Death toll from shipwreck in Guiria rises to 28

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File photo of Venezuelans onboard a pirogue making its way to Los Iros beach in T&T – Lincoln Holder

VENEZUELA attorney general Tarek William Saab reported on Thursday that authorities have found 28 bodies in the sea near Guiria, Sucre State, after the sinking of a boat heading to Trinidad and Tobago.

Saab was speaking at a press conference in Caracas when he said 26 bodies had already been identified.

He said that the Public Ministry was in the process of “dismantling the organisation responsible for these events.”

The Public Ministry in Venezuela is the equivalent of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago.

Saab reported that one of those arrested in the case was Luis Alí Martínez, owner of the wrecked boat My Memories. Two of Martínez’s children died in the shipwreck, Saab confirmed.

The prosecutor said Luis Ramón López, owner of the place where the boat left for TT, was also arrested.

He also said that seven members of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) were persons of interest in the case.

Saab said those agents, according to the inquiries, had previously detained the owner of the boat but accepted a bribe of US$4,500 in exchange for not reporting it to the Prosecutor’s Office.

The prosecutor added that those arrested had initially tried to deceive the relatives of the victims, making them believe that they had been detained when they arrived in Trinidad instead of having drowned in a shipwreck.

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