Curacao fishermen arrested in Venezuelan waters on suspicion of smuggling

Willemstad – Last weekend, the passengers of two Curaçao fishing boats were arrested in Venezuelan waters. They are suspected of smuggling. It concerns four Curaçao men and a Venezuelan man. The Caribbean Coast Guard warns local fishermen not to sail to Venezuela due to closed maritime borders. In addition, as of March 30, 2020, the Government of Curaçao has banned sailing movements between Curaçao and Venezuela as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This means that the shipping traffic between Venezuela and Curaçao must be stopped immediately because it is a major risk to public health. Local licensed fishermen receive a dispensation from the government for the “Stay at home” decision. This profession is allowed to continue fishing, provided they do not go to Venezuela or otherwise come into contact with possible COVID-19 sources of contamination, such as during overloading of Venezuelan boats at sea. The fishing boats that go to Venezuela anyway run the risk of being detained by the Venezuelan authorities or by the Coast Guard returning.

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