(CMR) A woman who came to the Cayman Islands a few days ago from Miami said she was subjected to an unnecessary cavity search at the Owen Roberts International Airport and was looking into taking legal recourse.
The woman, identified as Anna, told Sandra Hill on The Cold Hard Truth that the search was done for entertainment and not because she did anything wrong.
She said she was subjected to a humiliating search with eight people, three men, and five women, watching.
“One little me had eight people watching me undressed, bent over completely naked… And I knew it was for their pleasure. Not because I had done anything wrong,” she said.
The woman said she arrived in the Cayman Islands for a few days and was traveling with only one bag. As she was going through the area for those with nothing to declare, she said a customs officer called her back.
Anna said she was hurrying to meet a friend at the airport who came in on a flight from Tampa so they could travel to their accommodation together.
“Why are you walking so fast? Why don't you have luggage?” were some of the questions thrown at her while her bag was thoroughly searched, Anna recalled.
“They kept asking me these dumb questions that are irrelevant; meanwhile, they searched everything, and they found nothing,” she explained.
She said she told them she was in the Cayman Islands for a few days and did not need luggage.
“The most disturbing thing is that they had nothing to hold me on. They found nothing. There was no suspicion; there was nothing wrong, yet they chose to single me out… to humiliate me, to strip me.”
Although she was found with nothing suspicious, she was then subjected to what she described as a cavity search.
“They proceed to forcefully take me to a room where they told me that I had to strip completely naked…they held me naked in the room. They told me to take my panties off, keep bending over, squat, cough, and sneeze. It was so humiliating,” she recalled.
She said they told her no when asked if she was suspected of doing something wrong. She then insisted they charge her or release her because they had no right to detain her.
“If you are not going to let me go, then you have to tell me what I am charged with,” she recounted.
The woman who has been traumatized by the incident said, “I am afraid that if my friend was not out there waiting for me, I don't know what would have happened to me because at that point I considered being kidnapped. They were not telling me what I am charged with; they were not telling me why they were detaining me; they were not telling me how long they were going to detain me.”
Anna believed she was subjected to this treatment because she was a single female traveling alone. She said she was told she was picked out because she was speaking loudly.
Checks made by CMR revealed that body searches are allowed at the airport; however, a cavity search is usually done at the hospital.
“Being violated like that and being humiliated, there has to be some kind of punishment for these people,” Anna said.