Surge in violence ‘worthy of the 17th century’ off Venezuela

Piracy ‘worthy of the 17th century’ has broken out in the Caribbean Sea amid fears the crime wave will lead to East Africa-style ship hijackings.

Yachts have been raided, hostages seized for ransom and fishing crews hacked up with machetes during the ‘free-for-all’ crime wave.

Traffickers from crisis-hit Venezuela, currently in the grip of economic turmoil, are smuggling drugs, military-grade weapons, women and even exotic animals through the tropical seas off its coast, witnesses have said.

The situation has descended into ‘criminal chaos’, according to Jeremy McDermott of Insight Crime, which studies organised crime in the region. 

According to the Washington Post, officials in nearby Trinidad are now fearful of seeing a version of the hijacking crisis that gripped the Horn of Africa…

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