Home Top Stories CANU rank fired for placing illegal substance in passenger’s luggage at CJIA
…incident caught on video
The spotlight has once again been placed on the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), this time for one of its ranks placing an illegal substance in the bag of a female passenger at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) earlier this week.
On Friday, CANU stated that it was in receipt of the video circulating on social media, which displayed law enforcement officers conducting themselves “in an unprofessional manner”.
As such, an investigation was launched into the matter, and the agency confirmed that one of the ranks is an employee of CANU and that there was a serious breach of CANU’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
According to CANU, consequent to the findings of the investigation, recommendations for the immediate dismissal of the officer in question have been forwarded to the Ministry of Public Security.
“CANU strives at all times to operate professionally with a high level of integrity and all officers are afforded the necessary training to perform their duties in accordance with the Unit’s SOPs and are encouraged to maintain the expected standard of integrity. Therefore, any officer found with conduct inimical to the Unit’ policies, will be dealt with condignly,” the release stated.
However, CANU noted that the conduct of the officer in question “does not reflect what the Unit stands for and should not be used as an indicator of the conduct of the many hardworking and professional Officers of the Unit who daily perform their duties with a high level of integrity”.
Earlier this week, a video was posted to social media by a female passenger, loudly denying being in the possession of any illegal substance.
In the video, the CANU rank was pleading with the female passenger to speak to him in a quiet tone and to desist from recording the incident. However, the woman insisted that she speak with his supervisor. However, the CANU rank instead asked the woman to return to her seat and not speak to his supervisor about the matter.
Shortly after, the female passenger posted the video on her social media account and alleged that the CANU rank had a small plastic bag with what appeared to be an illegal substance that he claimed he found in her bag.
However, it was when she started questioning him and proceeded to video record his actions and responses, he apparently panicked and let her return to her seat to await her flight.
Less than six months ago, in the month of April, a United States-based woman alleged that she was asked to strip naked and squat by officers at CANU.
Ayana Adams, who is Guyanese by birth and a US citizen, was in the process of returning to New York on a Caribbean Airlines flight after vacationing in her homeland.
At that time, her lawyer, Siand Dhurjon, told the media that his client had been told that she would have to undergo a “thorough scan”.
“…and that she needed to take off her clothes. She protested, of course. And she asked what the problem is. And they said it’s just procedure”.
He had related that she reluctantly took off her jump suit, leaving just her bra and underwear. The Attorney said that the agents were not satisfied, demanding that she take off all her clothes, squat and cough as they needed to check “her abdomen and her guts”.
“She protested and said she wanted to see the supervisor. And then some man came and said this is the procedure. And this is what you’ll have to do, or else we will have to take you to go and do an X-Ray”.
Dhurjon explained that his client’s reason for not wanting to squat was because she was experiencing her menstrual cycle, a fact that was explained to the CANU officers to no avail. He said they insisted on her going through the procedure.