Customs arrested six in weekend airport drug bust

| 24/04/2014

(CNS): During a targeted operation at Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town over the Easter Weekend officers arrested six people on various drugs charges and also handed out a number of administrative fines for duty evasion as the new enforcement regime swung into action. The first arrests took place on Thursday afternoon when a 25-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were arrested during profiling of passengers from San Andres, a small island of the mainland of Colombia. Officers found a large quantity of what was suspected to be cocaine hidden in electronic devices and in pairs of shoes. Both have now been charged with possession & importation of cocaine and remanded in custody.

According to customs officials, investigators arrested two others, a 52-year-old female and 23-year-old male, on suspicion of being concerned in the possession and importation of substance resembling cocaine, but the two were bailed as the investigation continues.

In an unrelated incident on the same day, a local man who had arrived home on a flight from Kingston, Jamaica, was also arrested for importation and possession of suspected drugs when customs officers found he was carrying vegetable matter resembling ganja. He was released on bail following his court appearance this week.

Customs officials continued their targeted operations through the weekend, and on Easter Monday, 21 April, another female passenger who arrived on the San Andres flight was searched and white powder resembling cocaine was found in the wooden support slats of three hammocks the woman was carrying. The woman was arrested and has since been formally charged with possession and importation of cocaine and has been remanded in custody.

Collector of Customs Samantha Bennett commended her officers for what she said was outstanding work and dedication to duty over the weekend.

“At a time when many persons were enjoying the Easter weekend, my officers were concentrating on protecting our borders,” the customs boss stated. “We have the Cayman Islands at heart and want to make our communities safer for everyone.

“This operation clearly demonstrates how a well-coordinated operational response can be successful in stopping drugs reaching the streets of the Cayman Islands and causing devastation in our communities. We would continue to urge anyone who has information concerning the importation of drugs, ammunition or firearms to contact us via the confidential tip-lines available,” she added.

While officers were focused on drug interdiction, they were not neglecting the importation of legal goods and were on the lookout to ensure people were paying the required duty on goods they were bringing in. Administrative fines were given to many people who had undeclared goods inconsistent with the declaration of articles on arrival.

Information on smuggling can be passed on the new HM Customs tip-line 1-800- 534-8477 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS) or email address tell.us@customs.gov.ky

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Category: Crime

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile..the private jet lands…and it's passenger.. carrying a satchel and brief case is whisked away in a limo.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And I recall that the politicians wanted to interfere in the selection process for Collector of Customs. Thankfully, they were not successful. Well done Ms Bennett and team!!

  3. Just a Simple Caymanian says:

    You Know, we "Caymanian" yes I said it I am one, like to complain, talk, let down our uniform personal …. Hell let down each other . WHY. Customes is doing their job just as good as anyone. Can we not just say Thank you Job well done?

    Caymanians stop it… STOP being jealous of each other ….. help each other  etc..

     

    May GoD have MERCY on this little ROCK

  4. Anonymous says:

    Keep the arrest coming, it’s about time Customs start to tackle drugs & guns entering these islands!

    • Anonymous says:

      Which includes the illegal marijuana that CNS readers seem to think we should look the other way on!

      • Anonymous says:
        yes, because with that -brings the guns. but if it is home-grown, taxed and regulated (like liquor). 
         
        -illegal importation problem solved. 
        -unnecessary incarceration and destruction of young lives solved. (prison budget reduction)
        -unemployment solved. 
        -government deficit solved. 
        -cost-of-living goes down to a reasonable and sustainable rate, government will have to reduce import duty. no need to tax the life out of everybody.
        -tourism triples. 
         
        and the list goes on… time to wake up. look at Bermuda! not wasting any time on this non-issue, either.
         
         
  5. Anonymous says:

    This efficiency and success is somewhat unsettling. Has Customs simply been turning a blind eye up until now? I know they used to happily waive through the high and mighty (and not so high and mighty) with a porter load of shopping that totalled under $350 (wink, wink).

     

    • Hear Hear says:

      Hear hear!

      The blatant law-breaking of customs infuriates me.  The worst time of the yearis Christmas! You have GOT to be kidding Me?!?  I see people coming back in with 4 stuffed suitcases and you KNOW there is more than $350 in NEW GOODS and presents in there!!!

      WHY am I the only honest person who keeps my receipts from Macy's, Walmart, and Best Buy and make sure my family is ot over the limit?  When we go to Miami "shopping" I am happy to pay my 20% over my duty-free allowance.  I teach my child math by adding up our purchases, dividing by 3 family members and figuring the balance owed….shame on those who do not.  Go get em Ms. Bennett and Mr Bodden and please publish a name and shame as our Caymanian entitlement to be above the law must stop!

      We need to stop the smuggling.  Sorry folks, but your undeclared new items from Miami are just that: Smuggling.  Still feel smug?