by Linda Straker
- Vessel discovered by a fisherman on Sunday, 12 December 2021
- 7 male corpses, 2 believed to be teenagers
- Human trafficking or human smuggling incident went horribly wrong
- Interpol and other law enforcement agencies to be asked to assist
Edvin Martin, Commissioner of Police said that preliminary investigations into the discovery of corpses on a fishing vessel within Grenada’s marine space close to the Grenadine Island of Petite Martinique, has indicated that they were victims of human trafficking or people smuggling.
“We recovered or discovered 7 corpses on that particular vessel all of which are male persons and 2 of whom we believe to be teenagers. The vessel and the remains have been secured and are currently the subject of an ongoing investigation,” Martin said in a news conference on Wednesday, 22 December 2021. “To date, from the preliminary digital forensic analysis that has occurred with the devices that we retrieved from the vessel, we are led to believe that this incident may have been associated with a human trafficking or human smuggling incident that went horribly wrong.”
“This matter requires international collaboration and therefore, we will be seeking the assistance of Interpol and other law enforcement agencies to support our investigation into this matter,” Martin disclosed.
The preliminary findings suggest that multi countries and multi nationalities are involved in this incident. Juxtaposed against similar findings and sightings elsewhere in the Caribbean and Central America region, supports the belief that this incident is believed to be associated with human trafficking or human smuggling.
“At this current stage of our investigation into this matter, we will not be able to speak specifically to the details of the evidence collected at this pointing time. So, I crave your understanding and patience that as we work through this matter when it is appropriate, we will obviously update members of the public as is necessary,” he said without sharing further details. The vessel was discovered by a fisherman on Sunday, 12 December 2021.
A news release from the Community Relations Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) said that officers assigned to the Northern Division responded to a report of a drifting vessel in the vicinity of Gun Point, Carriacou, on Sunday, 12 December 2021.
“The boat was retrieved and towed to Harvey Vale by the Grenada Coast Guard, where 7 adult male bodies were discovered in a decomposed state. Specialised units of the force are presently analysing personal effects and devices found onboard the vessel, following which, a comprehensive update will be provided,” said the release.
The boat discovered in Grenada’s water brings to 7 the number of small fishing vessels found sailing with dead bodies in the Caribbean. A few of the boats have been traced back to immigrants sailing from a destination in Africa.