Senior immigration officer charged with assisting illegal migrant

Jeannie Lewis
Jeannie Lewis

A Cayman Islands assistant chief immigration officer was charged Friday with offenses under the local Immigration Law and the Misuse of Drugs Law in relation to a police raid at her home in August.

Jeannie Lewis, 57, is due to appear in court Tuesday on charges of “knowingly assisting illegal landing” under the Immigration Law and “permitting premises to be used for the supply of controlled drugs” under section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Law.

Lewis was arrested Aug. 25 in a dawn police operation in Savannah, along with three men and another woman. The Royal Cayman Islands Police raid recovered a firearm, some ammunition and an unspecified quantity of ganja, according to police reports.

One of the men arrested at the home, Antonio Bullard of the Bahamas, pleaded guilty to illegally landing in Cayman and was sentenced to 30 days’ imprisonment before he was deported.

Two other men arrested at the address were taken into custody on suspicion of attempted murder. The other female who was present during the raid was arrested on suspicion of drugs possession.

The attempted murder allegation is believed to relate to an incident in Prospect a few days before the raid. According to police, shots were fired in the predawn hours at an apartment on Omega Drive. The apartment was fired on from outside the building, but no one was hurt, police officers said.

Ministry of Home Affairs officials indicated in a joint statement issued by the deputy governor and the ministry regarding the arrest: “Given the very serious nature of the allegations, the [immigration] officer will be placed on required leave while the matter is being investigated.

“We thank the RCIPS for their vigilance as the arrest demonstrates a resolve to tackle illegal activities, whoever the suspects. Any progression of this matter will follow natural rules of justice as we note that an arrest on suspicion indicates early stages of an investigation.”

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