Drug suspects escape in chase

| 16/02/2009

(CNS): A 32-foot canoe was seized and five people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to import illegal drugs following a police operation conducted in East End Sunday night, 15 February, by officers from the Drugs Task Force, the joint Customs, Police and Immigration Marine Unit and the Air Support Unit. Three suspects on the canoe fled on foot and police said they are still searching the area.

“We know drugs and guns are being brought into the Cayman Islands by boat,” said Superintendent Kurt Walton who leads the Drugs Task Force and Marine Unit. "It’s one of our priorities to intercept these boats and prevent the contraband from making it to our shores.” The operation, which began at around 7:30 pm, involved one of the new vessels which have recently been added to the marine fleet.

The 38-foot interceptor, Niven D, was supported by Air Support throughout the operation. The suspect vessel was pursued and upon reaching land the three occupants made off on foot and disappeared into the bush undercover of darkness.

A full area search was conducted which continued Mondaymorning, 16 February but the three suspected drug runners remain at large. Five other people however, who through police investigaitons were discovered to have been conected to the incident were arrested in the East End area. These suspects have been detained and remain in custody polcie said.

“Although the three onboard the vessel have not been arrested yet, we know the operation will send a clear message to those involved in drug trafficking that the Cayman Islands is no longer an easy target,” said Walton.

Police confirmed that the canoe has been seized but no drugs were discovered aboard. However, police believe it is possible that the drugs were thrown overboard and will wash up in the next few days.

Anyone with information about the use and supply of drugs or firearms in the Cayman Islands is asked to contact the Drugs Task Force on 949-7710 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Since no drugs were found this may elude to a tactic commonly used by smugglers when increased levels of patrols are underway.  A decoy boat is used to put on a chase a display the same pattern as if it were to contain drugs at the same time the other smugglers are able to reach shore unhindered and free of any worry as they know where the police’s assets are consentrated as they planned this in the first place.  Increased patrols and better equipment does not necessarly mean decreased supply as other tactics will continue to be implemented.  I think the RCIPS may have had their first taste of how tricky these guys can be.  I don’t think any bales have been throw from the vessel because this would have been easy to detect using the technology in place.   My advice, switch up your tactics and utilize all other assets in other areas when you hear a chase in progress don’t all flock to the chase because of the excitiment.  Police are the usual people to overreact .have you ever noticed how many officers respond to one call and it often become evident that they did not need the whole force to stand around and discuss what took place?  Just a thought but good job in letting these guys know it will not be easy to make money in 2009.  Bravo

  2. Anonymous says:

    Finally, it looks like someone in the RCIPS isn’t bothered at all by the other distractions facing the police and focusing on what matters most to the cayman islands: striving to rid the country of firearms and drugs smuggling. i say we all get behind kurt and his team and provide all information possible that would assist in finding these men. as well, we all see things that may seem like nothing, especially activities on the coast lines, but this could be important to the police and that could help the drugs task force with this trafficking problem. keep up the fight, you seem like the kind of person that is willing to make many sacrificies for our protection. keep safe, my brother.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on this interdiction.

    The money trail must be followed to get to the root of the problem.

    Big money is behind this drug business.

  4. Anonymous says:

    While it is positive that the RCIPS are at least demonstrating their commitment to catching criminals like this I would hold off congratulating anyone at this point, because when the criminals are not caught using all this very expensive equipment and a helicopter it is a FAILURE!

    If the helicopter is being used, from its vantage point they should not lose sight of people on FOOT!

    I hope theydo catch them and the criminals are tried and put away, then I would say the operation is a success.  There must be accountability both for failure and success.

  5. Twyla M Vargas says:


    Excellent unfinished job.  Well done DTF, but we want those scoundrels found  on our shores.  Now it becomes using a form of tact to catch them.  I do  hope the police have a well hidden plan up their sleeve to do this.

    Where they could have disappeared to without being helped by someone is a good guess.  What each one of us has to realize is that when something of this nature happens it becomes your problem and mine.   We do not want to come home one night and find them under our beds.  So keep your ears to the ground. Ok.  Be blessed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why was there no dog officer on the shore?

  7. Delroy Davis says:

    I wish to congratulate the renewed proactive measures now visible within our local law enforcement community.  It is always a pleasure to observe agencies working together towards one common goal, to rid the Cayman Islands of illegal drugs, and criminal activities.

    With the aquisition of our new assets at sea, combined with the appropriate degree of intelligence garthering capabilities I know I will be seeing my past collegues make an even greater impact as time go by.

    It is in deed fitting for criminals to be warned by Superintendent Kirk walton, "that the Cayman Islands is no longer an easy target,"as was from 2003.

    Good work guys, Keep safe.