(CMR) Cayman Airways KX832 from Grand Cayman to Havana, Cuba was delayed by 24 minutes Sunday afternoon after 59-year-old Cuban national Juan Carbo Rivers was detained for having in his possession over USD$10,000 in undeclared funds. CMR exclusive sources shared that Carbo was detained and questioned by the Cayman Islands Border Control and the flight departed without him.
The discovery was made at the outgoing security checkpoint where he was allegedly found to be carrying €800 and $10,000 in US currency on his person. Sources indicate that he is known in the local community to be a frequent traveler to and from Cuba and is described as “a Cuban higgler” – someone who brings and carries goods to and from Cuba for persons for a fee.
CMR understands he charges $9 – 10 per pound for them for items and for cash being sent he charges $6 out of every $100 that people send.
Carbo is said to have acquired Caymanian status via Cabinet and does not officially work; instead, relying on the government's Need Assessment Unit to provide him with financial assistance. Meanwhile, he is also a platinum member of Cayman Airway's Frequent Flyer program. One source shared that he travels “up and down weekly/bi-weekly bringing stuff for Cuban nationals.”
He indicated that he was carrying the funds for someone else and they were contacted by customs officials to provide source of funds information for the money by Monday.
Inbound flight KX833 from Havana to Grand Cayman was also slightly delayed because of the incident.
CMR confirmed that outbound travelers have the same legal requirement as inbound travelers to declare cash or cash equivalents exceeding $10,000. This is a component of the Cayman Islands Anti-Money laundering regime.
In an interesting twist, Carbo Rivers was convicted and fined in November 2005 of stealing two tubes of mascara from Foster's in The Strand for a friend in Cuba. At the time of the offense, he did not show up to court and then Magistrate Ramsay-Hale issued a warrant for his arrest criticizing the authorities for taking two years to bring him to court.
At the time he explained that he was traveling frequently back and forth to Cuba. He was fined $300 for stealing the $16 mascara.