CBC arrests 26 at ORIA with drugs and guns

| 15/03/2024 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman Islands customs officer examines bags (file photo)

(CNS): In the two-month period between 15 December and 15 February, Customs and Border Control arrested 26 people at the Owen Roberts International Airport entering or exiting the Cayman Islands carrying drugs or weapons, plus one person for smoking on a plane. Officials said the interceptions, which included ganja, ecstasy, ammunition and guns, were based on intelligence work by customs officers.

According to a CBC press release, in the last half of December 2023, five people arriving at ORIA were arrested for drug and gun offences — two for possession and importation of ganja, two for possession of an unlicensed firearm (ammunition), and one for possession of an unlicensed firearm (magazine).

Another person was arrested for possession of a prohibited weapon (Taser), which was recovered during a search of a local residence connected to a suspected drug smuggler.

In January, the CBC arrested 15 travellers for drug offences — eleven for possession and importation of ganja, one for the possession of ecstasy, one for the possession of THC vape pens and THC gummies, and two for possession of an unlicensed firearm (ammunition).

Another person was discovered smoking onboard an inbound aircraft and charged with committing a reckless and negligent act and endangering the safety of an aircraft.

In the first two weeks of February 2024, the CBC arrested six travellers for drug offences — three for possession of ganja, two for the importation of ganja, and one for being concerned in the importation of ganja.

In February, in addition to the arrests made at ORIA, CBC officers assisted the RCIPS in an operation that resulted in the recovery of an unlicensed firearm, large sums of cash and illicit drugs. As a result, a Caymanian has been charged with the possession of an unlicensed gun and possession of cocaine. The matter remains an active investigation.

Of the 29 people arrested, 22 non-Caymanians and five Caymanians have already been charged and handed fines totalling CI$30,200. Some cases remain active investigations, the CBC said.

“I sincerely thank and commend our dedicated CBC Officers for their unwavering commitment to intercepting illegal drugs and weapons at our borders,” said CBC Director Charles Clifford. “Their exceptional skills, rigorous training, and adept use of cutting-edge technology play a pivotal role in safeguarding our nation’s security. Through their vigilance and professionalism, we honor our duty to protect our citizens and uphold the integrity of our borders. Their efforts are laudable and invaluable to our nation’s safety.”

According to the release, the interceptions at ORIA were due to intelligence-led training and skills used by CBC officers at ORIA on Grand Cayman or the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport on Cayman Brac. They also participate in joint operations with the RCIPS and Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC).

Border Control Minister Dwayne Seymour also commended “the steadfast dedication of our CBC officers in safeguarding our shores from the scourge of illegal drugs and weapons. Their unwavering commitment ensures the safety and security of our nation. Let this serve as a reminder to all visitors entering our country: respect our laws, uphold our values, and abide by the rules of the land. Together, we preserve the integrity of our borders and uphold the sanctity of our society.”

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Category: Border Control, Crime, Customs

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just declare the weapons and you will be fine. You will probably get a reward.

  2. Mumbichi says:

    Way to go Tate. You are the real deal, and I wish there were more with your dedication.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Warehouses of evidence and headlines suggest our shores have not been competently safeguarded from drugs or weapons, and for decades. Ed Bush literally just hosted a mass shooting event Involving our domestic drug gangs, the latest of brazen daytime execution attempts. Rest assured that Dwayne will confirm his unrelenting cluelessness at every possible opportunity. Get him out of politics and flipping burgers.

  4. Anonymous says:

    yawn…the war on drugs continues….zzzzzzzzzzz

  5. Anonymous says:

    Inflation coming again!

  6. Anon says:

    My instinct on the firearm charges is that they were what they sounded like- a magazine (not a firearm) and ammunition (without a firearm). Both these items are of the sort easily overlooked, carelessly, by travelers when preparing to board an airplane. A very stupid mistake but not really one of ill intent.

    They very easily could be travelers from the United States, where lawful ownership of firearms and associated objects are completely legal. It doesn’t take much for a single round of ammunition to be left in a bag normally used (foolishly) as a “range bag” used to go to a shooting range.

    Good practice if you own firearms legally- keep the containers and bags you use for transporting firearms completely separate in use from bags and containers you use to travel. It is much too easy to make a mistake, and your destination countries will not have a sense of humor about your error- nor should they.

    • Anonymous says:

      The TSA confiscated no less than 6737 firearms from hand luggage xray security screening in 2023 alone. Often discovered loaded and armed with a round chambered. Mostly from red state hub airports. That’s a routine discovery of almost 20 per day, despite the large bold font warning signs. This is a certain type of gun-casual traveler that we will never need more of in the Cayman Islands. We don’t need these visitors, or any of their peer group that would forget they packed their loaded gun to cover their racist or confidence personality defect, or to do crimes. Any of them that possess a valid conceal and carry permit are literally certified to know better. Throw the book at them and flag them never to return.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile….the DPP drops charges against a case of importation of weapons and ammunition.

    Why? As is often the case, poorly written “laws”, poorly conducted “investigations”, poorly conducted “prosecutions”!

    World class Government Departments!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you read up on it the man declared the guns, he was in no way trying to sneak them in. : https://caymanmarlroad.com/2024/03/17/dpp-drops-gun-import-case/

      • Anonymous says:

        don’t bring facts or common sense in to this!!!
        its time for some good old expat bashing!

      • Anonymous says:

        He was instructed not to bring them to the Cayman Islands. Civilian residents are not issued licenses for non-sporting weapons, and nothing fully automatic. There is no second opinion on that. Police should steam roller them and keep him flagged for extra screening on every departure and arrival and every customs clearance until the end of time.

        • Anonymous says:

          Legally, he was totally allowed to declare them and wait for a license. In practice, bringing them after being told “no” unofficially is going to 100% result in his license request being rejected. There was no point in bringing them in the way he did, it was a very stupid idea (even if technically “right”).

          He did not bring in any fully automatic weapons. Given that automatic weapons have been banned in Canada since he was born, the only way he could have obtained one was if he had an old relative that passed away and grandfathered him an automatic again.

          I’m assuming he flew directly from Canada, so the above is moot, as Canada does not allow exporting automatic weapons to Cayman.

          Extrajudicial punishments are an extremely slippery slope. You really don’t want to give law enforcement the green light that it’s acceptable behaviour.

      • Anonymous says:

        9:58, He was told not to bring the guns. but he still bought them. it against the law to bring in guns WITHOUT licenses or permits, which he had none.

        • Anonymous says:

          It was not against the law, that’s what the court figured out. It *was* against what he had been told to do.

          He choice to ignore the instructions and instead go with what the law said. It was an incredibly stupid decision, but not illegal.

  8. Anonymous says:

    American Airlines still thinks there is a destination called “Grand Cayman Island”, and hand out Customs and Immigration forms despite banks of vacant entry kiosks for machine readable passports that we presumably paid for. Can the full-time DoT reps not muster a couple phone calls in all these years to straighten this easy stuff out?

  9. Anonymous says:

    29 people arrested; #30,000 in fines!!! So about $1,000 fine per arrest. CIG – that is viewed as a low ‘cost of business’ that the drug runners will willingly pay and laugh as you take the fine. You are basically announcing that Cayman will ‘tax’ your drug money and ‘please come back again!’

    Cayman is dropping into a crime-ridden corrupt society.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well done and Thank you CBC.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can they publish the country where these offenders came from please

  12. Anonymous says:

    How do people board planes and guns, ammunition and drugs?

    Jamacia and Honduras?

    It sure isn’t Uk, USA and Canada!

    • Anonymous says:

      The majority of unlicensed firearm offenders caught here at the Owen Roberts airport in the Cayman Islands originate from the US and are American.

  13. Sir Humphrey says:

    The people we need to be going after more forcefully are all those people importing weapons. Fines are simply not enough. They need to serve time in jail to act as a serious deterrent to importing weapons and ammunition.

    A slap on the wrist is simply not enough for importing weapons.

    Get tough Cayman politicians unless you want to have more Ed Bush Stadium incidents.

  14. Anonymous says:

    CNS – Perhaps as a newsworthy item for the benefit of the public, you can inquire with the “authorities” why cases of illegal weapons found on international travelers aren’t also prosecuted under the Aviation Security & Piracy (Overseas Territories) Order 2000 – a CIAA jurisdiction?

    These events are offences under that Order yet prosecutions, when enacted, are only under illegal possession or importation statutes…a CBC jurisdiction.

    Why are travelers who violate the Order not charged under it’s statutes?


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