Today’s Editorial July 13: Restraining assets sends message

We found it interesting this week when the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service sent photographs of people convicted of possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

These are candid photos of the people convicted holding up bricks of cocaine in what one could assume is, or was, their apartment.

After the three people were arrested in 2005, financial investigators of the RCIP Financial Crimes unit, working with the Cayman Island Legal Department asked the court to restrain the assets the world over of the three that were convicted.

In this instance items the court restrained include bank accounts, motor vehicles, jet skis and a house in Florida.

Ouch.

The Cayman Islands will retain possession of those assets until the convicts can pay more than $60,000 to the court. If the debt isn’t paid the prison term can be increased and interest added to the debt.

If the debt is never paid, the assets can be seized.

All of this is made possible by Cayman’s Misuse of Drugs Law, which was adopted in 2000.

While confiscation and restraint of property involves detailed record keeping, time and money, it is worth it.

And it helps send a message to other would-be criminals that crime doesn’t pay.

According to Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan there are similar cases involving asset restraint pending in the courts.

We hope they are as successful in those as they were with this case if the people charged are found guilty.

As for the photos, Mr. Kernohan said they were made public because his department wants to make more of an impact than just issuing press releases.

You’ll note on the photo on the front of today’s newspaper lots of ganja, a ganja cigarette and cash.

Sitting on the table next to the ashtray is a piece of paper that reads ‘I’d rather go to hell than to work.’

We could say, be careful what you wish for.

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