Suspected Russian gun smuggler bailed for $30k

| 03/02/2023
Anton Parygin, Cayman News Service
Anton Parygin

(CNS): Anton Parygin (45), who was arrested at Owen Roberts Airport at the weekend after three firearms were found in his luggage, has been released from jail after he posted a $30,000 bail and surrendered his three passports. Parygin, who is a Russian national but also has Canadian and Israeli citizenship, will be staying at a private condo with his wife and is due to return to Grand Court in a month’s time. He currently faces six counts of importing firearms and ammunition.

Parygin arrived in the Cayman Islands on 28 January with a 9mm semi-automatic rifle, a 9mm pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun as well as ammunition, and faces a statutory minimum sentence of ten years if convicted.

He is not the first visitor from North America to fall foul of Cayman’s gun laws, though most travellers facing firearms charges have been given fines for forgotten or overlooked ammunition in travel bags. However, over the last few years, at least two people have faced the possibility of much more serious penalties.

David Dean Meadors, a US national from Florida who had plans to build a retirement home on Cayman Brac, never returned after he jumped bail on gun charges in 2018, though he did plead guilty via video link in 2021.

Carol Ann McNeil-Skorupan from Wisconsin failed to appear for her trial after she was charged over a gun in her missing suitcase that she had knowingly directed to be sent back to her through Cayman when her cruise ship docked here. Tried in her absence, the jury was unable to reach a verdict, but the woman is understood to have taken her own life a few months later just as the crown prepared to seek her extradition and re-try her.

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