SVG, Tobago Cays: Armed Robbery at night – May 2016

Published 8 years ago, updated 5 years ago

As reported by the Caribbean Security & Safety Net and KPK Service Net.[Broken Link]

Date: 2016-05-25

Country Name: SVG

Location Detail: Tobago Cays

EVENT: Armed boarding, assault & robbery

Stolen Items: Cash and cell phones

SECURED: Yes – and broken into.


First-hand report received from the victims:

At 2300 on 25th May 2016, a British flagged yacht was boarded by two masked men, one with a gun, the other a knife. At the time, the couple were asleep in bed, but were woken by the noise of a speedboat’s engine and, shortly after, by the noise of forced entry via the companionway, which was closed and bolted on the interior and damaged as a result of the intrusion.

The intruders demanded money and one of them hit the Captain several times on the head with the ship’s heavy torch, whilst his wife was held with an arm around her neck and a gun (possibly imitation) was pointed to her head. The intruders took about EC$500 from the Captain’s wallet but refused to believe that was all the cash on board.

The Captain was losing much blood from the head wounds, but they still demanded more money. They also wanted cell phones and VHF radios so that the crew ‘could not contact anyone’.

The Captain’s wife gave them three old cell phones that were not used on board, and they took a handheld radio from its cradle. This was later retrieved from the intruders, along with the heavy torch, during a scuffle as they left the yacht in a hurry after about 12 minutes on board. A third man, waiting in a speed boat alongside the yacht, then sped them away.

The Captain suffered several head and face injuries, two fractured ribs and some bruising, and was attended by a doctor in the anchorage immediately after the event. His wife was unhurt.

The SVG Coastguard, who were contacted by a neighboring yacht, arrived quickly.

Three suspects are currently charged with multiple offenses and are in police custody in Kingstown SV.

The Captain recommends that all cruisers, even in such beautiful places as the Tobago Cays, take security on board very seriously. The best security is to make it so hard for intruders to get into the yacht quickly, that they give up, may be hastened by floodlights/alarm activated by a panic button inside the yacht.

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  1. March 18, 2019 at 1:38 AM
    Data Entry3 says:

    NEWS item – June 22, 2017 – SVG officials will not prosecute 3 men
    Reported by CSSN

    SVG officials will not prosecute 3 men (Forde/Hanson/Lewis) charged in the violent assault and robbery aboard a visiting yacht in the Tobago Cays, in May 2016. Sadly, those originally charged but since released, are no strangers to violent crimes against yachts in SVG.

    CSSN has been advised by the victims that no prosecution will be advanced against those initially charged in the violent assault/robbery in May 2016. SVG police failed to collect evidence from the scene.

    CSSN records search and additional research of local press articles establish that Forde and Hanson have been involved in serious and violent crimes against yachts in SVG for several years. Forde and Hanson were previously charged in a very similar assault/robbery of a charter yacht in the Tobago Cays in July 2011, which was reported to CSSN and Noonsite.

    The victims, in this case, were never informed, and no press mention could be found, related to convictions for this crime, or any of the other crimes alleged at the time against these 2 men.

    Further, in August 2012, Forde and others were convicted of theft from an unoccupied charter yacht in the Tobago Cays (an incident not reported to CSSN). Forde was sentenced to 9 months for this offence.

    CSSN advises anyone who is a victim of a serious crime outside their home country to report to local authorities and to concurrently advise and enlist the support of their own consular officials.

    Beyond facilitating communications, their involvement and familiarity with local officials and processes can lend important oversight and support to efforts that lead to successful conclusion and prosecution.