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Cayman airline staff apprehended for suspected cigarette smuggling

CigarettesDuring the first two weeks in May, HM Customs conducted specific operations at the Owen Roberts International Airport dealing with the evasion of customs duties and smuggling of goods.

An operation spanning three days saw the arrest of three persons, two of whom are understood to be airline employees. Items involved were seven cartons of duty-free cigarettes.

HM Custom’s officials commenced a special operation at the Owen Roberts International Airport specifically designed to tackle reported ‘evading of customs duties and smuggling of dutiable goods’.

Initially two airline employees, a female aged 21 years and a 26-year-old male, were arrested. The operation continued into the week when another female aged 35 years was arrested upon her arrival in the Cayman Islands.

All three persons are on bail while investigations are continuing; however charges are anticipated.

Collector of Customs Samantha Bennett said “We are aware that there’s a growing trend of smuggling involving duty-free cigarettes, and we have identified the varying techniques used. These cigarettes will eventually end up on the black market, but we will make every effort to stop those criminals who seek to make money from smuggling of goods, whether the goods are legal or illegal”.

Anyone with Information relating to this type of crime is asked to contact HM Customs’ tip-line on 1-800-534-8477 or CrimeStoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

(Attached – photograph of the seized cigarettes)



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