(CMR): For the second time in five years customs officer David Lobo, 32, has been charged with importation of cocaine into the Cayman Islands.
Lobo was remanded in custody Monday after appearing in court facing cocaine charges. The Bodden Town man was arrested in June in relation to a drug conspiracy alongside four Venezuelan nationals but he was not charged until today.
Lobo appeared before Magistrate Valdis Foldats, who refused him bail, having raised his concerns about the sophisticated nature of the alleged conspiracy and the serious consequences Lobo now faced. The suspended officer, who has been on required leave on full pay since June, is charged with being concerned in the importation of cocaine and conspiring to import controlled drugs.
Lobo was arrested following a joint police and customs raid. Three men from Venezuela who were also arrested have since confessed to drug smuggling offences.
The crown revealed that it has seized pictures of drugs and the other men involved in the alleged conspiracy from Lobo’s phone; the prosecution also says that he had organised the hotel for the men and driven them around.
Lobo has denied the allegations, suggesting that he was importing artifacts from Colombia and was buying them from one of the men, whom he knew. He claims to have had no idea that he was involved in drug smuggling.
The case was adjourned until 27 November, when Lobo will be given the opportunity to decide whether he wants the case dealt with in the Summary Court or the Grand Court.
The last time Lobo was arrested was back in 2012 but he was found not guilty in August 2013 of the charges.
That case involved three other men and a kilo of cocaine that was hidden in Tortuga Rum cakes that left Owen Roberts Airport and arrived in Heathrow Airport on a British Airways flight.
Lobo was on duty when the cocaine rum cakes were delivered in the departure lounge to a passenger from the Customs strong room. Lobo told the court this was something he did 15-20 times a week to departing passengers.
The jury was unanimous with their verdict that cleared Lobo.