Cayman customs officer, 3 Venezuelans arrested in drug raid

A Cayman Islands customs officer was arrested in a Friday night drug raid in George Town along with three foreign nationals and a West Bay resident, police and customs officers announced Monday.

The raid was conducted by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Drugs and Serious Crime Task Force and Customs enforcement unit at a George Town apartment Friday night, netting cocaine and cash, officers said.

A 31-year-old Bodden Town man arrested in the operation was a customs officer. Customs Collector Charles Clifford said Monday that the man has been suspended from duty. No charges had been filed by press time Monday against any of the five people arrested.

“While the presumption of innocence must apply in all cases, I also wish to categorically state that there is absolutely no place in the Customs Department for any officer who is engaged in criminal activity,” Mr. Clifford said. “I will not allow the integrity of our hard working and dedicated customs officers to be brought into question because of the conduct of any corrupt officer.”

The three foreign nationals arrested Friday night are from Venezuela, aged 51, 32 and 22. They are all in police custody, along with the customs officer.

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The West Bay resident, a 39-year-old woman, was arrested and released on police bail.

RCIPS Commissioner Derek Byrne said Friday’s raid is one of several operations local police and customs officers have worked on together with good success in recent weeks.

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