Coast Guard Did Nothing

Now, while all this was happening - it was within visual distance of a Coast Guard operating base - except they didn't have anything to operate with! They only boat they have had been sent on another mission into town - so they couldn't be of help to the fisheries officers who were being threatened by outlaws. Why? We asked them today:

Senior Chief Mark Sambula, Operations Chief, Belize Coast Guard
"These fisheries officers were in the water conducting their dive and they were robbed by these two male individuals in a small vessel."

Reporter
"Coast guard personnel at a nearby station saw what happened. Is that the case?"

Senior Chief Mark Sambula
"What happened is that the Coast Guard has a vessel at that location. But, at that time, the vessel was not at the station. Yes they could see what happened at sea, but they cannot respond because the incident in the waters."

"It's very unfortunate, the criminals monitor the coast guard."

Reporter
'How often do you have to deter these men?"

Senior Chief Mark Sambula
"We have several encounters with these individual, but the moment they see us, because the close proximity from Belize to Mexico the go across. That is not our jurisdiction, we cannot go across."

"We have to be more careful in our approach in way of doing things. So the coast guard and the fisheries officers are having a meet to see how best to go forward in conducting our operations."

The Coast guard claims they responded within minutes, other reports say it took them hours and fisheries eventually had to send their own vessels before the Coast Guard appeared.

The bandits stole everything from the fisheries boat including, guns, cameras, computer devices, GPS devices, uniforms, cell phones and a whole lot more.

Channel 7


Fisheries Personnel Robbed at Gunpoint while in the Sea Doing Research

A team of law enforcement officers is investigating a robbery involving a duo of Hispanic men and Belize Fisheries Department personnel. The Belizeans were in the Bacalar Chico Reserve conducting marine studies in the water when they were fired upon and robbed by men who came up to them in a boat. The thieves took two firearms, fuel, cell phones and various other items from the vessel.  News Five’s Paul Lopez has been following the story since Saturday.

Paul Lopez, Reporting

A Belizean Fisheries ranger and a biologist were robbed at gunpoint by two Mexicans while conducting studies at sea.

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“They received reports of tampering with coral in the Bacalar Chico Reserve Area, and when they responded there was a Mexican skiff not too far from there. The occupants of that skiff turned away as if they were going towards Mexico.”

The fisheries officer then proceeded to enter the water to conduct his studies on the coral in the area. That is when the skiff returned.

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“When it returned, the officer that remained on the vessel claimed that the captain on that other vessel pointed a firearm at him. While another gained access to their vessel and robbed him of several items, including two firearms and their extra fuel.”

This occurred on Saturday afternoon some twenty-two miles out at sea.  Coast Guard personnel witnessed the incident from a nearby station, but they were unable to assist because a vessel was not available to them at the time.

Senior Chief Mark Sambula, Operations Chief, Belize Coast Guard

“What happened is that the Coast Guard has a vessel at that location. But, at that time, the vessel was not at the station. Yes they could see what happened at sea, but they cannot respond because the incident in the waters nuh.”

The vessel, says Senior Chief Sambula, was taken by the officer in command to San Pedro for administrative work, but returned shortly after an alert was issued.

Paul Lopez

“Do you believe that these Mexicans were aware that your vessel was not at the location?”

Senior Chief Mark Sambula

“Yeah, as law enforcement officers we try to do our best. But, like the elements they do monitor our movements. And, they reacted on that . We are very active in that area. We conduct a twenty four hour patrol in that area. We monitor the area. We conduct law enforcement operation in that area. Like I said, it is very unfortunate that the Mexicans, or the criminals, I would say monitor the Coast Guard.”

The victims of the robbery made their way to the nearby Coast Guard base where they were able to receive assistance.  The following day a report was made at the San Pedro police station. We sought comments from the Fisheries Department, but were told that it is a sensitive matter that is being dealt with by police, inter-agencies, and joint intelligence operation center. Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

Channel 5


Mexican outlaws rob Belize Fisheries staff at sea

Belizean authorities are investigating an incident involving a pair of employees from the Belize Fisheries Department (BFD) who were robbed by Mexican pirates on Saturday, July 24th, while monitoring corals at a treatment site. The incident took place at Barracuda Patch within the Conservation Zone 1 of the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve 22 miles north of San Pedro Town.

According to a police report, Arana and Brown Jr. stated that on Saturday, at about 2PM, they went on a Fisheries vessel to conduct monitoring activities of corals in a treatment site at Barracuda Patch within the Conservation Zone 1 of Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve. Upon approaching the area, they encountered a Mexican skiff with two male persons. The skiff sped off across the border when they saw Arana and Brown Jr. initially approach. Arana and Brown Jr. proceeded to Baracuda Patch to do their work. They went into the water to conduct monitoring when they heard the sound of a boat engine approaching them. The said Mexican skiff stopped close to them, and one of the male persons pointed a black firearm towards their direction and fired a single shot in the water. The culprit jumped onto their vessel along with his accomplices and took electrical items, fuel, two 9mm firearms, and other items amounting to BZ$3,875. The thieves then made good their escape. Arana and Brown Jr. promptly alerted the nearby coast guard base some 100 meters away. It is believed that the perpetrators crossed the border into Mexico. The Belize Coast Guard will be more vigilant in the area and continue working with their counterparts as the investigation into this robbery continues.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun


Re: Fisheries Officers Robbed, Threatened at Bacalar Chico [Re: Marty] #551770
07/28/21 04:16 AM
07/28/21 04:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,041
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

.
Marty  Online Happy OP
Coast Guard Recovers Items Stolen From Fisheries Officers

Regarding the robbery of the two fisheries personnel. the men were ambushed by Mexicans while at the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve. The men feared for their lives and the robbers got away with personal items, firearms and fuel.

It was a humiliating and sinister encounter for Belizean fisheries and Coast Guard, but tonight, some of those items have been located.

During a joint operation between the Coast Guard and the Fisheries Department conducted in that same area sometime between 4:30 and 5pm today, they discovered one 9mm handgun with ten 9mm live rounds of ammunition and another 9mm handgun with two magazines each containing fifteen live rounds. They also found 26 live rounds inside an ammunition case. The items were all found inside a blue bag wrapped in a red cloth bag and hidden under some mangroves. No one was found in the area but the items were confirmed to be the stolen property of the fisheries personnel.

Channel 7


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