On Wednesday, 5 July detectives from the Financial Crime Unit of the RCIPS responded to the Kirk Freeport offices on Cardinal Avenue following a report of a transaction using a stolen credit card.
On arrival it was established that a tourist from a cruise liner had obtained two Rolex watches with a retail value of almost US$41,000 from Kirk Freeport in the Bayshore Mall on Harbour Drive, using what was believed to be a stolen credit card, police said.
RCIPS detectives along with staff from Kirk Freeport, the Port Authority and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Liner Freedom of the Seas pooled their resources in an effort to identify the suspect.
From this joint investigation the suspect was identified on Friday, 7 July, having already departed the Cayman Islands en route back to Miami where he was due to dock in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Having arrived in Miami, officials from US Customs and Immigration arrested the 28-year-old suspect and his 34-year-old wife and handed them over to the FBI and Detective Constable Dean Smith, who had travelled to Miami to assist in the US investigation.
They were initially held at the Miami Penitentiary on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. On 12 July they made a first appearance in court and were released on bail.
If convicted the pair could face a sentence of up to 30 years.
The watches in question were recovered during the investigation and have been returned to Kirk Freeport.
Detective Constable Smith said: ‘This was a classic example of what interaction between the police, employees and other enforcement agencies both in the Cayman Islands and the United States can achieve. Everyone involved was truly motivated to identify the suspects and ensure the recovery of the property. It is important to send a message to would-be criminals that the Cayman Islands will not tolerate crime and will go to all lengths necessary to prevent criminal activity and ensure those who offend are brought to justice.’