(CMR) Two Jamaican men, one of whom had his Permanent Residency revoked, and one denied Caymanian status due to their criminal history, were arrested in a major Fentanyl bust along with a Caymanian woman.
The Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control Service (CBC) have confirmed that Fabian Williams (47), Kylan Hunter (38), and Keelia Scott (32), who all reside in East End, were arrested after officers discovered 200 Fentanyl tablets concealed in an incoming package on 24th February 2023 during the inspection of a parcel at the Airport Post Office Parcel Post.
Both Williams and Hunter have had previous encounters with the law. Hunter was previously convicted on gun charges, while Williams threatened immigration officers in 2018 after he was suspected of being in the Cayman Islands illegally.
Sources close to investigations revealed Scott was arrested when she went to pick up the package. Other drugs, including cocaine, oxycodone, and ganja, were found inside Scott's vehicle after she was arrested. Williams was also arrested the same day, and Hunter was arrested after Scott allegedly revealed he had sent her for the package at the post office.
This drug bust is commended by many as over the last few months; there have been at least three drug overdoses in Cayman Brac, with two fatalities, including a government school teacher and a family member of an MP.
Director of CBC Charles Clifford has praised the CBC officers for their commendable detection and has sounded the alarm once again about the deadly drug Fentanyl. Director Clifford said:
“While it is reassuring to again witness the dedication and vigilance of our CBC officers on the frontline, it is very worrying that we continue to see the deadly drug Fentanyl being imported into our country.”
Mr. Clifford continued, “It is well known that drug dealers will mix this drug with other street drugs prior to sale, and therefore, the consumer is sometimes unaware that they are consuming a cocktail of drugs that could instantly kill them. Consuming Fentanyl, even in a very minute quantity, can be fatal.”
CBC has already encountered local cases where milder forms of controlled drugs which were seized were infused or tainted with more lethal substances, such as Fentanyl.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Border Control & Labour Chris Saunders said, “Great work to the CBC officers for stopping this dangerous drug from entering our community. Such a seizure shows that we are diligently protecting our borders on all fronts. I encourage everyone to take the time out to familiarise themselves with this deadly drug and remain vigilant at all times.”
According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 71,238 Fentanyl overdose deaths in the US in 2021. Users and handlers of Fentanyl have been known to experience symptoms such as hemorrhaging, severe physical pain, and organ failure, which often lead to death.
The concern is exacerbated because this extremely dangerous drug is often disguised in unassuming shapes and colors and manufactured in a variety of methods. Illicitly produced Fentanyl comes in many colors and forms, including tablets, power, crystals, and liquid.
The concern is not just the health and safety of the general public but also for the welfare of Law Enforcement personnel at the border and elsewhere who, in the daily course of their duties, put themselves in harm’s way when handling such illicit and deadly drugs.
CBC Investigations and frontline teams will continue their efforts and utilize all available means at their disposal to respond to all threats at our border. Part of the effort is a combined approach that involves the strength of enduring partnerships with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) in the fight against the various acts involving illegal substances.
The CBC said this investigation is ongoing.