Cayman ‘a hub’ for cocaine trafficking, police say

 

To look at the Royal Cayman Islands
Police crime stats for 2010, one might get the impression that drugs-related
crime is going down.

Not so, Police Commissioner David Baines
said last week. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

“There are indications now that are
suggesting that the Cayman Islands is being used as a hub for the supply of
significant quantities of cocaine,” Mr. Baines said during a press conference
Wednesday. “The purity of the cocaine that we’ve recovered is about as pure as
you’ll get. This is straight from the production areas, so we have got a
problem with cocaine.”

Police crime reports for 2010 indicate
that the number of drug arrests fell by nearly 47 per cent when compared to
2009.

There are two reasons for the decline,
Mr. Baines said. First is that the RCIPS is now focusing on drug suppliers, not
street-level possession arrests. “We had a particular undercover operation
concerning drug supply all along the Seven Mile Beach area that took out not
only those supplying at the front, but also the infrastructures behind them,”
he said. “That’s going to be our tactical operation for the future.”

The second reason involves a lack of
staff, particularly early in 2010, who were available to focus on drugs crime.

“In the beginning of the year, with the
number of murders…a lot of our officers that we would have deployed on counter
drugs operations were actually supporting us in terms of those murders,” said
Chief Superintendent John Jones. “That did sort of sap our resources.”

It is a concern for local law
enforcement on several levels, not least of which is that foreign jurisdictions
have begun to look at the Cayman Islands as a potential supply centre,
Commissioner Baines said.

“The fact that direct flights out of
Cayman are being found to contain significant amounts of drugs…means that other
law enforcement agents will be looking closely at us,” he said.

There were two significant seizures of
cocaine in the UK last year; both involved direct flights from Cayman, Mr.
Baines said. One shipment involved six kilogrammes of cocaine, another involved
a shipment of 10 kilogrammes. Assuming the current street price per kilo in the
UK to be $55,000, the larger shipment would have been worth a half-million
dollars or more, police said.

Details of
both cases remained scant, but the Caymanian Compass has since learned that a
local customs officer was suspended in connection with one of the cocaine
shipments. The officer’s ultimate status with the customs service has never
been made public.

Later in
the year, Mr. Baines said, 44 kilogrammes were recovered after the drugs washed
ashore in East End. It is likely that those drugs came either from an air drop
or a boat, the commissioner said. The drugs were burned at the George Town
landfill days after their seizure.

“Those are
just the issues that we have recovered,” Mr. Baines said. “It’s quite apparent
to us that there’s increasing levels of cocaine available and being distributed
on the Islands.”

Another
area of concern for police is the level of violence connected with some recent
robberies and burglaries where there would appear to be no reason for it.

Chief
Superintendent Jones said, based on his more than 30 years of law enforcement
experience in the UK, excessive violence is often a sign of crack cocaine use.
“Some of the offences that we’ve seen, aggravated burglaries [involving]
elderly people [as victims]….why do people need to use that much violence
against frail, elderly people?”

Mr. Baines
also noted the violence in some of the business robberies that were committed
for relatively small amounts of money. He said police are looking into some of
the cases that appeared to have been done for the reasons of gang initiation or
training.

“That may
be some explanation for small amounts of cash being targeted,” he said.

Other
heists reported during the last year appeared to be “inside jobs”, the
commissioner said. He said police met with local business owners who collect
large amounts of cash and use staff members to transport the money to banks to
discuss proper procedures to secure the money.

“If you
have cash handling procedures…be sure that you change them regularly,” he said,
adding that business owners should thoroughly vet individuals they hire.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Re: There are indications now that are suggesting that the Cayman Islands is being used as a hub for the supply of significant quantities of cocaine, Mr. Baines

    Such statements appear to be evidence that the Commissioner of Police is not intelligence led, because that fact has been known to the police at least since the 1970s.

  2. What the Commissioner says is nothing new! I must question the reason why he would want such negativity about us in the newspaper! Drugs is everywhere and is rampant in the UK!

  3. Duh, You think. I cant believe that the RCIPS is now saying I think there may be a problem with Drug trafficking on the island. Where else would folks in that business go but somewhere where the cops have no clue of how to deal with them are no weapons for that matter. Its like the RCIPS are stuck in the past. And now the Island has not only a reputation for Money Laundering but now a reputation as a Cocaine distribution hub. Criminals must think it just easy pickings in the Cayman Islands cause the cops are clueless, before you know it there will be Ganga and Coca fields in the east end with armed Guards. And Im sure the cops will be like, I thought they were growing Coconuts.

  4. What a stupid, stupid statement.

    When did Cayman get direct flights to the UK? Is he referring to a private plane. If not, then obviously he has no clue what he is talking about.

    The fact that direct flights out of Cayman are being found to contain significant amounts of drugs means that other law enforcement agents will be looking closely at us, he said

  5. There are indications now that are suggesting that the Cayman Islands is being used as a hub for the supply of significant quantities of cocaine, Mr. Baines said.

    Indeed, there are also indications that the vatican is a hub for catholocism under its Mr Big, Pope Benedict.

    There are also early signs that the woods are a hub for bears toilet habits.

  6. This statement by CoP Baines is very strange.

    It refers to two large shipments of cocaine found on direct flights to Britain from Cayman and the suspension of a customs officer in relation to this discovery but…

    Makes no mention of a customs officer being under a police investigation.

    There is only one airline that has direct flights out of Cayman to Britain and we all know which airline this is.

    There is something very suspect in this statemenet, imo.

  7. What gets me is that the police know who the drug dealers and drug users are but they wont arrest them. Waiting for the bigger fish but cant they start small and work their way up?!

  8. Every time i hear the news and read the various news articles online and in print in regards to the latest statements made by the Commissioner of police i realize how backwards and far off target he is in (1) His knowledge of the illegal drug trade in the Caribbean and (2) His plans for combating drugs and crime on the Island.

    Has he been living under a rock or in a crab hole since he arrived??? His latest statement, There are indications that the Cayman Islands is being used as a hub for significant quantities of cocaine trafficking, is, and has been common knowledge for many years now. Caymans direct link with seaports and airports in the U.S. have been exploited by smugglers who traffic ganja and cocaine for many many years now. Seizures have been made in the U.S. from Cayman in many ways from false compartments in shipping containers, concealed in general cargo, concealed in false compartments on small private vessels, attached to the bottom of cruise ships, concealed in luggage of passengers disembarking from cruise ships and also in the luggage of and attached to the body of passengers arriving by commercial airliners.

    For many years there was an excellent working relationship between The Drug Squad/DTF and U.S. Customs, DEA, U.S. Coast Guard, Jamaica Defense Force and other Law Enforcement Organizations through out the region which resulted in thousands of tons of illegal drugs seized and the successful prosecution of several high profile drug lords and organizations. Of course that was back in the day when the Police played a proactive role in Policing these islands and Drug Squad/DTF Officers were known, seen and respected throughout the Island. I dont think there is one Caymanian in the Drug Squad now, all from other countries with very little knowledge of the players involved and locations used.

    The Commissioners statement made it seem like there has been some great discovery since there have been two cases of persons found attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into the UK. If he wants really get an eye opener he should make enquiries into how many times shipments made it past the controls at the airports and seaports in the UK, USA and Canada without detection from Cayman. I would also suggest he take the time to talk to knowledgeable persons like Mr. Derek Haines and other retired officers who made a huge impact on the illegal drug trade during there time in the service. If he was really concerned about the situation he would have already spoken to the many Caymanian Officers that have left over the past years, taking with them many many years of experience and knowledge, in order to find out why they left and seek advice as to how he could fix the problem.

    Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Commissioners policies and procedures in relation to serious crime are inadequate and sometime do not even make sense. example- In the US and Canada every time there is a armed robbery, burglary, assault, kidnapping or motor vehicle accident and there is video footage available, it is immediately distributed to the various tv stations and media houses so the images can be seen by persons while it is fresh in their minds in hopes of a quick identification and apprehension of the suspect. Not here. It seems those very important images are kept secret until a week or so later when they are released to the public along with a desperate plea from the police for help. By that time, the perpetrators are long gone or have had more than sufficient time to change their physical appearance or discard or destroy any items that could have been used to identify them.

    We are loosing the battle against crime and drugs and the present policies and ways of Policing are not working. If this continues much longer there will be another generation lost and as the moral fiber of Caymanians is being stretched, we are but one step close to becoming a lawless land where to survive you need to adopt a mercenary mentality and look out for yourself.

  9. HAINES NOT BAINES!

    Suggest we get Derek back in the role as Top Cop. Why? because it was obvious to anyone who looked at his results that he has a genuine understanding and rapor of what is actually happening.

    He would have got dogs and heat seeking equipment on the landfill on day 1.He had enough contacts in the US through previous operations to have obtained these items quickly. He wouldnt have come out with ill prepaired statements regarding our narcotics hub (common knowledge)and violent crime would be reduced drastically.
    So someone in government go down South Sound, grab Derek Haines, force him out of his running shoes and back into a uniform, get him and John Jones at the helm of the RCIP, send Baines back ( so he can sue us and we can award him a million)re-create a K9 unit that can REACT as it did a few years ago. Remove all judges apart from Margaret ( penalty to fit the crime) and get the island back on track.
    However thats based on being in an ideal world where common sense prevails…

  10. There are bout 6 or more billion people in the world and the number is ever increasing. Rare animals are fighting for their lives as mankind spreads its existence to the detriment of other living creatures.
    Help improve the gene pool and help slow down the decline of such remaining living creatures by legalizing drugs and allowing all those misfits who want to use and abuse such drugs until they eliminate themselves. Whether it be a holocaust, war, ethnic cleansing, theres no shortage of people. Why waste so much effort on abolishing drugs when the inferior people who use them are not worth saving? Furthermore, with a decline in the funeral industry, think of the potential profits just waiting the results of my propose program.

  11. LottaBaloney

    This solutions been tried before…

    By a man named Adolf Hitler.

    His rationale was to eliminate all the inferior people on the earth and leave a percentage to provide slave labour and service for the superior race.

    His list of inferiors included; anyone who was not Aryan Caucasian (all non-Teutonic, non-whites), Jews, homosexuals, drug addicts, gypsies, Slavic people, etc etc.

    The problem with his theory was that he was the only one who got to decide who was inferior and who was superior.

    I do agree with you that the current strategies against drug use and abuse have not been successful but allowing them all to self destruct or putting them all in a gas chamber or before a firing squad to cull the human race of its inferior members (your arbitrary judgement of who is inferior, mind you) is a little harsh, dont you think ?

    At least the rest of the world thought so when good old Adolf tried it.

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