Email correspondence between Cayman Islands Customs Collector Carlon Powery and other individuals regarding explosives shipped to Grand Cayman and seized earlier this year has been withheld from public release by the department.
The Caymanian Compass filed an open records request earlier this month seeking “all email, written or other correspondence sent to, received by or mailed out by Customs Collector Carlon Powery regarding any and all containers of explosives that arrived on Grand Cayman in 2012”.
A response received from Customs about a week later indicated the following: “Your application has been regrettably denied as the record[s] requested is an exempt record[s] pursuant to section 16[b][i] of the Freedom of Information Law, 2007. This is an ongoing investigation and the disclosure of the requested information … would/could reasonably affect the conduct of the investigation or prosecution of a breach or possible breach of the law.”
Collector Powery has not responded to repeated requests for comment on the matter.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service earlier confirmed that its officers are investigating the importation of a quantity of dynamite to Grand Cayman last month.
RCIPS representatives said the explosives “were imported into the Cayman Islands without the necessary paperwork”. “The explosives are currently in the possession of the Customs Department,” a statement from the RCIPS indicated.
According to information obtained by the Caymanian Compass, an individual attempted to ship in the explosives via boat when the shipment was stopped by HM Customs in port. The shipment arrived on Island, but it is not known if the individual who had the explosives brought in ever took possession of the container.
Under the Explosives Law (2008 Revision): “Whoever, not being authorised in writing by the managing director [referring to the managing director of the National Roads Authority] in that behalf has in his possession or control, sells, buys, barters, deals in, stores, imports, exports or uses any explosives or aids abets or suffers any person under his control so to do is guilty of an offence …”
The name of the importer listed on the shipment is not being released by the Caymanian Compass because the man has not been charged with any crime.