WILLEMSTEDT, Curacao, Monday December 31, 2012 – Curacao police have arrested seven suspects in connection with the November 30 heist of 70 gold bars worth an estimated US$11.5 million from a vessel reportedly registered in Guyana.
Media reports at the time of the theft said that 470 pounds of raw gold divided into 70 bars were hauled off the MV Summer Bliss by six men wearing hoods, masks and jackets emblazoned with the English word “police”.
The masked men are said to have assaulted the ship’s captain and made off with the loot shortly after the boat docked in the Dutch Caribbean island.
On Friday, police spokesman Reginald Huggins said that one of the suspects is from Bonaire, three are from Venezuela and the remainder from Curacao.
According to Huggins, one of the men was later released while the others were still being interrogated.
One of the men arrested is the owner of a local jewellery store, while at least two other suspects were said to have been nabbed at the jeweller’s home.
The men were arrested on Thursday, nearly a month after the gunmen masquerading as police stole 476 pounds of gold from the fishing boat.
While authorities have not said where the gold was being delivered, one of the ship’s crew members said they were delivering the cargo to an unidentified company in Curacao.