Customs officer found guilty in drug conspiracy

| 04/01/2019 | 138 Comments
Cayman News Service

David Lobo

(CNS): Former customs officer David Lobo, who was charged for conspiring with a South American drug gang to smuggle almost three kilos of cocaine into Cayman via Cuba on two separate occasions, was convicted on Friday on one of the two counts against him and has been remanded in custody. Lobo faced two conspiracy charges of importing a kilo of the drug in May 2017 and almost two kilos in June. It took the jury of five women and two men some six hours of deliberation over two days to find Lobo not guilty of the charge relating to the May crime but guilty of the second conspiracy in June, when drug mules swallowed over 60 condom-wrapped pellets of liquid cocaine to get it past the authorities. 

Lobo, from Bodden Town, was arrested for the second smuggling operation after specialist officers raided a Seven Mile Beach condo and caught the smugglers in the process of turning the drug, which they had by then expelled, back into powder. With evidence linking him to the gang, Lobo was arrested by other officers around the same time as he drove along South Sound Road.

Police only became aware of the first successful drug trafficking operation, which had happened a month before, after seizing the phones of Lobo and other members of the drug gang. As a result the evidence that Lobo was involved in that conspiracy was less solid than the second count, for which the prosecution had much more evidence that he was the drug gang’s customer and had helped organise the drug operation, which was reflected in the jury’s unanimous verdict on the second charge.

Lobo had denied both charges, and although he accepted his connection to the drug gang and despite incriminating messages to the contrary, he insisted that he was importing Colombian artifacts from them and knew nothing about their drug business.

Lobo looked visibly shaken as the verdict was handed down, though he remained composed as he sat in the dock dressed smartly in a pink shirt, a black and gold stripped tie and dark pants.

Although he had been on bail after he was charged and throughout the trial the judge, Dame Linda Dobbs remanded Lobo into custody immediately after the conviction, as she pointed out that his circumstances were now very different and he was facing a serious charge and lengthy jail term.

After learning his fate he made a quick and quiet call from his phone while still sitting in the dock, before saying goodbye to friends and family in the court room and being taken to the cells.

Lobo’s sentencing was set for 27 February to allow for social inquiry and other reports to be undertaken.

Two of the men who gave evidence against him, Allan Taylor Dominguez (46) and Lesme Romualdo Perez Ruiz (51), who pleaded guilty to being a part of the conspiracy shortly after they were charged, appeared in the court briefly after Lobo. The two men were also further remanded until the same day for sentencing.

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Comments (138)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    no demand…no supply…alden…where is your 60% reduction in crime??? yet the people probably vote him back in again 2020 along with mckeeva…caymanian people, you deserve what you getting!

  2. Anonymous says:

    August 22, 2013: David Karl Lobo (27) was found “Not Guilty” of drug smuggling charges by a jury of his peers in the Cayman Islands Grand Court on Thursday (22) afternoon.
    Lobo was a serving Customs Officer at Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport when he was accused of ‘being concerned with the importation of cocaine’ in September 2010.

    The case involved three other men and a kilo of cocaine that was hidden in Tortuga Rum cakes that left Owen Roberts Airport and arrived in Heathrow Airport on a British Airways flight.

    Lobo was on duty when the cocaine rum cakes were delivered in the departure lounge to a passenger from the Customs strong room. Lobo told the court this was something he did 15-20 times a week to departing passengers.

    The jury was unanimous with their verdict that cleared Lobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      Delivering cocaine-filled rumcakes 15-20 times a week from the HM Customs “Strong Room”. Ask yourself, how is it possible that senior staff at HM Customs reinstalled this guy on the frontline as an art collector all these years later? Who are the other people involved in this 20+ key/week conspiracy, and where are they now? Does anybody ask these questions?!?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lobo didn’t do this on his own. Wonder where his big shot Cayman handlers are?

    • Anonymous says:

      Pretending they business men, not doing anything wrong, living a quiet island life, putting their boat in and out of the water; meanwhile they getting every airport passenger manifesto list that comes into to Cayman ahead of time, setting up schedules and routes, getting their mules product out on to the streets, and counting dosh. History always repeats itself.

  4. GR Driver says:

    if you think Lobo is a problem his kind has now infiltrated Immigration now too and are taking care of family members coming from certain jurisdictions on fishing vessels and allowing all sort of things guns, drugs and dangerous criminals to enter these islands.We desperately need to get Coast Guard and coastal radar systems in place along with proper vetting of police custom and immigration officers before they become entrenched in our law enforcement agencies>

    • Anonymous says:

      If you KNOW this, and aren’t just flapping your gums, why don’t you report it to the authorities along with YOUR PROOF of activities?

      • Anonymous says:

        Nothing but hot air and speculation

      • Puritan says:

        What authorities are you talking about?? the one’s like you who are blinded by their very own corruption. Who never ever investigate,charged or hold to account or responsible those at the top for their corrupt or criminal conduct. Who believe that whistle blowers are nothing short of snitches and rats or an inconvenience for reporting misconduct or criminal behavior. Who will not have one single piece of remorse or conscience about ratting you out to the offending parties, if for nothing more than removing and obstacle from their path. Now is that who we should report them to. We all see how things run here how some things get done here and yes by God we all flap our gums because its unfortunately all we can do to highlight the injustices of your convenient little system. Which protects some and keeps you safe and sound. Proof you say! you are all the proof we need because its already offend you and cause you to attempt to cast the veil of doubt over the post and use Bold words to try to cloak the truth in darkness eh 4:36pm Final words the truth may be and offense to some but it ain’t no sin.

    • Michel says:

      I totally agree 10:07.

  5. LD says:

    Drugs DO NOT ruin peoples lives, people ruin their lives with drugs. You and I, The War on drugs, cannot stop them nor should we shoulder the consequences.

    • Cess Pita says:

      8.01am I struggle to see your point.

    • anon says:

      8.01am and your point is?.

    • Anonymous says:

      I mean, this argument can be fully applied to medical cannabis, sure, but coke?
      No sa. One lick of it and your brain starts rewiring to want more. I’ll give the weedman a lil bly cause all that causes is a doritos shortage, but throw the book at any cocaine dealer.

      • LD says:

        HE can’t sell what nobody buys. the buyer is the problem not the seller. Stop using and the best business in the world goes broke. The supply will always be there as long as there is a demand. It also supports prisons, cops, lawyers, rehab centers, fences, and local Gov. corruption.
        Take the profit out of it. It might destroy third world economies.

  6. Justice says:

    I have had the misfortune to cross paths with Lobo a number of times. Utter scumbug weasel of a man.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If you do the crime, then you do the time.
    He needs to be handed down a sentence that will send a clear message that if you engage in this type of activity, you will face some serious jail time.
    With all the evidence stacked up against him, I believe it would have been better if he had entered a guilty plea and not waste the courts time.
    This all boils down to pure greed at the suffering of others. Justice has finally caught up with him.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Smartly dressed in the picture. Looks like he was moving up in the world of drug dealers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is famous for its drug lords. You have one of the most famous in US history living in East End and he was involved with Noriega. He is Caymanian through and through. Please stop acting as though this is a new phenomenon in Cayman. It’s not. It’s very easy to exploit Cayman through the drug trade, it’s been happening since the 80’s.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Should have had Buju do the driving for him. Where is Buju these days anyway? Haven’t heard from him for a while.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Follow Lobo to the end. Find out who is behind him.

    • Name withheld by request says:

      Yes you do that at your own peril? if you think he is the only one in the system that is mixed up in this businesses. His replacement has already been put in place in customs police and immigration?

  12. handme says:

    lobo is as guilty as sin, glad the jury saw through his lies.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just out of curiosity, how many of our menial grade immigration officers are in the eccentric-millionaire hobby of collecting rare pre-Colombian artifacts on their salaries? Are their personal Egyptian and Greek antiquity galleries already fully curated? Jurors seemed to have concluded this initial fine art pursuit was plausible…the same fine artist that had prior been tried for shipping drugs on BA to UK in other objects.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lots of judgement in these comments re a convicted Caymanian drug dealer – but I’m wondering; where will the expats and tourists now get the cocaine and illegal substances they love so much?

    Yes, Caymanians make up the minority of Class A consumers on island.

    Jus sayin – let’s keep it all the way real please.

    Supply + demand; the principles of economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      The government will rewrite the law like they did with the misuse of drugs law in order to keep the supply going. Government doesn’t care what drugs you do but who you buy them from. Jus saying.

  15. A says:

    Free Lobo bobo.
    Complete travesty of justice.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Drugs should all be legalized and regulated. We would loose the black-market that causes corruption and could invest the money into retreats or education that address abuse, a small percentage of users are abusers, those are the ones who get caught. The only winners in this case is the liquor mafia, the drug-trafficking mafia, and the pharmaceutical mafia.

    Most distressing is the absurd virtual signaling of the commentators who more than likely will pervert the drug laws for their personal gain when they cannot compete with another on other grounds in the workplace. Its a great tool to setup witch-hunts or ruin reputations not based upon performance.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:42, you are a 100% nitwit. You should apply for Lobo’s ex-job.

    • George Town man says:

      What are you talking about?!!! Not all drugs are safe like marajuana! Hardcore drugs like cocaine, crack, lsd, science-lab made drugs should remain illegal.

      • Anonymous says:

        Abuses stem from ignorance of the substances, not the level of hazard that substances can cause. You can die from drinking to much soda, does that mean it should be banned? Some knowledge will state that a particular drug should not be used at all, but it should still be up to the person to decide.

        We are encouraging ignorance when we devote all our resources to policing drugs when knowledge itself would lead each individual to make that rational judgment for themselves. Its better than a nanny state, but requires an educated society.

        Exceptions of course for kids who do not have the mental capacity to make such decisions, but right know we are treating adults as though they are kids…

        • Anonymous says:

          The war on drugs is a system the rest of the world adopted from the USA. In reality it was created so the CIA could peddle the cocaine into the “projects” from South America to provide traceless funding for their black operations not approved by congress. It was also started to protect the pharmaceutical industry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your ideas are too far into the future for pea-brains. You will have to wait.

    • Anonymous says:

      @8:42pm “all drugs should be legalized”. Are you high? Are you suggesting that cocaine should be legal? You must be a complete idiot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Study after study shows the amount of people that would use cocaine or any other drug remains the same if it is legal or illegal. Take a look at Portugal or Amsterdam, legalize and regulate and tax the drugs. Then you would have money to help the addicts way better than the current situation of black market and imprisonment.

    • Anonymous says:

      NOT ALL drugs buddy … just the weed because it actually helps cure diseases and cancers … everything else can stay illegal because these actually harm and kill mofos!

      • Anonymous says:

        You can abuse anything to kill yourself. At what point are we going to determine that it is the responsibility of the person abusing whatever it is…not what they are using to abuse.

        • Anonymous says:

          12:55 Sounds like you just lost your supplier. I can’t make this stuff up!

          • Anonymous says:

            Sounds like you want this whole drug-war charade to continue. Most people are sick of the fake-war and want society to reinvest in education so poverty born people can advance without the lure of a easy way to success through drug trafficking.

      • Anonymous says:

        Smoking weed doesn’t cure cancer.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you noticed, the original poster did not say “smoking weed”. Just so you can read it again and attempt to comprehend it this time, here you go. ” just the weed because it actually helps cure diseases and cancers … ” Not sure where you saw the word “smoking”.

          There are many ways to consume cannabis in case you did not know. Stop being so ignorant.

  17. KARMA says:

    David Lobo is a Wolf in Sheeps clothing. He got away with smuggling drugs on his job and he also got away in court from molesting a child…..he thought once again he could manipulate the court but they finally punished him for his wrongs. Justice has been sourced now do your time!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t Cayman talk about the mass grave the Mexicans put there. Too dumb to admit defeat?

  19. Anonymous says:

    While I agree Lobo is a shitbag. All of his clients including lawyers, accountants, and all other affluent users of this disgusting drug are equally shitty people.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Deportation order?

  21. Shame says:

    He should have learnt his lesson from the first time he got caught smuggling drugs and got away with it.

  22. Land crab says:

    He should have been found guilty on both counts but was smart enough to elect a jury trial. Did the police check his preposterous tale about being a collector of pre-Colombian artifacts, where was any evidence to support this claim?. Given the nature of his employment and his failure to admit guilt despite the overwhelming evidence, he should be given an exemplary sentence.

  23. ICU says:


  24. Anonymous says:

    dumbass…………raised with the feeling of entitlement gets you jail time!

  25. Anonymous says:

    You’ll get no negative comments from law abiding citizens 5.44pm from this island or any decent people anywhere in the world. Drugs are a scurge that have ruined the lives of the victims and their families for decades. It’s time this scum was eradicated. Unfortunately, there’s always some that will filter through. The idea is to be vigilant and make it more difficult. Schools should be visited by professional people in this field with literature and preferably video footage of the dangers and outcomes of drug abuse. Nothing should be left to the imagination however upsetting for our children to view. It needs to be hit home hard that it’s not “cool” to be involved with this kind of behaviour. Like anything, where there are actions there will always be consequences…..sadly, many fatal!

    • Anonymous says:

      In school I attended the DARE program, which tries to convince students not to do drugs.

      They said people would offer me weed for free and not to accept it

      I’m quite disappointed, because I always have to buy it

      • Anonymous says:

        Dare made me more curious of drugs. Tried most of them, i don’t touch drugs these days but that’s cause I got it out of my system when I was younger and have no desire. Just drink and pot for me now. Most dangerous drugs are prescribed by drs.

  26. Anonymous says:

    sooo…what about when the crown is at fault? people suffer?

  27. Anonymous says:

    He was a hardworking Caymanian who actually did deal in artifacts. He was sold down the river by a pair of crooks who took advantage of him. Personally I’ve never known him to take part in any foolishness. He really should address the veracity of the witnesses on appeal because it’s all pretty flimsy evidence if you ask me. Keep fighting David!

    • Anonymous says:

      lol at your sarcasm

      • cess pita says:

        12.13pm the 10.36pm comment is I am afraid not sarcasm as you would reasonably expect, but an all too common example of a Caymanian believing that a Caymanian can do no wrong.
        However the original commenter is right on the button in one regard, as sure as eggs are eggs this convicted criminal will appeal, as they all do, but will fail as they all do.

        • Thatchman says:

          You obviously don’t know he is not Caymanian but don’t let that get in the way of your little tirade about Locals you don’t like Caymanians you can always leave Star! it’s those just like you and him who have come to rape and exploit and degrade Cayman and its people with your Cesspit mind

          • Cess Pita says:

            Thatchman. if he is not Caymanian then he is almost unique as his boss is fond of claiming that customs is 100% Caymanian. Remember this is not the first time a customs employee has been involved in illegal importation.
            I’m afraid you only degrade yourself with your personal insults, and as for rape and exploitation just look at the predominant nationality of the Northward population.
            If you read these columns regularly, you will see that very often Caymanians found guilty of serious crimes will be defended by their peers not only on CNS but also in court by means of glowing references.

          • Anonymous says:

            Who can even tell…

          • cess pita says:

            Thatchman = get real I have just been reading the latest comments on this article and it is astounding how many readers are supporting this lowlife. Just look at all the thumbs down on comments critical of him, I truly find it hard to believe he is not Caymanian.
            You and your like simply refuse to recognise reality and until you do, Caymanian crimes will continue.

        • Anonymous says:

          Big crabs always trying to bring down young successful Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:26pm did he use the $13,000 cash he had in his car to buy a car for his girlfriend?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes he actually was going to. He got set up because he was naive and hopefully justice comes around to his side.

        • Anonymous says:


        • Anonymous says:

          Oh you mean like the last time when he was outrageously accused of being involved in the exportation of a kilo of coke by hand carrying it through security and giving it to the mule thinking all it was just rum cakes? Guy has really bad luck – accused twice of being involved in the drugs trade, and completely innocent. I am still struggling to understand why he was buying digital scales and bleach for some guys who were importing Colombian artifacts for him but I am sure there must be a logical explanation for that.

          • Anonymous says:

            You wouldn’t pay for gold without knowing how much it weighs. As for the castor oil, it removes build up and tarnish to get an accurate weight. #FreeLobo

          • SP says:

            Just a thought .. he said he did this MANY TIMES … he couldn’t tell that WEIGHT of the CAKE was different compared to the others he had delivered previously … if he was SUCH a keen officer .. he sould have noted that ….

        • Anonymous says:

          The only one nive is you stupid

    • Anonymous says:

      @10:26 Are you serious? No doubt you are one his kind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those artifacts are also illegal. Still a bad guy, no matter how you want to paint it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well evidently you don’t know him can’t take care of his children but can buy artifacts come on you must be blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other he is a creep among creeps maybe you should really take another look

      • SP says:

        Don’t know about him taking care of his children … but if the Crown knew of this then it was a poor case put forward … should have established how much he made as an Officer …. his income dealing with Artifacts …. there has to be a MONEY trail for everything he did ….

    • SP says:

      David .. KEEP fighting for your own room or ask for a room with 3 beds

  28. Anonymous says:

    You can fool the people sometimes, but you can’t fool them all the time….good job Jury!!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Wolves prowling. Criminals howling. People scowling. Politicians cowering.

  30. John Doe says:

    Good investigation by all involved.

  31. Anonymous says:

    See what happens when you open the doors?

  32. Anonymous says:

    10 years would be a good starting point plus a few more for his ridiculous lies.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Excellent result. Long overdue. Can he be deported ?

  34. Anonymous says:

    What a dummy. Crime don’t pay stooopid!

  35. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH says:

    Well done – first time he got away with it but at least this jury did the right thing, This is not the last one to fall I am very sure.

  36. Anonymous says:

    There has been a serious and welcomed improvement in the civil service. We asked for corruption to be rooted out and its happening.

    I commend everyone involved in this case.

    Regretfully someone will find something negative to say about this victory for justice

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes they will, but will eventually be uprooted themselves in the future dragnet. One thing is for sure we’re going to need a bigger prison for these scum. Wonder if that’s in the plan or will it be like the dump, which keeps getting relegated to the bottom of the pile?

    • Anonymous says:

      One thumb down. I guess Mr Lobo still has his phone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Customs is of course the civil service. The police force, not so much. One of them did a good job in this particular case. The other, not so much.

      • Anonymous says:

        2:42 clearly you do not live in Cayman where you will have witnessed the sea change in the civil service. I wonder if you got deported or rolled over. Is this why you cannot accept the truth?

    • Anonymous says:

      Only the shitbags involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      you must be joking…the civil service is a rats nest of incomptence and corruption

    • Anonymous says:

      ? civil service bots?

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 5:44 pm , I agree with your comment and commend for thinking and saying it . But what is worse is that some people can be given a lifetime job and career, and because of greed and dishonesty they destroy the opportunity and spend a few years in prison away from their freedom friends family.

    • Anonymous says:

      And also to rid the civil service of all leeches doing nothing and collecting a salary.

      • Anonymous says:

        Civil service is a the Caymanian welfare system.

        • Anonymous says:

          He used to work in a bank but was allowed to resign after he found a way to manipulate the computer systems to his advantage

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