The family and friends of missing fisherman Brian Cox are calling on the police to intervene as social media reports claim he is being held captive in Venezuela.
Cox, a seasoned fisherman, from the Crown Point area, was declared missing nine days ago after he did not return from a fishing trip.
A relative of Cox, Dennisha Ince, said her family has neither heard from Cox nor received any information about him being held captive in Venezuela.
“Last Saturday we saw a social media post indicating that he was found and fishermen were on their way to Venezuela to retrieve him. I asked for further information, because we have been in constant communication with both the police and the coast guard, and were not given that information.”
She said she was further taken aback when she saw a nightly news report with a man claiming to be a local fisherman who was in contact with the Venezuelan kidnappers.
“If you claim to care about the missing person and you know where he is and you have spoken to the kidnappers why not go to the police or coast guard or even the family? If it’s a situation where a ransom is being sought shouldn’t the family be aware?
Speaking on behalf of her family, Ince said: “We would like the police to locate the fisherman who claims to have all the information.”
A representative of the Southwest Fisherfolk Association, Nola John, said the fisherman’s family and friends remain hopeful.
“In spite of the many searches both at sea by the members of the association and the area representative helped us with getting aerial searches, we didn’t find anything, they combed the Atlantic and they didn’t see any sign of his boat .”
John said Cox’s friend and family members held a prayer vigil for him at Pigeon Point, hoping for his safe return. She too addressed the rumours.
“I don’t know where these rumours surfaced from but the association is in close contact with his family and we have not heard of a hostage situation in Venezuela if that is the case I’m sure the family will do what they must to have him returned safely.”
Meanwhile, a senior Coast Guard official confirmed that there has been no sighting of the missing fisherman. The official said there has also been no report of a hostage situation in Venezuela.
All calls to the head of Tobago Police Jeffrey George for comment on the matter went unanswered.