On Thursday, 12 March, officers from the RCIPS Air Operations Unit and the Joint Marine Unit, were conducting a joint pro-active patrol when the AOU observed a Jamaican style canoe with three persons onboard, about 30-40 miles from Grand Cayman. On sighting the police helicopter the canoe appeared to make speed and the persons aboard began throwing packages from the vessel into the sea. The AOU directed the JMU vessel MV Mark Luke to the location, which then intercepted the canoe. The JMU officers boarded the vessel and detained the three occupants on suspicion of being concerned in the importation of ganja into the Cayman Islands.
Officers recovered forty-six packages from the sea nearby, which were later found to contain approximately 673lbs of ganja. The canoe was transported back to Grand Cayman, and its occupants, three Jamaican males aged 51, 49 and 39, were taken into custody.
The three men have all now been charged with “Possession of Ganja knowing or having reasonable grounds to suspect that the drug is intended to be Imported into the Cayman Islands.”
They appeared in court on Monday, 16 March, and were remanded into custody to appear again on 24 March.