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Fisheries Department staff robbed by Mexican pirates near San Pedro

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Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021. 8:02 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Two employees of the Belize Fisheries Department were robbed by Mexican pirates this weekend while they were out on a trip to monitor coral.

Winston Dennis Aranda 49, and Henry Brown Jr., 32, reported to San Pedro police that while they were conducting the coral monitoring activity on Saturday, in a treatment site at Barracuda patch within the Conservation Zone 1 of Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve located 22 miles North of San Pedro Town, they noticed a skiff fleeing the area.

Both men entered the water to carry out their duties when the vessel returned about 30 minutes later and its captain pulled a gun on them and fired a shot into the water. He also tried to open fire on their boat but the weapon jammed so they sped off. The boat went some distance and then returned, docking beside the fisheries vessel, and a young Hispanic male boarded the boat and stole several pieces of equipment as well as cell phones, all to the value of $3,875.00.

The boat then sped off in the direction of Mexico. Aranda and Brown then visited a nearby Coast Guard base before heading to report the matter to police.

Investigations are ongoing.

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