The Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control Service (“CBC”) has announced that on the 24th February 2023 during the inspection of a parcel at the Airport Post Office Parcel Post, CBC officers discovered 200 Fentanyl tablets concealed in an incoming package.
Four days later, on the 28th February, CBC officers arrested a 32 year old Caymanian female and a 47 year old Jamaican male, both living in East End, for the offence of Being Concerned with the Importation of Fentanyl. On the 4th March a third person, a 38 year old Jamaican male who is also living in East End was arrested in connection with this case. This remains an active investigation.
The Director of CBC Charles Clifford has praised the CBC officers for their commendable detection and has sounded the alarm once again about the deadly drug Fentanyl. Director Clifford said, “While it is reassuring to again witness the dedication and vigilance of our CBC officers on the frontline, it is very worrying that we continue to see the deadly drug Fentanyl being imported into our country.” Mr. Clifford continued, “It is well known that drug dealers will mix this drug with other street drugs prior to sale and therefore the consumer is sometimes unaware that they are consuming a cocktail of drugs that could instantly kill them. Consuming Fentanyl, even in a very minute quantity, can be fatal.”
CBC has already encountered local cases where milder forms of controlled drugs which were seized were infused or tainted with more lethal substances, such as Fentanyl.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Border Control & Labour said “Great work to the CBC officers for stopping this dangerous drug from entering our community. Such a seizure shows that we are diligently protecting our borders on all fronts. I encourage everyone to take the time out to familiarise themselves with this deadly drug and remain vigilant at all times.”
According to data currently available from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 71,238 Fentanyl overdose deaths in the US in 2021. Users and handlers of Fentanyl have been known to experience symptoms such as hemorrhaging, severe physical pain and organ failure which often lead to death.
The concern is exacerbated because this extremely dangerous drug is often disguised in unassuming shapes and colors and, manufactured in a variety of methods. Illicitly produced Fentanyl comes in many colours and forms including tablet, power, crystals and liquid.
The concern is not just the health and safety of the general public but also for the welfare of Law Enforcement personnel at the border and elsewhere whom in the daily course of their duties, put themselves in harm’s way when handling such illicit and deadly drugs.
CBC Investigations and frontline teams will continue their efforts and utilize all available means at their disposal to respond to all threats at our border. Part of the effort is a combined approach that involves the strength of enduring partnerships with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) in the fight against the various acts involving illegal substances.