No charges in police station drug theft

Alleged ‘corrupt officers’ not caught

Eighteen months after large quantities of cocaine and ganja were stolen from a police evidence container in George Town, no one has been charged in the theft, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service confirmed Friday.

The trespassing and theft occurred on July 13, 2015 on the George Town Police Station property where a container stored outside of the building was broken into.

Police initially said nothing was taken in the break-in, but confirmed in mid-September 2015 that a “quantity of drugs” was stolen.

In October 2015, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson told the Legislative Assembly that 24 kilograms of cocaine and 33 kilograms of ganja had been taken in the incident.

In late 2015, Former Police Commissioner David Baines said there was an active investigation that involved multiple warrants being executed as well as internal inquiries into the suspected involvement of corrupt officers. Mr. Baines described the theft as a “well-planned, well-coordinated attack on the police property.”

“Someone’s clearly given information internally about where those drugs are supposed to be or will be. That’s one side. Secondly, I’ve got a criminal investigation against suspects who have been identified,” Mr. Baines said, speaking on Rooster radio 101.9 FM about the incident.

In an RCIPS statement released Friday, police indicated a “major investigation” involving several detectives had been launched following the theft.

“In the course of this investigation, detectives examined over 105 hours of CCTV footage, executed 14 search warrants, and uncovered multiple strains of drug dealing around the island,” the RCIPS statement, issued on behalf of Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton, read. “Eight people were arrested and charged with over forty drug-related offences.

“However, despite these significant efforts, no one has been charged with the theft itself,” police confirmed. “This is still an active investigation, with lines of inquiry that continue to be followed. Detectives maintain an open mind about the incident and continue to look at all possibilities.”

The eight people referred to in the RCIPS statement who were arrested and charged were never directly linked in court testimony to the police station drugs theft.

According to the police statement released in September 2015, the “actions of those responsible” for following evidence handling and storage procedures at the police station would also be reviewed.

Friday’s RCIPS statement read: “Since the theft, the RCIPS has spent significant funds to intensify security at the George Town Police Station, including heightened fencing and improved CCTV coverage, and has also changed procedures around storage. It is our firm intention that such an incident does not occur again.”

The statement did not address whether any police personnel had been disciplined over the drugs theft.

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