Online poll: Sniffer dogs answer to drug smuggling

A majority of people reckon the introduction of drug sniffing dogs will help reduce the amount of drugs brought in through Grand Cayman’s airport. 

Of 408 respondents to a Caymanian Compass poll, 254, or 62.3 percent, selected the option to have specially trained sniffer hounds deployed at all times in and around the grounds of Owen Roberts International Airport. 

On the other hand, 78 people (19.1 percent) selected the option to conduct “A complete independent investigation of the Customs department, they must have known about this before.” 

Targeting visitors from unspecified “problem” countries more stringently was the preferred choice of 39 voters (9.6 percent), while introducing a thorough screening process despite the effect on lengthening the arrivals process was best, according to 23 people (5.6 percent). The final option of “Other” was selected by the remaining 14 individuals (3.4 percent). 

One person who selected the sniffer dogs option had a raft of other measures in mind. 

“[Also] train officers how to profile drug couriers but not necessarily because where they are from. Frequently, screen customs officers, and have a robust discipline regimen to deal with officers, not allow them to stay on the job, or relocate them after the media raised questions about the complicity in weapons importation.  

“Finally, the recent drug seizures, while positive, [their] detection wasn’t [due to] any exceptional interventions but routine search for dutiable items,” the respondent said. 

That same person also called on customs to work with the police to “develop and use intelligence to proactively target and intercept movements of illegal contraband. Stop the long lines by checking every receipt of travelers!” and added, “Oh, by the way, stop the nonsense about assessing duty on wedding dresses, et cetera.” 

Others pointed fingers, without naming names, at specific groups of people. 

“More dogs at all airports … but at Brac coming into and out [would yield results],” said that person. “Also fingerprinting.” 

Another respondent who selected the option that the Customs Department must be investigated appeared to have inside information of a sort. 

“Especially [screen] some high up people who seem to have a lifestyle above their means,” that person commented. 

Those who selected “Other” had a lot to say. 

“Drugs brought in to a country invariably have a recipient,” one participant wrote. “Drug mules are usually not the dealer; the dealers use disposable couriers. Be smart, put GPS tracking devices in the bags, allow the drugs through, have law enforcement track the device, and go and bust the receiver and the mule. 

“Besides, everyone knows who the big bucks dealers are, yet they are never arrested so we send the signal [to] keep on smuggling.” 

More than one voter offered a comment along similar lines to this commenter: “Legalization of soft drugs in the Cayman Islands [is the answer]. The islands should follow the example of countries such as the Netherlands. The product is taxable, controlled and after time leads to less frequent use of the drugs.” 

Finally, one person felt that the answer was achievable closer to home. 

“How about the RCIPS go about arresting the known district kingpins and dismantle their gangs of distribution?” that person posited, before concluding with an obvious grunt of frustration: 

“Duh.” 

Next week’s poll question: 

  1. What are you doing to prepare for hurricane season? 
  2. I’m ready. I’ve already got all my supplies and shutters. 
  3. I’m going to wait until the season officially starts on June 1 before getting any supplies. 
  4. I’m waiting until it looks like a storm is going to bear down on Cayman. 
  5. Nothing. Most storms pass us by. 
  6. Other (explain) 

To participate, visit caycompass.com. 

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