A man from Panama has been fined US$1,000 when he appeared in court on February 3, Friday in connection with the discovery of 3 live rounds of .22 calibre ammunition in his bag at cruise dock in George Town. Narciso Barrios was a passenger on Pullmantur Monarch, which was here last Wednesday, February 1. He was detained after the ammunition appeared on the x-ray at ship’s security checkpoint when he tried to return to the vessel after coming ashore.
He was handed over to customs seaport officers and an investigation was carried out by the Customs Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), officials said. The officers learned that Barrios is a licensed firearm holder in Panama, where he has .22 rifle.
But as he apologized to the officers, he said the gun, which he has for agricultural purposes, had not been used for a long time and he did not know how long the bullets had been in his bag. He was charged and fined but no conviction was recorded.
While security staff often find bullets in passengers’ bags at the airport, especially from the United States, it is far less common at the cruise port.
Customs reminded the public it t is a very serious offence to be in possession of or import any ‘firearm’ without a firearms user’s licence in Cayman. The officials explained that ammunition that is capable of being used in any firearm is also defined as a ‘firearm’ in the law and it is the responsibility of travellers who have a licence in their own country to ensure that any firearm is properly declared and turned over to customs. They asked members of the public who have information relating to these types of offences or other crimes not to hesitate to contact the Customs Department.
Collector of Customs Charles Clifford thanked the security personnel who remain vigilant in assisting with the discovery of such dangers.
Meanwhile, immigration confirmed that a passenger who was turned away from Cayman at Owen Roberts International on 31 January was not related to the US travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim nations that was implemented by the Trump administration.
“We refused entry to a passenger today who arrived on Jet Blue from NYC,” officials said in a short release.
“The passenger didn't meet landing requirements and refused to board the flight to return home. The matter was not related to any new policies or travel bans enacted by the Trump administration in the USA."