DATE: 2023-05-19 22:00
LOCATION: Colombia – Isla Tortuguilla
STOLEN ITEMS: Cell phones, laptops, outboard and small items.
SECURED: Does not apply
DETAILS: A yacht transiting from Panama to Cartagena anchored late in the day to overnight at Isla Tortuguilla. There were no other boats anchored there. They closed up and locked the boat for the night. At 2200HRs several men armed with automatic weapons arrived in an open boat with 40HP outboard and boarded.
The captain reluctantly opened up and the men ransacked the yacht. They collected valuables and then with a blast of gunfire forced all of the crew into the open boat and took them ashore where they were held hostage at gunpoint overnight. The crew was treated roughly but there were no physical injuries. The youngest crew member was handcuffed and then “interviewed” by the leader. The thieves seemed to think the crew was involved in drug smuggling, but found no drugs. They made it clear visitors were not welcome.
The next morning, the thieves returned the hostages to the yacht and released them, and stole the outboard engine.
The crew departed and plans to make a report to their consular officials.