Hunt continues for owners of overturned barge

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Hunt continues for owners of overturned barge

The government has still not confirmed the owner of the overturned barge in Tobago, despite having documents and information that indicate connections to it.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, speaking in the Parliament on Wednesday, said that the information in their possession was not solid enough, legally, to use in court, and therefore the hunt continues.

Dr. Rowley did not say what the documents and information stated.

Rowley said, “The Government has to ensure a certain degree of accuracy in identifying the owners of the Gulfstream barge and been using all official channels at its disposal to do so.”

He said the Foreign and Caricom Affairs Ministry sent out several diplomatic notes to various countries, including Panama, Guyana and Aruba, seeking information on the vessel and documentation of evidence of ownership.

Government, via the Maritime Services Division, has been using its official network to trace and verify ownership.

He added, “This has included enquiries of the International Maritime Organization and other maritime divisions, including Guyana, Aruba, and certain West African countries where the vessel may have been registered.”

Rowley said the Government was also seeking assistance from foreign and regional agencies in tracking the vessel’s ownership.

He said the Maritime Division has also engaged a private company to assist in satellite imagery of where the vessel originated and travelled from and its journey before it ended up on a reef in Tobago.

Rowley said, “To date, whilst there have been documents and information that indicate connections with the vessel, the confirmation of ownership has so far not been had to the satisfaction of the Government.

“If legal action has to be taken, the Government has to be satisfied that we have pertinent and credible information as to who the perpetrators are and where liability lies. That exercise continues.”