2.2 kilos of cocaine found on BW 606

23rd May, 2014

TIMEHRI - Two packages of cocaine weighing 2.2 kilogrammes were discovered on a Caribbean Airlines flight destined for Toronto, Canada this afternoon, May 23, 2014 at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

The illegal substance was found in the aft hold – the belly of the aircraft - of BW 606, a little after 13:00 hrs.

The aircraft had arrived at 12: 11 hrs from Port of Spain, with an onward connection to Toronto.

After all baggage was offloaded from the aft hold, airline security conducted a sweep of the hold as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). During the sweep, the drug was discovered.

Law enforcement officers were informed, and an investigation has commenced into the matter.

CJIA statement

20th May, 2014

TIMEHRI - On Saturday, May 17, 2014 around 3:41 a.m., Sangernette Mason, who was booked on BW 484 for the United States of America, presented herself to the Caribbean Airlines (CAL) Check-in counter at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

According to the CAL officials, the passenger was loud, incoherent and refused to answer any questions to facilitate the process. The Supervisor on duty was called in and after assessing the situation decided that the passenger was not fit to travel, since in his opinion she posed a threat to the aircraft and other passengers on the flight.

The decision triggered a violent reaction. Ms. Mason began throwing shoes and other items from a bag she had in one of her luggage.   

One of CJIA’s Aviation Security Officers (ASOs) was summoned and despite her pleadings could not calm the agitated passenger.

The Guyana Police Force was called in and they tried to escort the passenger out of the Check In Area, by this time Ms Mason demeanour changed to one of belligerence.

She ran, positioned herself in front of CAL’s conveyor system – a restricted area where the luggage pass to go on the aircraft - got into a physical altercation with a female officer and threw a garbage bin at the said officer.  

Efforts by several law enforcement officers to pacify the passenger – for nearly an hour - proved futile.

Eventually, she was handcuffed and escorted from the terminal and was subsequently released to the care of a relative. 

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Two Timehri squatters nabbed with stolen items

26th November, 2013

TIMEHRI - Two men, who are squatters in the Timehri area, were caught on Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) plundering the AmeriJet Bond, Timehri between November 19 and 20.

The surveillance led police to Albert Ramjaram and Ryan Waddel. Nearly $1M in office equipment were stolen.

Thirty four year-old Rajaram, also known as ‘Bonnie’ was sentenced to three years for break and enter and larceny offences when he appeared in the Magistrate’s court yesterday, November 25. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

However, his alleged accomplice 22 year-old Waddel, also known as ‘Patchie’ denied any involvement and was remanded to prison until November 29 for another hearing. He was unrepresented.

According to police records, only a computer and backup system were recovered - under a house in the vicinity of the Timehri Fire Station - from the loot.

This is the second such incident in two weeks where individuals have been arrested and charged for breaking and entering.

At the moment, a 17 year-old is behind bars awaiting trial after police confiscated  four motorcycles [three of which were in parts]; one camera; one refrigerator; three cell phones; two laptops and one pair of computer speakers in a dwelling in the squatting area.  

The Ministry of Public Works had previously and continues to express worry over the security aspect of the dwellings around CJIA including the cultivation of narcotics and thefts on aeronautical and airport facilities.

CJIA passengers to bypass screening process while transiting T&T

14th October, 2013

KINGSTOWN - The tedious process of disembarking at Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Piarco International Airport, passing through security before boarding an aircraft to the United States will be something of the past - effective November 1, 2013.

The United States of America Transport Security Administration (TSA) has approved the request for the alternate procedure to be applied for GEO passengers transiting in Port of Spain (POS).

Hon. Robeson Benn, Minister of Transport, is pleased with the decision.

“It means that passengers leaving Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and passing through POS can do so hassle free. The existing process prompted numerous complaints and we had to urgently address the situation with Caribbean Airlines (CAL) officials,” he said.

In August, Minister Benn and Housing and Tourism Minister, Irfaan Ali met with CAL Senior Executives including its Chairman, Phillip Marshall and Chief Executive Officer, Jagmohan Singh to address several concerns with the airline including the treatment of GEO passengers transiting POS.

Meanwhile, Ramesh Ghir, CJIA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) held a follow-up meeting in Trinidad, and high on the agenda was the re-screening process.

“…so it was decided that CJIA and CAL will jointly approach TSA to review the application for an alternative procedure. Now this has borne fruit, passengers do not have to deplane,” Ghir added.

Meanwhile, Ramesh Lutchmedial, Director General of Civil Aviation and Chief Executive Officer, T&T Civil Aviation Authority told Minister Benn that he is happy “we have been finally able to resolve this.”

GOG and private sector meet with CAL’s Executive team…key concerns addressed

19th August, 2013

KINGSTON - The Caribbean Airlines Ltd. executive team from Trinidad met with Government of Guyana Ministers – Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce; and Minister Robeson Benn, Minister of Public Work and Transport; private sector representatives, representatives from the THAG, GTA and CJIA CEO, Ramesh Ghir.

The meeting sought to address key and critical issues such as the customer service of Caribbean Airlines, in-transit process and security checks of Guyanese passengers at Piarco International Airport, Caribbean Airlines’ capacity, airfare, and Caribbean Airline’s flag carrier status.

The Caribbean Airlines team from Trinidad, accompanied by Mr Carl Stuart, Airport Manager, included Mr Philip Marshall, Chairman of the Board, Mr Jagmohan Singh, CEO (ag); and Ms Nalini Lalla, Corporate Secretary.

According to Minister Ali, this engagement is critical to combating the negative perceptions perpetuated against Caribbean Airlines. Given this fact, Minister Ali assured that the Government, and by extension the people of Guyana, recognise the role that Caribbean Airlines has played in attempting to fill the gap in Guyana’s airlift capacity.

Ali impressed upon the need for both Caribbean Airlines and Government of Guyana to improve the partnership and to formulate a strategy that would define the way forward in the best interest of all stakeholders involved.

Mr Marshall assured that “the people of Guyana are important to the heartbeat of Caribbean Airlines,” and the fact that the delegation is meeting with the Government and private sector representatives points to its willingness to forge new partnerships.

One of the critical means of accomplishing this, he added, was to establish a formal communication structure through which important concerns can be quickly directed to the senior management of Caribbean Airlines.

To reiterate, Caribbean Airlines Chairman said that although there are constraints Caribbean Airlines will continue to build improved partnerships with the Guyanese travellers.

On the issue of pricing, the Chairman said that the next step is for Caribbean Airlines to review the current price structure so that all customers can benefit.

Customs/CAL officials implicated in CJIA cocaine bust

31st July, 2013

Two Customs officers and a supervisor of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) are among several individuals fingered in the recent 11 kilogrammes cocaine bust at the Cheddi Jagan International Corporation (CJIAC).

Additionally, a security officer attached to Secure Innovation and Concept (SIC) and a ground staff of Timehri Handling Services are also under investigation. The companies are contracted by the airline.

Last Saturday [July 26] around midday, members of the Customs and Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) were called to further examine a bag after an alert SIC staff discovered inconsistencies with the baggage tag. The bag contained 10 parcels of cocaine weighing around 20 pounds.

According to an airport official, the illicit drugs were the only parcels in the bag that was destined for John F Kennedy International (JFK) Airport, USA via Caribbean Airlines 526. The street value for one kilogramme of cocaine costs USD $35,000 or GYD $7M.

Meanwhile, CJIAC’s security office was able to map the movement of the bag in the airport. The official confirmed that there is strong evidence to suggest that a Customs Officer facilitated the movement of the bag containing the cocaine into the restricted area of the facility.

The official further stated that the tag found on the bag can be traced back to a Caribbean Airlines staff, who it is believed was working in cahoots with the Airline Security, Customs Officers and the Ground Handling Staff to facilitate this drug movement.