Details reported by prison officials after ganja was found inside the administration building – nicknamed the ‘White House’ – of Her Majesty’s Prison at Northward last month appear to conflict with information released about the incident under Cayman’s Freedom of Information Law.
According to prison reports, ganja was found in a box that contained garbage bags inside the administrative building’s kitchen. The ganja was discovered around 9.30pm on 9 February by prison service Deputy Director Daniel Greaves, who made a report on the incident the next day.
“While picking up the said box I noticed that it contained three packages which I suspected to be ganja,” Mr. Greaves wrote in his report. “I handed over the packages to the security department for their investigation. [The department] has subsequently confirmed the packages to be ganja and weighing seven ounces. As a result, the inmate who clean[s] the office was remove[d] pending an investigation.”
However, in a statement made to the Caymanian Compass published in an article the newspaper ran on 15 February, Mr. Greaves said: “Upon inspecting the package, I found three packages of ganja, which contained some four ounces of the drug.”
The Compass asked about the apparent discrepancy in the amount of the ganja that was reportedly found. In response, Prison Director Dwight Scott said: “Mr. Greaves’ full recollection of the matter is that he mentioned that three packages were found.”
Mr. Scott added that Mr. Greaves “did not specify weight” of the ganja to the newspaper and that seven ounces was the correct figure.
The Freedom of Information request, filed by a private citizen, sought to determine what time Mr. Greaves informed the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service that he found the ganja.
The prison service’s response to the question, under the FOI request, stated that the drugs were “handed over to police” on 15 February – six days after they were found by Mr. Greaves.
In the 15 February Caymanian Compass article, Mr. Greaves did say that the prisons service was doing forensic investigations with the assistance of police. The article did not specifically state when the police had been contacted about the incident and the RCIPS did not respond to any questions from the newspaper about the issue.
On Wednesday, Mr. Scott clarified: “The police [were] informed on 13 February and the drug was collected on 15 February by the police.”
“The [prisons service] from time to time finds drugs and it’s not unusual for, when drugs are found, to properly seal them and label them accordingly and hand them over to police at different intervals,” Director Scott said. “The police will then collect the same from us. This can be verified by the police department.’
Drugs, particularly ganja, are widely available within Northward, which is the Cayman Islands’ prison facility for adult males.
More than 200 prisoners are housed in lock up there.
Mr. Greaves has previously said the prison service is “under siege” from drug smugglers and “inundated” by smuggling attempts.
Mr. Scott has recently released CCTV video to the Compass of separate recent incidents where a man was caught on tape tossing bags of an unidentified substance over the fence at Northward.
The video shows those packages being picked up by an individual who appears to be a prison employee.
A separate video revealed by Mr. Scott shows a man jumping the fence of the prison compound and placing something underneath a bus parked in the complex lot.
Mr. Scott said the package was later recovered and determined to be drugs.
The government has recently made it a criminal offence to throw, or in any other manner introduce or convey, any illegal or unapproved item – including drugs – into the prison property.
About a week after the ganja was found inside the prison ‘White House’, an additional amount of the drug was discovered in the shift commander’s office.
According to a report on the incident, the drugs were found inside a cupboard in the back section of the office.