Ja airport employees busted

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Two more Jamaican airport employees have been jailed and charged under the Dangerous Drugs Act, as the narcotics police intensify their investigations into what they believe is a major drug-smuggling ring at the island’s two international airports.

They have been identified as Ann Jeffery, customer service supervisor of a Clifton Close address in St. Andrew, and Omar Franklin, operations supervisor of a Kings House Avenue address, also in St. Andrew. Both are employed to aircraft handling agency, AJAS Limited, at the Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston.

This has pushed the number of airport employees arrested and charged since last Tuesday to eight, with warrants out for the arrest of four others at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James.

“We are going to continue to focus on the interdiction process at the airports,” head of the Narcotics Division, Senior Superintendent Carlton Wilson, told The Gleaner last night.

“A third person, Celist Elizabeth Watt, of a Pink Lane address in west Kingston, was also arrested and charged,” confirmed SSP Wilson, who further said that all three are booked to appear in the Corporate Area Criminal Court today.

The three have been jailed in connection with the seizure of 96 pounds of compressed ganja, which was discovered in suitcases bearing Ms. Watt’s name. She was checked on to a flight destined for Panama.

According to the police, on March 29, Ms. Watt was in the process of boarding the flight when her luggage was searched and the drug found. Investigations by the police later led to the arrest of the two airport supervisors.

“We have strengthened our investigative capacity, extending investigations to include workers at the airport whom we believe are facilitating the movement of drugs at the airports and on to aircraft,” SSP Wilson said.

Among those arrested last week were Shawn Bryan and Byran Robinson, employees of Air Jamaica; Georgia Hinds and Jenievive Dixon, both security guards. The four, all of Montego Bay addresses, were charged under the Dangerous Drugs Act. They, too, have been booked to appear in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate’s Court today.

“We will be using every bit of technical support that we can garner to take them before the court,” SSP Wilson stressed.

He said the police in the past have been arresting persons caught smuggling the drugs, but in most cases they are not the only ones involved.

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