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The American couple said they thought the catamaran was abandoned. But before returning it, they wanted to go through Varadero.
Cuba has just returned to the US authorities a couple who were wanted for stealing a yacht in the keys of South Florida.
The version by Aaron William Burmeister, 46, and Ashley Ann McNeil, 32, is different: at first, they thought that the Kaisosi, a 40-foot-long catamaran they found in Newfound Bay, Little Torch Key, was abandoned.
They realized that they had probably stolen it when they were already on the high seas, and then, winding aft, they decided to continue on to Varadero.
Then they were going to return it, said Burmeister, because they did not want to look for any problem, but not before spending a honeymoon in Cuba.
The funny thing, according to the legal documents referred to flkeysnews.com by the investigator of the case, the special agent of the Coast Guard Jacob Kyer, the couple had resigned their respective jobs in Big Pine Key and thought never to return to the United States again.
In addition, the story would be very nice if it were not for what the owner of the catamaran, Hector Cisneros, noted: in order to move the yacht they had to break a door.
He had bought it in August of last year, and it cost him USD 350,000. It even has solar panels.
Cisneros noticed the robbery the same day the couple sailed to Cuba on the Kaisosi, on March 30, and reported it to the Monroe County sheriff’s office; to the Coast Guard and the Marine Life Conservation Service.
The news then came to social networks, with a photo and everything.
Burmeister and McNeil arrived in Varadero the next day, March 31. They were allowed to refuel and told they would have to go to Havana because Varadero was not an authorized entry point for boats from the United States.
But on April 1st and the island authorities had arrested them. And the initial clue to the arrest came from social networks. Since then, Cuba was in talks with the United States to return the couple and the catamaran, according to flkeysnews.com.
Social networks were not the only way for Cuban officials to learn about the theft. Also on the internet, it was learned by a group of sailing fanatics, the Seven Seas Cruising Association, whose members broadcast the news on high-frequency radio throughout the Caribbean.
And in South Florida, television channels like ABC’s 10 were warning everyone who wanted to know that the Kaisosi had been stolen and last seen sailing to Key West with low sails.
Since April 2, Cisneros already knew where his catamaran was and who had taken it.