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.