Laurel V Williams
THREE men who left their respective homes last week, remained missing up to Tuesday, with worried relatives fearing the worst.
The whereabouts of Zaid “Johnny” Aladdin, 26, of Platanite Trace in Penal, Rishi “Shortman” Seelochan, 38, of Spencer Avenue in Barrackpore, and Vijayand “Promo” Toophanie, 40, of Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore all remain unknown.
Aladdin and Toophanie were last seen on September 28, while Seelochan’s relatives said they last saw him on September 29.
Aladdin’s sister April Khan wept as she spoke to Newsday on Tuesday. She said Aladdin who lives alone next door to her, left without telling relatives where he was going. Aladdin is unmarried, does not have any children and works as a butcher.
On Sunday, the family began hearing rumours that he went to Moruga in his van. There he met fishermen and went out to sea. Further rumours were that the boat had capsized.
“We (relatives) were the last people to hear that the boat sank. We are not sure if it happened on Wednesday or Thursday, and there are a lot of stories circulating. His phone is only going to voice mail,” Khan said.
“One minute we hear he was rescued and is in Guyana, then the next, we hear he might be in Venezuela. We are praying and hoping for the best.”
A relative of Toophanie, who asked to remain unnamed, said he usually goes fishing in Moruga. From what the family heard, Toophanie left with five men including Seelochan and Aladdin.
One rumour is that the three men were in a pirogue with a total of 25 people en route to Venezuela. That boat is believed to have sunk in Venezuelan waters and four bodies recovered, one person rescued and 20 still unaccounted for. Toophanie’s relatives said they knew nothing about him going on any boat to Venezuela.
Omatie Ramsaroop, Seelochan’s common-law wife, said her family realised something was wrong when they could not reach him on his phone. He is the father of three, including an eight-month old baby. “The family is confused, and we do not know what is going on,” she said.
Missing persons reports have since been made to the police for the three men, Newsday was told.
Several media outlets in Venezuela reported that a shipwreck happened on Friday near Nabasanuka in the Delta Amacuro State.
Outlets, including El Nacional, published names and surnames of “deceased people,” saying 20 were unaccounted for.
However, another new outlet in Venezuela – Tane Tanae – reported that those mentioned as dead were alive. The Tucupita-based media outlet said the four bodies pulled from the sea were never on the boat which left Trinidad last Friday.
Guyanese fishermen reportedly rescued two people who were travelling in the boat, Newsday was told.
Tane Tanae reported that one of the unconfirmed survivors sent an audio from Guyana about the rescue. However, there was no further communication.
The Venezuelan authorities, media outlets reported, were unsure how many were on the boat which left Trinidad, how many were missing, and if there were any deaths.
Newsday learnt that a man from Moruga identified only by his nickname “Monkey,” was also on the boat. He is said to have survived the ordeal and is either in Guyana or Venezuela.