Two Venezuelan nationals imported cocaine into the Cayman Islands by swallowing packages of the drug in liquid form, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran said on Friday.
Mr. Moran was responding to a question from Magistrate Adam Roberts after a Colombian national with Cayman ties pleaded guilty to being concerned in the importation of 1.814 kilos of cocaine. Alan Laurems Taylor Dominguez acknowledged his involvement along with three Venezuelan nationals who had pleaded guilty the previous day to the same charge. The offense was committed between May 1 and June 3.
It was after attorney John Furniss indicated he would be applying for bail that the magistrate asked what was the method of importation.
Mr. Moran said two of the Venezuelans had flown to Cayman via Cuba. They had swallowed approximately 55 packages of cocaine in liquid form. On their arrival here, they were brought to a “safe house” on Seven Mile Beach, where the liquid cocaine was put back into powder form.
The prosecutor called it a sophisticated and very well executed importation. He objected to bail on several grounds, including the fact that investigations were ongoing, there were other suspects, and he feared that Dominguez might interfere with the course of justice.
The three Venezuelans may have been in Colombia and Dominguez had visited there as recently as December, Mr. Moran noted.
He accepted that Dominguez, 46, had returned to Cayman voluntarily, having traveled recently to Canada and Bahamas. Mr. Moran said it was clear that this defendant had come back “to exonerate his wife.”
He described Dominguez as a man of means who would be capable of leaving the country. He also told the court that Dominguez had disposed of his cellphone, which might have contained evidence.
No other details were given of the offense, either on Friday or Thursday when the Venezuelans who pleaded guilty were named as Lesme Romualdo Perez Ruiz, 51; Jose Leonardo Parra Ferrini, 32; and Yoandry Jose Morales Molina, 22.
It was not stated publicly who the swallowers were or who was alleged to have processed the liquid cocaine.
Mr. Furniss agreed that Dominguez did not have a right to bail after his guilty plea, but said the court still had a discretion to grant bail. He explained that his client had been in the Bahamas for a legitimate purpose, a visa application. When he was made aware that his wife had been arrested he spoke with police in the Bahamas to help him get an earlier return date to Cayman.
Dominguez worked in construction here and had ties here in addition to his wife, Mr. Furniss reported. “If he intended to separate himself from his commitments, he could have gone back to Colombia, but he chose to come here,” the attorney emphasized. He suggested an electronic monitor and daily reporting to police, or even a 24-hour curfew until sentencing.
As to Dominguez’s phone, it was said that he inadvertently left it on a charger either in Bahamas or Miami.
The magistrate said he was highly suspicious of Dominguez not having his phone. Notwithstanding his Cayman ties, he was a foreign national who was not entitled to bail because of his guilty plea.
This defendant was remanded in custody to return to court on June 29 along with the other three who pleaded guilty.