The crime took place at Wallilabou Bay, a popular anchorage for yacht. (Internet photo)

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, on Friday expressed “revulsion” at the murder of a German national and the injury of another on board a yacht anchored at Wallilabou Bay in southwestern St. Vincent.

iWitness News was reliably informed that two armed assailants boarded the yacht around 1:35 a.m. and fatally injured a male occupant, said to be around 40 years old.

The captain of the vessel was injured during the ordeal, but Gonsalves did not disclose the nature or extent of his injuries.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security commented on the crime on radio just after noon on Friday.

“I have seen the other persons who were on the yacht and I have expressed to them our profound sorry and, on behalf of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to say to them how sad we are at this event and that they are in our thoughts and our prayers,” he said.

“Our people are not like this in the general way, but you have one or two persons, we have some home-grown criminals and some who come in from overseas who are selfishly and wickedly disturbing the peace and tranquillity of our country, and, in this case, using violence,” he further said.

He said that his government is making all the necessary arrangements to have the other persons, including the injured captain, fly to Martinique Friday evening.

From there, they will fly France and then to Germany.

“This is a terrible, terrible stain on our country and this criminal act by these two masked intruders disturbing the tranquillity of persons on the yachts, it cost millions of dollars, because we sell peace, security, tranquillity,” Gonsalves said.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has expressed “revulsion” at the crime. (IWN file photo)
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has expressed “revulsion” at the crime. (IWN file photo)

The incident took place at a sheltered cove that was part of the set for the Pirates of the Caribbean film that is a popular anchorage with sailors

Gonsalves said that one of the occupants of the yacht who spoke English told him that the captain had been to SVG “ten times before and had assured them that this is a peaceful place — could hardly find somewhere more peaceful.

“And then this incident has happened, which has shattered our sense of peace and tranquillity,” the Prime Minister commented.

Gonsalves said the persons praised the coast Guard, which arrived within 20 minutes of being called.

He said that Coast Guard patrols the nation’s waters, adding, “But the Coast Guard can’t be at every single spot all of the time.

“We, obviously, and I have spoken to the Commissioner [of Police], have to strengthen certain security arrangements which we have in place in certain areas and to extent even further in other areas, which means additional costs for us — for the government.

“And this is what happens. We do all these terrific things to bring the tourists here to help create jobs and then we have individual criminals who behave in this kind of a manner as we have had at Wallilabou.”

Gonsalves said his wife, Eloise Gonsalves, visited the persons who were on the yacht.

“I told them from today I consider them part of my family and I am really, really saddened. I will be writing the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel to express sorry to her government for what happened to two of their citizens, one in the case of injury, one in the case of death,” Gonsalves said.

“Naturally, there are lot of other arrangements which have to be put in place and we have the personnel who are engaged in doing this,” he told listeners.

Friday’s attack on the yacht is the second such fatal attack on a yacht in Central Leeward.

About 13 years ago, some residents of the neighbouring Central Leeward town of Barrouallie, killed the occupants and blew up a yacht anchored there.

A number of persons were imprisoned in connection with that crime.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Look how quick the PM was to speciously point the finger at foreign criminals while downplaying the chronic and growing amount of lethal violence in what was a more peaceful land prior to his regime coming into power in 2001 when he said:

    “Our people are not like this in the general way, but you have one or two persons, we have some home-grown criminals and some who come in from overseas who are selfishly and wickedly disturbing the peace and tranquillity of our country, and, in this case, using violence.”

    Sure, we are not all killers “in a general way” but there are scores of criminals not just “one two persons” who have murdered other people over the past several years, only a few of whom “come in from overseas.”

    A peaceful and tranquile country is no longer what we are, as the Prime Minister well knows and has responded to by the large increase in the police force and its firepower he has ordered during his tenure.

    What I do agree with is that this wicked killing will be heard by yachters around the Caribbean to the detriment of our tourist industry.

    Those who have a licensed firearm should remember to pack it next time they go to Mt. Wynne for a sea bath if they plan to stay after dark!

  2. The Prime Minster’s claim that “Our people are not like this” when it comes to violent crimes like murder has no factual basis.

    Our murder rate of 25.6 per 100,000 people ranks us at a very high 17th out of 218 world countries. Germany, where these tourists come from, has a murder rate of 0.3 per 100,000 people which places the country at 203rd out of 218 world countries in the world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate#By_country).

    This means that SVG has a murder rate 85 times higher than Germany which also means that these unfortunate victims left one of the safest place in the world as far as homicide is concerned to visit one of the world’s most dangerous places in the world as far as being deliberately killed is concerned.

    So much for Gonsalves’ claim that SVG is a place of “peace and tranquility.”

    • I recall reading an article from Doug Casey about where to invest your money in the world. In that article he mentions the corruption in St Vincent and also mentions how the Cook Islands should be similar but instead are not corrupt and the murder rate is 1 per decade!!!

  3. Our people rob yachts all the time, as well as hotel rooms and any place where tourists are to be found. This incident should be taken into account when we look at hotels trying to make beaches exclusive for the tourists. A beach is a place where people wish to relax, and that cannot be done when so many get their things stolen by the few that see tourists as a source of criminal income. The government is as much at fault as the thieves. Raising taxes is not a way to create jobs and opportunity for the people. It will in fact increase poverty unemployment and these sort of crimes on tourists as well as locals.

  4. This kind of thing has been going on in Cumberland and Walliabou for the last 12 years. The pretense has to stop and the Coast Guard and the Police need to forget about the ULP worshiping and get down to protecting out boat tourists. Forget about laying into the stolen vote protesters and get down to what their real work is.

    Young Island Cut has been destroyed as a yacht visitor center because of yacht robberies and a lady was cutlass chopped in the face at Union Island. Armed robberies in Bequia its becoming the dustbin of the Caribbean

    More recently boats have been subjected to violent robberies in the Grenadines also.

    We have a history of violence against boat tourists and it is down to this government to stop using the police to carrying out raids to fuel the spite that emanates from certain quarters of the government and get down to protecting the visitors.

    I implore the coast guard and the police force to forget about the ULP and get on with protecting the visitors and also the people of SVG.

    Stop all the prancing and dancing in red suits like a bunch of clowns and become real law enforcement officers.

    Like the government the police are out of control, or perhaps under the wrong control and influence.

    I call on Ralph E Gonsalves and the police Chief to resign.

    If Gonsalves spent as much money on protecting the visitors as he does on his personal security detail this would be a better place.

    Then to pretend that this is such a surprising and uncommon incident is a disgrace.

    • Well said. It reminds me of Mayreau. A resort manager called the police because he was witnessing some locals stealing at 7:00 in the morning. The police said they would come. They never came. Later the manager saw the police in town and asked why they did not come. The police said it was his day off. I guess crime did not have that day off.

  5. I visited the area very often and observed the high ridges and hill surrounding the area. I was admiring the location to see where cameras could be installed to help protect the yachts that visit the area regularly. I also felt that the area should be upgraded to bring back the Pirates of the Caribbean look. The place is dilapidated and many of the original buildings have nee destroyed. I believe the owner of the restaurant and the government should pool resources and rebuild the area. This is because many tourists visit the area to see where the movie “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN’” was filmed. There is so much that can be done to protect the reputation of the island and both visitors and locals. After the results of the last election I predicted the crime rate would increase and it has. The only person who is protected in SVG is Ralph. He has his goons travelling with him, maybe even to the washroom to secure his sorry arse. There are so many unsolved murders and all one gets are excuses. […]

    • All true. Makes me wonder why so many of us writing on these sites know what is really happening in SVG but the government ignores us. That bay could be an even greater tourist magnet but the government tries to force to locals that don’t have the money to invest everything instead of making a deal. I am of the opinion that the government here has no clue. Now that they have frequent droughts, they close down the irrigation department…Brilliant!
      It is as if the leadership is purposefully trying to destroy the country!

    • Skeckpalmer the little resort and the movie scene belongs to one of the countries wealthiest families. They can afford to put the Pirates location back into good condition without government help because it will be them that benefits the most.

      The tourist board should be shaming the family because properly managed with some investment it can be a major tour destination for cruise ship visitors who are hungry for somewhere to go and something to do on SVG. There is very little for tourists to do that is safe and land based.

      Properly managed the revamped pirates location should employ a whole lot of local people.

  6. It makes my heart feel warm when I see a tourist on our shores enjoying a beautiful scene that we here take for granted. It then aches my heart when they are being harassed, in this case cold-heartedly murdered, I assume for their own things. […] PM […] what do you expect when you take income away from people who has no other source?(increasing tax etc). Higher cost of living is at the expense of increased crime anywhere in the world. I hope he takes note as concerned citizens like I am would be very disappointed as this story develops in the tourism market worldwide.

  7. I was told today by someone who has the figures that yacht visitors are down 60% so far this season. This will just about finish us off, talk is cheap, we need action. We want the action that has been called for at least 12 years that I know of, more coast guard and police patrols during the hours of darkness.

    • In other countries I have lived they have a guard that makes 3-4 rounds in a rowboat each shift, just to establish a presence and provide eyes. I guess this is too expensive for SVG. After a year of VAT on Chicken thighs that should provide enough for a few rowboats but instead it will go to some big-shot ULP bonuses, or travel and hotel expenses for the political elite.

    • The more Cuba comes online with tourism, the more we will lose. So much for our dream of being a tourist economy where the people can have careers like washing bed sheets and cleaning pools. Our frequent violence is just icing on the cake.

  8. Those who have made a link between such murders and poverty in order to score political points should know that there is no fixed link between these two variables here or elsewhere.

    Forty years ago when we were much poorer, our murder rate was insignificant.

    The richest countries in the world (e.g., the United States) have very high murder rates; some of the poorest have very low murder rates.

    The same holds true for robbery, larceny, prostitution, etc.

    Poverty may indeed be among the least important factors causing high murder rates.

    • Its not the poverty ben-David, its the inequality. SVG is becoming more and more unequal. The more inequality the greater the lawlessness. Look at Nigeria.

  9. I was in Wallilabou Bay one week before this assault with 5 persons on a chartered yacht.
    At 0:30 am our Dinghy was stolen from the boat though fixing it with a steel rope. One of the crew was sleeping on deck and woke up during the robbery. I’m really shocked reading this news.
    We made a complaint in the police office in Barrouallie and they informed the coast guard.
    All the sellers of fishes or fruits in the bay were very agressive and unfriendly from the beginning on and on the jetty in front of the restaurant one man asked us to pay for security.

    But i have to declare that all this ist in contrast to Union Island and Bequia, where people were very friendly.

    Kind regards from Germany,
    Sigi

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