Coast Guard intercepts boat on high seas
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April 3, 2009
Coast Guard intercepts boat on high seas

Officers of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard earlier this week, in the space of two days, intercepted two Trinidadian fishing boats, whose sailors perhaps had more on their minds than fishing.{{more}}

The second interception occurred on Tuesday, March 31st, as Coast Guard Vessel HK Tannis was returning from a certification ceremony for marine workers on Union Island.

At about 5pm, about 18 miles south of mainland St. Vincent, Coast Guard officers spotted a pirogue with three occupants, also travelling in the direction of the mainland.

On closer inspection, the officers identified the vessel as being foreign and intercepted it. The occupants of the vessel ‘Yo Dun No’: Alec Antoine, 42, Wayne Wright, 37 and 35-year-old Joseph Ramkisson, all of Tobago, were detained and escorted to Coast Guard Base in Calliaqua.

The men claim that they were fishing in Vincentian waters and were coming to St. Vincent to visit friends and family. Officials at the base informed the Customs Department, who are expected to charge the men with breach of Customs regulations and The Fisheries authorities, who will investigate the men in relation to fishing outside of their territory.

Coast Guard officials believe that the men had no intention of fishing or visiting, but suspect them of having come to pick up drugs.

Meanwhile, three other Trinidadian men, who were apprehended by the Coast Guard on Monday night at Morne Ronde Point on the Leeward coast, were remanded in custody and are expected to re-appear at the Serious Offences Court on April 6th on marijuana charges.

46-year-old Tyrone Carter, Terrance Francois, 23 and Aaron Griffith, 19 all of O’Meara Road, Trinidad were charged with having in their possession 36,093 grams (79.5pounds) of marijuana, to which Francois pleaded guilty while the others entered not guilty pleas. The men are being represented by attorney Ronald Marks.