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Attackers should have been the ones killed, not visitors – water taxi operator

Attackers should have been the ones killed, not visitors – water taxi operator


While investigations into the March 4 murder of 49-year-old yachtie Martin Griff are still ongoing, a water taxi operator who plies his trade at Wallilabou Bay says that he would have preferred if the persons who attacked the German were dead, instead of the visitor.

Griff’s sentiments echo the feelings of many persons who make a living from the seasonal yacht industry here.{{more}}

“Me feel very bad about that scene. The morning I heard that everybody saying people dead, I was hoping that it was the people who went on the boat that dead; the black people instead of the white people who bring the money and making sure everything nice with us,” said Shawn Solomon, a Barrouallie resident.

Solomon, speaking from the beach at Wallilabou Bay, said that he has been operating boats in the area for about 15 years and over that period he has seen a number of bad things happen to good people who chose these shores as their anchoring point.

He said that over the years, he has seen dinghies stolen, yachts burglarized and tourists attacked and is of the opinion that persons who are perpetuating these acts are mostly outsiders and not persons from the area, while he thinks that business people in the area and the authorities can do more to help stop some of the crimes.

“Couple times I see these things and even before the killing, days before, things did happen. No boy from here not doing that. I feel is outsiders from different villages,” said Solomon, adding that the beach should be better lit.

“The other night I drop some people for dinner and I was waiting for them on the beach and I saw a guy on the beach in the night. Anytime I see people in the night, I think them up to something, thieves. I always believe the business people should get guards and security and we should get some light,” said Solomon.

The outspoken boatman stressed that allowing the Pirates of the Caribbean movie site to become run-down and dilapidated was a huge mistake, as the area, when in its prime, would attract large numbers of yachts.

“This area should have been maintained,” said Solomon.

He said that he is extremely saddened about what transpired in the area, as it is not only bad for the country, but also bad for the persons who depend on tourism to make a living.

Police have yet to make an arrest in Griff’s murder and Commissioner of Police Michael Charles said that the police are doing all in their power to catch the persons responsible. It is alleged that a number of persons who were detained were later released.

Reports are that at around 2 a.m. Friday, March 4, two masked men boarded the German’s yacht, which was anchored at Wallilabou Bay, and shot the 49-year-old accountant who was travelling with his family. The yacht’s German captain, 63-year-old Reinhold Zeller, also suffered a gunshot wound to his left shoulder, but survived.(LC)