Brac customs officer arrested

Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers arrested a Cayman Brac customs officer on suspicion of possessing an unlicensed firearm after a search of the man’s home Tuesday recovered the weapon, police said.

However, an oddity in government employment rules will prevent Customs Collector Charles Clifford from taking any disciplinary action against the officer, Mr. Clifford said Thursday.

As of Thursday afternoon, the customs officer had not been charged with any offenses and was in police custody on Grand Cayman.

Asked about the status of the officer’s service with the agency given the arrest, Mr. Clifford suggested that the Cayman Compass contact Brac District Commissioner Ernie Scott. Apparently, any decisions regarding customs officer discipline on the Brac would fall to Mr. Scott.

“Cayman Brac customs officers are appointed by, and ultimately report to, the district commissioner in Cayman Brac,” Mr. Clifford said. “The collector of customs can only direct, deploy, manage and discipline officers who are appointed by the collector.”

On Thursday, Mr. Scott said he had nothing to add to police statements about the arrest.

Mr. Clifford said the issue regarding customs officers hiring and firing needs to be addressed.

“The appointment and reporting arrangements for Cayman Brac customs officers have been under review since April of this year and we expect to have the situation regularized in the near future,” Mr. Clifford said.