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Customs Firearms Arrest Results In $1,000 Fine

GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman (GIS) -- On Wednesday, 1 February 2017, a Panamanian national Mr. Narciso Barrios, who was a passenger on board the cruise ship Monarch, was detained at the ship’s Security Checkpoint when he attempted to board the vessel after visiting the shores of Grand Cayman.

During an X-ray of his bags, what appeared to be bullets were observed on the X-Ray imagery. A physical search of his belongings later revealed three live rounds of .22 calibre ammunition.

The passenger was handed over to Customs Seaport Officers and an investigation was carried out by the Customs Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET).  During interview, Mr. Barrios indicated that he is a firearm licence holder and the owner of a .22 rifle which he has for agricultural purposes. He further stated that he had not used that firearm in a longtime and he did not know how long the bullets had been in his bag. He also apologized for his error.  

On Friday, 3 February, Mr. Barrios was formally charged with the offence of being in possession of an unlicensed firearm which is in violation of the terms of a firearms user’s licence in the Cayman Islands. He subsequently appeared in the Summary Court where he was fined $1,000 and no conviction recorded. 

The Customs department would like to remind the public that although in this circumstance no conviction has been recorded, it is a very serious offence to be in possession of or import any ‘firearm’ without a firearms user’s licence in the Cayman Islands, Deputy Collector of Customs (Border Protection), Mr. Jeff Jackson said.  

The definition of firearm includes any ‘ammunition’ capable of being used in any firearm.  It is also the responsibility of any traveller/firearms licence holder who disembarks in the Cayman Islands with a firearm, to ensure that the firearm is properly declared and turned over to the Customs Department for safekeeping.

“We would like to recognize and thank all the Security personnel who remain vigilant in assisting with the discovery of such small dangers. We cannot take for granted any such find when we look at the latest tragic situation that occurred at the Fort Lauderdale Airport recently,” Collector of Customs, Mr. Charles Clifford commented. 

“We ask that any member of the public who has information relating to these types of offences or other crimes, not to hesitate to contact the Customs Department,” Assistant Collector (Narcotics Enforcement Team), Ms Tina Campbell added.