Cayman’s opposition party leader is demanding a private meeting with the police commissioner and deputy governor to discuss the status of a criminal investigation into the theft of large amounts of cocaine and ganja from a police storage bin earlier this year.
Mr. Bush said he had requested the meeting in person to discuss the incident, but noted it had not happened during the current meeting of the Legislative Assembly, which ended Monday.
“I certainly want to hold the office of the governor to that meeting,” Mr. Bush said. “What we asked for was a sit-down meeting with the commissioner so we can talk back-and-forth to find out where the country sits with such a breach.”
Acting Deputy Governor Eric Bush replied Monday that his office had asked for details on the incident to be provided by the police commissioner, who has been off island on official business.
Mr. Bush, the leader of the opposition Cayman Islands Democratic Party, is suing Police Commissioner David Baines and former Governor Duncan Taylor, alleging a conspiracy led by U.K. representatives to remove him from office ahead of the May 2013 general election. Mr. Bush, Cayman’s first premier, was removed by members of his own party following a December 2012 “no confidence” vote following his arrest on various criminal allegations.
A subsequent criminal trial in 2014 cleared Mr. Bush of all charges.
Earlier this month, opposition party lawmakers grilled Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, taking the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service to task over what they said was an attempt to “hide” and “lie” about the police station drugs theft.
After initially reporting that nothing had been taken in a July 13 break-in outside the police station, the RCIPS confirmed in September that “a quantity” of illegal drugs were taken from an evidence container there. The container was used to store “old evidence” and “drugs awaiting disposal,” police said at the time.
Mr. Manderson confirmed this month that 24 kilograms of cocaine and 33 kilograms of ganja had been stolen from the container. Mr. Manderson indicated that the drugs were not intended to be used as “evidence” in any ongoing investigation, but had been set aside for destruction at the earliest opportunity after having washed ashore.
He noted that arrests have been made in connection with the July 13 theft and that further police warrants would be issued in connection with the case in the near future.
Police have provided no information on specific arrests or charges in connection with the case.
“The machinery of the police organization seems to have taken this matter quite lightly,” Mr. Bush said. “When this matter came to [the] fore, they said it wasn’t true and, lo and behold, it was exposed by the media that it had happened.
“This man [referring to Police Commissioner David Baines] stood there and lied to us all and said nothing was stolen,” Deputy Opposition Leader Bernie Bush said.
Deputy Governor Manderson said the critical comments by McKeeva Bush and Bernie Bush were not fair to police commanders who were doing their best to solve the theft and sort out security at the police station.
“I think it’s unfair to say the commissioner ‘lied’ about the drugs not being stolen,” Mr. Manderson replied. “That’s an operational decision … when he gives out information to the public, that’s a matter for him. Sometimes we can’t tell the public everything when they want to know.
“This is an attack on the police, an attack on our security services. The governor, myself, the commissioner of police, are doing all we can to ensure that the persons involved in this have been brought to justice.”