Police: Jamaican robbery suspects harbored locally

Two undocumented immigrant Jamaican nationals charged with robbing a money transfer business in Bodden Town earlier this month were being harbored at a local address, Royal Cayman Islands Police detectives confirmed Monday.

The two robbery suspects appeared in Summary Court on Monday morning. They were identified as Paul Martin, 28, and Romario Codner, 21. Both men’s cases were transmitted to Grand Court due to the seriousness of the robbery offense.

Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn ordered the two men remanded in custody without bail because neither man “had a lawful basis for being on island,” she said.

The court heard that the two men were charged with robbery in connection with an Aug. 12 heist that occurred at DND Accessories & Things in Savannah. The magistrate said $2,136 was taken during the 8 p.m. robbery at the money transfer business.

In addition, both men were charged with possession of an imitation firearm, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence upon conviction in the Cayman Islands.

Both suspects will not be able to enter pleas to the charges until they appear in the Grand Court on Sept. 16. They will be held in custody until then, the judge said.

The two men were arrested after extensive police searches Friday morning in the Bodden Town area that involved the RCIPS helicopter.

Police said two addresses in the district were searched, one where Codner and Martin were staying. At a second address, a 39-year-old Bodden Town man was arrested on suspicion of harboring the men (called conspiracy to commit an offense). The third suspect is on police bail, but he has not been charged.

A fourth man was arrested on drugs-related charges during the police searches.

RCIPS officials confirmed the two robbery suspects were here illegally, but could not state exactly when they arrived in Cayman. It’s believed the men arrived in Cayman by watercraft.

According to a police report on the Aug. 12 robbery: “Two male suspects entered the store on the pretext of doing business whilst other customers were in the store being served and queuing to be served. The two suspects remained in the store for a short while and left, but returned after the aforementioned customers left the store. One of the suspects pulled a silver handgun from his person and pointed it at the store attendant, threatened her with it and demanded cash. The suspects got away with a sum of CI and U.S. cash.”

No one was hurt in the incident.