DEH worker arrested for smuggling at airport

| 15/01/2019 | 0 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): A 35-year-old Caymanian man who works at the Department of Environmental Health was arrested at the airport on Sunday on suspicion of importing of ganja and intending to supply the drug. In a press release Tuesday, customs officials said their officers apprehended the man after he arrived at Owen Roberts International Airport on a Cayman Airways flight from Miami. As he attempted to exit the Customs Hall through the Green Channel, he was challenged by officers based on observations. He was then referred for secondary examination, where the ganja was discovered concealed in his checked luggage.

This is the second arrest by customs officers at the airport since the beginning of the New Year. Another man was arrested earlier this month carrying a small portion of ganja, which officials said was unrelated to this second, more significant arrest.

Officials have not said how much ganja the suspect was carrying but said the investigation is ongoing, led by the Customs Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Deputy Collector of Customs Jeff Jackson, who has responsibility for the Customs Border Protection Portfolio, explained said the new honesty system at the airport does not mean officers are not on top of what’s going on.

“Our frontline officers continue to maintain constant vigilance in their daily duties, and are responsible for knowing what arriving passengers are bringing with them and whether it poses a risk to the public,” Jackson said. “Our officers are equally cognizant of their responsibility to collect revenue that is due to our government, and this most recent interception and arrest further illustrate the effectiveness of our training and strategies.

He added, “The merger of our customs and immigration departments will undoubtedly result in even more successes with interdicting the movement of illicit goods and persons with criminal intent.”

Collector of Customs Charles Clifford said the new policy that allows travellers who are within their duty-free allowance to proceed directly to the Customs Green Channel without filling in forms when they arrive is about helping the flow of arriving passengers through the hall, not about letting this go.

“We again remind and urge persons to be honest about their declarations and ensure that they are not travelling with prohibited or restricted goods, as they will be referred to secondary for further scrutiny and thorough examination should Customs officers suspect that they have criminal intent or are not being honest about their declaration,” Clifford said.

“This latest arrest is another example of the consequences that can occur when persons attempt to go through the Green Channel with criminal intent, ” he added.

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Category: Crime, Customs

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