Cops seized $1M of ganja in 2016

| 03/03/2017 | 45 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS sized almost 1,489lbs of illegal ganja last year, and with wide-ranging street prices in Cayman, the drugs could have been worth more than one million dollars had they made it onto the street. The quantity of drugs seized gives an idea that many more millions of dollars worth are obviously making it through. And it is not just ganja that is making its way on to the streets; the number of people arrested for dealing cocaine last year tripled, according to the RCIPS, who said the sale of drugs posed not only a health risk but a security threat because it is often shipped along with illegal guns.

Police removed around 16 firearms from the street last year but only one, along with fifty rounds of 9mm ammunition, was found during a drug interdiction. During 2016 five people were convicted for importing drugs and four more suspects are on remand awaiting trial. The number of arrests for possession of cocaine with intent to supply was fifteen, compared to five in 2015. Arrests relating to the supply of ganja increased from 23 to 37. Overall, drug offences fell by around 9% but firearm related crimes was up 90%, including a 75% increase in the possession of guns.

The use of ganja in Cayman is relatively widespread but there is little evidence that the government is considering a move towards decriminalization to try and remove the connection of casual use from serious offending. Although the government has now passed legislation to allow the use of medicinal cannabis extracts, such as oil and tinctures, there appears to be no move to begin the produce of medical ganja in Cayman, despite the drugs being seized. And while the passage of a new Caution Law last week may see fewer people criminalized for the consumption of ganja, the police say they will pursue the dealers.

“Those who traffic in drugs or firearms, or deal drugs, will be pursued and face the full force of the law,” a spokesperson for the RCIPS said recently. “We renew our calls to the community to share information with us that can help us catch these culprits and remove the threats they pose to the islands.”

The police said they believe the trafficking of drugs “is always accompanied by the threat of violence and the potential for addiction, especially among young people”, and they were also concerned about young people getting drugs from adults to sell in school. “The impact on youth and public safety cannot be overstated, and the RCIPS continues to focus its enforcement on those who deal drugs,” the management added.

During a recent press briefing, Police Commissioner Derek Byrne and Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis both raised their concern that the police cannot tackle the drug problem alone and that in addition to the problem of trafficking, those using drugs are behind the hundreds of burglaries that happen in Grand Cayman every year. This acquisitive crime is to steal cash or electronic goods that can be easily bartered or sold to get drugs money.

The high rates of recidivism among offenders is also down to drugs, the police believe. With limited rehabilitation for addicts at the prisons, inmates are released back to their same communities still suffering from substance abuse, making it almost impossible for them to make a fresh start. Both Ennis and Byrne stressed the importance of treating addicts to cut the significant level of acquisitive crime.

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    He hath founded it upon the seas???

  2. Anonymous says:

    Medical is not the same as the seedy rag weed they smoke locally

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is a business a big business with political connections. The money has made a lot of locals rich. Money does not care about life.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Israel is now one of the many countries that has decriminalized marijuanna. The lack of the same happening here is not because Cayman has some high moral identity, it’s because the laws in place are giving those in power some time to decide how they will change the laws to their advantage when they start investing in the legal marijuana trade. It’s coming whether you like it or not, spend your time on who are they players that are going to make huge profits when it does. Because it will not be your local gang-members anymore.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who thinks ganga / cannabis or whatever you call it is not harmful is not living in the real world. Ask any psychologist.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must have missed that memo/study that showed over 50% of famous psychological tests performed in the 50s-80s can not reproduce their same results. Psychologists will be soon be known in the same light as phrenologists. We have now neurologists that are mapping the brain that can provide real solutions instead of a psychologist who are nothing more than intense people watcher. You should study what they say sugar does to your brain, the kind you find in rum.

      • Anonymous says:

        A study printed on the BBC website last week showed ganja use while young raised chances of permanent brain damage and increased chances of schizophrenia…however how on earth one can compare that with damage caused by alcohol abuse I don’t know…

    • Anonymous says:

      More people die from prescription drugs that are completely legal and some are just less intense versions of heroin please tell me the last time someone overdosed on weed

      • Anonymous says:

        It is impossible to suffer an overdose using only cannabis. With that being said, it would appear one can overdose from ignorance in response to the comments made in this post.

        • Anonymous says:

          Definitely and the funny part is people think making weed illegal stops it from coming in when all it does is make the situation worse if you REALLY cared about the publics health and your kids health youd be trying to get cigarettes or alcohol banned im glad they have approved the oil for medical use tho but they should really decriminalize it and just put an age restriction like how they have with cigs and alcohol its simple


    • Whistle blower says:

      Why would the good Lord create such a plant if it’s really that harmful? Anyone who assumes cannabis is harmful are misinformed. Ask any weedologist.

    • Anonymous says:

      Feels real to me.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A bare “Reggie Bush” dem a bring roun ya. Leggo de High Grade.

  7. Whistle blower says:

    Don’t worry guys/girls, this should be back on the road in due time considering the last batch mysteriously going missing from evidence lock-up and, since there we’re no arrests in connection with that incident, one can only assume it will happen again.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As a former DTF officer back in the 1990’s and up to 2006, the amount of Ganja we sized on an annual basis was much more than what is reportedly seized in the past year. 1,489 Lbs of Ganja in 2016 is considered rather poor in caparison to what we use to seize back in the days.

    One operation alone we got 5,000 pounds, another 4,000 pounds and the last job we did we seized 2,700 Lbs off English Point on South Church Street. The average year we were seized about 8 – 10 thousands pounds of Ganja and about 60 kilos of cocaine.

    We were estimating that back in 2005 we were averaging about 4 – 6 canoes arriving in Grand Cayman per month and with minimal resources, we were catching one of them a month.

    Remember back then, we only had the old Cayman Protector and today they have two go fast vessels, a bigger and a mid size launch and a helicopter.

    As for firearms seized back in the days, I remember one month alone we had recovered six including an AK 47.

    No one can touch the seizure records of Derek Haines and his crew to include Mel Brown, Greg Thompson, Shaun Ebanks, Gillard McLaughlin, Durk Banks, Greg Banks, Roderick Evans, King Bush and many others.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This must be bottom of the barrel stuff, all marked “L” as in Low Grade. If they tested it they might be able to get an accurate street price.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gee, they must have gotten almost one-tenth of one percent!

  11. King of the Bush says:

    RCIPS Playing with words again you mean found there is diffrence between the two. I wonder what they want now any time they start quoting stats. 1800 lbs was a standard seizure when Derek Haines was incharge of the DTF. Thats peanuts in comparison

  12. Anonymous says:

    What waste of time and money. Legalize, regulate and profit.

  13. SSM345 says:

    Well the problem appears to be solved with regards to how Govt. plan on getting weed into Cayman for medicinal purposes. Learn to make the oil here with the stuff theyseize might prove a bit easier……

    • Anonymous says:

      High-CBD strains are fundamentally different from high-THC strains. The psychoactive properties sought by recreational smokers via 1000s of popular recreational strains of indica, sativa and hybrids are just not suited for medicinal oil purposes. Serious pot-advocates cannot pretend they don’t know this. Pot 101.

  14. "High Up Zombie" says:

    Legalize it, don’t criticize it. #CharlottesWeb #CNN #CNS #Cannabis4Cayman

  15. Anonymous says:

    Imagine the community resources that could be brought to bear if we weren’t subsidizing the Turtle Farm and Cayman Airways for $20mln a year – or $2mln a year in beach cleanup and make-work political backsheesh. Clearly we have a leadership problem at the Cabinet level.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good job police for your efforts however we need the government to give us proper Border protection. It is pittyful to look at our Marine Unit. There are some really dedicated officers working with few resources and manpower. We need to put our priorities strait and reform our failing school system and tighten our open nonexistent borders. Only then will crime improve as kids will not be neglected and effort’s to properly educate will be exhausted. We need to stop spending so much money on finding drugs in this country and focus on stopping them from coming in to begin with. What ever happened to preventing and detecting as a form of policing why are we only enforcing after the issue is long there. We need to have drones stationed at airports to identify suspicious vessels in our waters so police resources can be effectively deployed to interdict them. We need more enforcement agents and less waiting for a call paper pushers. I understand that firearm officers require training but why do we have so few. A person who doesn’t have the potential to be a firearm officer is not someone we should have in our police. We have serious issues and if the police can’t protect us because the courts are so slack why are lawful citizens restricted from having a licensed firearm because their not a member of a gun club or a farmer? All questions without answers that make me want to move to a country where I’m allowed at least peper spray to protect myself.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Interesting…is that the net figure after the $40mln worth of drugs walked out of their secure evidence locker at the Police Station in a single incident? DEA estimates of the quantities transiting our waters are measured in the tens of Billions annually. We nabbed less than 0.001% of it – and most of it I suspect was found accidentally either washed up ashore or in abandoned vessels. Slow clap.

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember attending an RCIPS press conference in 2007. At least back then John Jones was honest enough to admit that the main problem was trans-shipment not import for domestic consumption. In real terms this amount represents a drop in the proverbial ocean. It is just what the smugglers regard as acceptable losses, not a significant seizure.

  18. Legalize it! says:

    Stop wasting police recourses on this harmless plant!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Our youth are being destroyed by this “harmless” plant. I have experienced personally how it has broken up families and has caused the youth to become addicted to it and they will beg, borrow or steal to supply their habit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bollocks mate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed and this harmless drug has side effects from overuse and long term use. It is a drug and like anything else should not be used unless needed for something specific. Not just because someone wants to feel good.

        I’ve personally experienced where my ex husband who is still a user would smoke and make that a priority in his life. He was always so relaxed, that he would not accomplish anything and threw (smoked) away any potential he had.

      • Anonymous says:

        You seem pretty stupid 5:01, how is that working out for you?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, agree in one sense. However, the example your giving of broken families and violent youth is an outcome playing out over the island regardless of marijuana. I can assure you, all this latest gang crap and stealing, the violence, all of these illicit issues taking place, are NOT the direct result of weed. You can place or paint it into the profile, sure, but directly pegging it is unfair. There’s about a dozen other reasons that have zero to do with the smoke.
        THOSE are the REAL ISSUES…

      • Tuna says:

        Anything you do in access will kill you, I grew up in a time were my uncle would smoke a spliff in the bathroom at sunrise and go outside and lay 500 brick blocks to build his house,it’s what you do with your time that’s killing the youths I know lawyers and accountants that snort cocaine everyday before they go in to work so let’s not play the mind games here. It’s not a habit if you can afford it………

      • Anonymous says:

        Same with pizza and beer chips and pop or poker , some youth will seal for anything please dont blame a plant

      • Anonymous says:

        You are using ganja as a scapegoat. Al Capone was nothing but a two bit hoodlum until prohibition made alcohol illegal and the situation with ganja is exactly the same except for the fact that alcohol is actually detrimental. I say that you are full of it.

      • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Getting high comes with a cost you don’t understand.

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