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Published 12th May 2014, 11:36am

Between Thursday 17th – 22nd April, 2014, six persons have been arrested, three of which have been formally charged, appeared in Court and remanded in custody following an Operation conducted by HM Customs at the Owen Roberts International Airport.

About 3.40pm on Thursday 17th April, 2014, HM Custom’s officers conducted an Operation at the Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA).

During the profiling of passengers from a flight from San Andres, a small island of the main land of  Columbia, a 25 year old female’s luggage were subject to search and officers found a large quantity of white substance resembling Cocaine, hidden in electronic devices. The female has since been charged with Possession & Importation of Cocaine and remanded in custody.

Continuing their profile of other passengers a 24 year old male had his property searched and officers found a pair of sneakers in his suitcase that appeared suspicious as also the pair of shoes he wore.  Further examination of both pairs of sneakers revealed the presence of a white substance resembling cocaine. The 24 year old was arrested and subsequently charged for Possession and Importation of Cocaine and is now remanded in custody.

Investigators subsequently arrested two others, a 52 year old female and 23 year old male, on suspicion of Being Concerned in the Possession and Importation of a white substance resembling Cocaine. Both have since been released on bail as the investigation continues.

In a separate incident on Thursday, a 34 year old Caymanian male was arrested for Importation and Possession of vegetable matter resembling Ganja. He had arrived on a flight from Kingston Jamaica. He was subsequently given Bail.

HM Customs continued their Operation, and On Monday, 22nd April, 2014 Customs Officers profiled a 24 year old female passenger who arrived on the San Andres flight. The female was subjected to further search after 3 three Hammocks she was carrying appeared suspicious. Officers suspicion was confirmed when they probed the wooden supports of the Hammocks which revealed the presence of a white substance resembling cocaine. The female was arrested and detained in custody while investigations continue. This female has now been formally charged with Possession and Importation of Cocaine and has been remanded in custody.

Administrative Fines

During the Operation, HM Customs has also imposed administrative fines on many persons that have under declared goods which is inconsistent with the declaration of All articles acquired abroad, (whether obtained by purchase, as a gift or otherwise) which are in their or their family’s possession at the time of arrival.

Collector of Customs Ms. Samantha Bennett said. “I commend my officers for the outstanding work over this weekend  and dedication to duty. At a time when many persons were enjoying the Easter weekend, my officers were concentrating on protecting our borders. We have the Cayman Islands at heart, and want to make our communities safer for everyone”.  “This operation clearly demonstrates how a well-coordinated Operational response can be successful in stopping drugs reaching the streets of the Cayman Islands and causing devastation in our communities. We would continue to urge anyone who has information concerning the importation of drugs, ammunition or firearms to contact us via the confidential tip-lines available”.

Information can be passed via the new instituted HM Customs tip-line 1-800- 534-8477 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS) or email address tell.us@customs.gov.ky.