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Armed robbers in Curacao steal 476 pounds of gold from Guyanese fishing vessel – 30th Nov 2012

Guyanese authorities are trying to figure out how 476 pounds of raw gold from this country was apparently smuggled out on a fishing vessel and is now the centre of a police probe in Curacao, after gunmen attacked the boat just after it reached Curacao and carted off the 70 bars of gold which is worth roughly, US$11.5 Million.

The Associated Press reports that the fishing vessel ‘Summer Bliss’, left Guyana 4 days ago and arrived in Curacao early this morning. Masked men, dressed like policemen, boarded the vessel upon its arrival in the Dutch speaking island, which is located just off the coast of Venezuela, lashed the captain across the head and carted off the multi-million dollar gold prize.

Authorities in Curacao are reported to have said, that from their end, the shipment was a legal one since they were informed of the arrival in advance and paperwork was done.

However, from the Guyana end, sources say there would be something fishy about the shipment of that amount of gold in a fishing vessel.

Authorities in Guyana point out that there is no way over 400 pounds of gold would have been legally exported in that manner. Such huge shipments would be taken out by airplane and under very tight security.

The entire operation to use the fishing vessel points to smuggling. Sources close to the gold industry here said, Gold miners would at times use innovative ways to smuggle gold out of the country to avoid paying royalties and taxes.

The captain and crew of the fishing vessel are all Guyanese. The Associated Press quotes the police authorities in Curacao as saying that the gunmen were mistaken by security at the port as being customs officials. The word “Police” was written on their jackets in English and that should have raised eyebrows officials said, since the word would not be in English on the uniforms of Curacao police.

The name of the company that would have received the gold shipment in Curacao has not been released and it remains unclear who was behind the shipment from the Guyana end.

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