Offenders await deportation in 7MB hotels

| 22/02/2021 | 38 Comments
Customs and Border Control officer

(CNS): Several foreign nationals who have committed offences in the Cayman Island but who have served their prison time are being housed in hotels around the Seven Mile Beach area, at public expense, as they wait to be deported. CNS has submitted a number of questions about the issue to the authorities but no one has responded to our requests to explain why arrangements cannot be made to get the men home.

CNS has learned that three foreigners who were in jail are now free. They are Lesme Romualdo Perez Ruiz (54), a Colombian national who was given a five-year term, and two Venezuelans, Jose Leonardo Parra Ferrini (35) and Yoandry Jose Morales Moloina (26), who were both sentenced to four years in jail for smuggling cocaine into Cayman in a conspiracy involving former local customs officer David Lobo.

Lobo, who denied the allegations, was given a 16-year sentence after the court found he was the main protagonist in the conspiracy and he remains at HMP Northward. His co-conspirators were all convicted in 2017 after pleading guilty to the charges and giving evidence against him.

Having served more than two-thirds of their sentences, they were all released last year but they have not yet been deported. As a result, they are being housed in beachfront accommodation and supported by government.

These three are not the only foreign nationals who have been released from jail who would under normal circumstances be immediately deported.

One of the Venezuelan pilots charged in the gold smuggling case, which ended last year with all of the parties being acquitted, is also still here, even though he should have been deported after he was found not guilty. CNS has learned from unconfirmed sources that the small private plane that was used to bring in the gold and the cash found hidden under the floorboards and seized in the case are also still here in the Cayman Islands.

Despite our requests, CNS has been unable to confirm why arrangements have not been made to take all of the men to Venezuela since, despite being a Colombian national, Ruiz is also a resident of Venezuela. All of the men were released from jail after the lockdown, including the pilot who is understood to have been on remand, which has caused certain difficulties.

Since Cayman began its phased limited re-opening of borders, several charter flights have been organised and private planes have been coming and going. However, the authorities here will need the permission of the Venezuelan authorities to send these men home.

According to online reports, Venezuela has strict COVID-19 restrictions in place for travellers, with a ban on most domestic and commercial flights. However, there are exceptions and the government has permitted repatriation flights for Venezuelan citizens from abroad.

While there are indications that all of the men are being electronically monitored and CNS has been able to confirm some details through several unofficial sources, we have been unable to secure any official explanation regarding the deportation sticking points or the costs incurred taking care of the men while they remain under supervision by Customs and Border Control Services.

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Category: Crime, Prison

Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You people complain today. Tomorrow you vote the same people back in, then complain and then vote them back in again, again, again and again. What’s wrong with the voters, are the majority voters fool fool, or what, could someone explain.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Free Lobo!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    another glorious day for our ‘world class’ civil service…..zzzzzzzzzzz

  4. Men at Work says:

    Yes of course why not extended our hospitality to our criminal visitors in this land of plenty. after all we at CBC senior management have just adjust salaries to match our egos Undercover and all is well Elections are here too coincidentally no connection because we come from the land of plenty

  5. Say it like it is says:

    Standard procedure for our civil servants when something like this occurs – keep it under wraps.

  6. Anonymous says:

    CBC – you must realise that some people are going to assume that its no coincidence that it was one of your officers that was the guiding mind of this drug importation, and now you are the agency failing to deport the others? Not a good look, and certainly not great publicity so soon after the Doctors Express debacle.

    Why don’t you just repeat the Cuban migrants solution from last November? Let the Venezuelans “escape” their electronic tags, make their way to the airport and take the seized aircraft back to Venezuela. Kill two birds with one stone – sure no one will suspect a thing, and apart from some sarky comments on CNS you can get back to your usual routine; worked last time.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re so correct, sarcasm and all! But you really think appearances and perception matters to the leadership of any public agency – when there’s no accountability??

      There will be no consequences for this. They could’ve used the Penthouses in the Ritz Residence Towers, it would get to the Public Accounts Committee, they would be questioned (perhaps lie like others have done), get chewed out by Chairman Ezzard, recommendations written to prevent it happening again and still there would be no consequences!!

      Free for all with public funds – that is the mentality!! I know, I saw it in action at the Government agency where I worked!!


  7. Anonymous says:

    Beachfront accommodation – hopefully you mean Treasure Island an not the Ritz!

  8. Anonymous says:

    There are often YEARS to negotiate, schedule, and organize prisoner deportation handoffs to Consulates/Embassies in several CAL-serviced countries. We have full time people that are supposed to be lining this stuff up for seamless hand-overs. It’s literally their job. They are the National Security Council, Conditional Release Board, Independent Monitoring Board…those staff include Premier Alden McLaughlin, Attorney General Sam Bulgin, Chief Officers Samuel Rose, Gloria McField-Nixon, and Reshma Sharma, among others.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Only if they were Jamaican, they would have already gone, and you have caymanian people not getting any help from their own government, maybe its their straight hair too bad and sad

    • Anonymous says:

      2.53 As they should be. Jamaicans are alot more trouble to the Cayman Islands than Venezuelans and there are regular flights there (not sure why in a pandemic but they run tings)

    • Anonymous says:

      They knew that they was being release after serving 2/3 of their sentences, SO WHY NOT MAKE
      ARRANGEMENTS FOR DEPORTING THEM BEFORE THE THEIR TIME TO BE RELEASED, Of course mr. Manderson will say world class civil service, they all doing a good job, and give them a raise. Sad, so sad indeed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What else is new?? Just another day in paradise 😌

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is this more government corruption or incompetence? Why is it so difficult to get basic official confirm on the status of these individuals and when they are expected to depart the Cayman Islands?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Shame… why not arrange deportation prior to their release?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Expunge and release those serving for Cannabis-related offenses to offset the costs. Far more societal harm is caused through legal alcohol.

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably because cannabis remains illegal and therefore harder to come by, thank God,

      • Anonymous says:

        lol no, it’s much easier and cheaper to grow it yourself inside of a bedroom than to buy a case of beer every weekend. not to mention 1000 lbs got dropped off 2 weeks ago.

      • The stigma is real says:

        It has been proven the CBD in cannabis protects from alcohol induced cell damage.

        Now with that fact explain to me logically why cannabis is still illegal?

    • Anonymous says:

      A register of all Cannabis smokers needs to be maintained and all on it dealt with accordingly.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Basically: despot regime/cartel-serving mules are taking sunset selfies and ordering room service on our dime. Despite growing libraries of reciprocal agreements and expectations, it would seem that our inadequate, and poorly-calibrated leadership hasn’t bothered to appraise the most obvious hand-off repatriation channels with related Consular Generals and Embassies in Havana, Kingston, and Miami. Can we guess why that is? Who is our government taking their instructions from? …and we wonder how we wind up on corruption short lists.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I cant believe they are not at the Ritz. Call the Human Right Commission.

  16. Anonymous says:

    CNS, although it should be the practice that criminals who are not Caymanian be taken straight from prison to the airport, that does not seem to have happened with any consistency for many years. Many foreign nationals, dating back to Damien Ming, have been permitted to remain following release from prison. Some long enough to marry and start families and then claim they cannot be deported. It is an outrage.
    Good luck trying to get even basic legitimate questions answered.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Only in Cayman! I wonder about any Caymanians awaiting deportation from Colombia, Venezuela or anywhere else – are they being housed in luxury accommodations?

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is utterly ridiculous! If they couldn’t be deported immediately, they should have remained in prison for their full sentence.

    What a blatant disregard for good stewardship of public funds! Looks like government thinks they have an endless supply of money.

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot keep them in prison when they have served their time just because CBC is too incompetent to find a way to deport them.

      • Anonymous says:

        The incompetence is somewhere at the intersection between the prosecutors, the prison and CBC. In other words, the Government.

      • Anonymous says:

        They had not served full sentence when released. It said 2/3 served.

  19. Anonymous says:

    WOW! They are being housed at beachfront accomodation AND being supported by govt?!!!!

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