The family of one of the three fishermen who is still missing at sea no longer know what to believe or where to turn for help.
From being told he was kidnapped to his decomposed body washed ashore in Venezuela, the relatives of Zaid “Johnny” Allahin said the torture is unbearable.
And, the silence of the local authorities is not helping, they claimed.
“We just want to make another appeal to anyone, to our authorities, any body, please let us know what is going on. If you have any information about his whereabouts let us know please,” pleaded his sister April Khan.
Allahin, Steve “Shortman” Seelochan, Vijayanand “Promo” Toophanie and Arnold “Monkey” Ramkhelawan are believed to have been on a vessel heading to Venezuela from Moruga which capsized about two weeks ago.
Ramkhelawan told his family that he was rescued and taken to Guyana, but he could not say anything about the other fishermen.
Allahin’s relatives said he did not tell them where he was going or that he was on a boat.
Days after the T&T Coast Guard sent out a release about a vessel transporting 25 people sinking in Venezuela waters, Khan said some one contacted them claiming that her brother was kidnapped.
They said the kidnappers wanted $70,000, then the sum was reduced to $25,000. But, the person never contacted them again.
Then the family was told that Allahin was in quarantine in Venezuela and he would be released after 14 days.
This was followed with claims that his decomposing body washed ashore in Venezuela and the authorities buried him. The family was told that they would have to come to Venezuela with the police to exhume his body.
“Is real stress. We just don’t know what to do again,” Khan lamented.
She said they have not received any new information from the T&T Coast Guard of the police.
In a release two Sundays ago, the Coast Guard reported that it was assisting in a search and rescue operation involving a vessel transporting 25 people from T&T to the Delta Region of Venezuela.
The release stated that initial searches by people in Venezuela led to the discovery of four bodies and one survivor.
However, 20 people remained unaccounted for at that time. Guardian reached out to the Coast Guard inquiring whether there were any new developments, but there was no response up to press time.
— Sascha Wilson