Crime 2001


2001 crime stats
Bda Film
Drug Problem
Jamaica Officers
Art Seizure
Court Fiasco
Al Fayed

September 2001

 A sad reflection on Larry Smith's attitude toward tackling drug crime
Over $11 million worth of cocaine found on plane - Bermuda narcotics officers find 60 kilos on Puerto Rico to Newark flight diverted hereBy Karen Smith
Cocaine with a street value of at least $11.7 million was discovered on one of the flights diverted to Bermuda last week amid the US terrorist attacks – bringing the total drug seizures for this year so far to more than four times that of 2000.  Bermuda Police Narcotics chief Superintendent Larry Smith spoke exclusively to The Royal Gazette last night and said the Island was on course for its most successful year yet in drug interdiction. He revealed that a massive 60 kilos of cocaine was found by both Customs and Police officers at Bermuda International Airport on board a plane bound for Newark from Puerto Rico last Tuesday.
At the very least, and calculated at its lowest possible street value, the packages of coke would have fetched almost $12 million in Bermuda. However, if the drug is found to have a higher purity, that value will hugely increase.

It is believed to be the greatest-ever seizure made at the airport.
But, even with that aside, the drug seizure rate on the Island this year is up on previous years. Last year there was just more than $7 million worth intercepted.  Supt. Smith said: "Up to September 7 this year, both Customs and Police narcotics officers have made major drug seizures worth $17.8 million. "But that figure will go up because figures for the third quarter of the year are not as accurate as we would like yet because we have been unable to get some of the weights and purity of some of the seizures confirmed from the analyst. Some have not been included in our estimates. "I think we can safely say that we have certainly surpassed 2000 so far by more than double. But then on top of that, last week, during the influx of passengers diverted to Bermuda, HM Customs and Bermuda Police intercepted a large shipment, believed to be 60 kilos of cocaine, destined for the US."
He continued: "At its lowest value it could be worth about $11.7 million, but that could go up. We are now liasing with the US authorities and jurisdiction has been handed to them.
"So, adding those amounts together, we are just about at four times what we got for the whole of last year."
However, the drugs chief said he was not calculating in this year's haul the half a tonne of cocaine (585 kilos) found on board a yacht at the beginning of August. The yacht is believed to have entered the Island's waters over the Cup Match holiday on its way from the Caribbean to Spain after the boat ran into mechanical trouble and some of the crew found the drugs on board.
The boat and the drugs, thought to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, were handed over to British authorities, who are investigating.

Larry, how do you measure success based on the amount of narcotics you seize?

Is it that you were 4 times as bad at siezing narcotics last year?  Possibly everyone has realised what a soft touch the island is and taken to importing narcotics making it easier to locate some.
what of those unfortunates who are sacrificed (intended to be caught) to allow other 'mules' to succeed.

Are you really that naive?

Why do you measure success based on the seizure of drug seized, bound for another country?

Larry, you need to look at the amount of crime on the island that your country's drug trade creates.  If this decreases, pat yourself on the back.

If the price of narcotics goes up, pat yourself on the back - simple school boy supply and demand curves would suggest there is a lack of supply in the price increases.

What you have is a massive demand for the drug which you are unable to quell or control.  You continue to fail; the seizures are symptomatic of the problem, not the solution.

$17.8 million is only $100 / head of population (approx).  Your users require


In both that case and the one last week Bermuda Police are assisting authorities overseas.  During the first three months of this year alone, authorities at the airport seized more than $9 million of drugs.  By the end of April that amount had increased to about $13 million, with seizures continuing to be made over the summer at the airport.  However, in comparison, seizures on the cruise ships this year have been much slower.

Supt. Smith said his officers were ready for a change in trends at any time.  He added: "Customs and Police have really done an excellent job thus far and I want to commend both organisations.
"The co-operation between the two is improving daily. However, we know that we cannot rest on our laurels.  "We have had a relatively slow season this year with the cruise ships, but we are being very vigilant at the moment. Supt. Smith continued: "Normally, towards the end of the cruise ship season there is a lot of stockpiling to get as many drugs as possible on the Island before the season comes to an end. "We will be stepping up our vigilance even more now that we are approaching the end of the season on the cruise ships."
Cruise ships bring a great amount of drug into the island - cruise ship passengers can continue to be concerned.
Supt. Smith said sometimes he had to "rob Peter to pay Paul" when it came to placing his staff at either the airport or the cruise ship terminals. If a large haul is found at the airport it may take a team of officers out of the equation while investigations get underway, so officers from the dedicated cruise ship team may be temporarily drafted in to help out, or vice versa. Once the cruise ship season comes to end in October, the emphasis will be mostly back at the airport. He added: "We want people with information about drug interdiction to help us. "Drugs are a vast money-making thing, almost like a machine. It is one of the quickest ways to make money universally, especially if heroin is involved. Supt. Smith added: "If anyone does have information, we would urge them to contact us."

People can call Police on 295-0011, or Customs on 295-4816.
clearly you need more staff. But Bermuda already has the highest number of police officers per head of population in the world.


2001: When is art pornography?  When the Bermuda police say so!
Click on the picture for a larger image, and HERE for the 'news'.

April 2001

Police platitudes What is reported
Kudos and salutations were heaped on outgoing Police Commissioner Jean Jaques Lemay at the official command change ceremony on Thursday afternoon. He had after all achieved the goals he had been contracted to accomplish, namely to develop a strategic plan and a succession plan for the Bermuda Police Service.

Successor Johnathan Smith will find the service "in good shape" said His Excellency the Governor, Thorold Masefield, who pointed to statistics which showed a 50 percent decline in almost every crime category over the last seven years


the service has a plan .... everyone can relax ???  Can you imagine how crime was if (as we are expected to believe) it is now greatly reduced (see opposite).  So just why do the residents find it necessary to self-police?

Good luck to the self-appreciation society. continues to assert that the island is a "paradise for drug dealers".  MP Ottiwell Simmons appears to be in agreement, if only in part (see opposite).

Of course - drug dealing / use only exists if you locate it.  It is not one of those crimes that is 'reported'; an officer is not confronted by drug dealers / users each day claiming that someone has stolen their drugs or that the narcotics sold are not of good quality or fake.  If you do not go looking for drugs, you will not find them.  The up-side is that you will be able to report a 'reduction'.

The crimes associated with drug dealing / use relate to the acquiring of funds to purchase the high-price commodity; robbery (theft - violent attack) and burglary (theft - from premises).  Is it any surprise these crime are continually reported?

Drugs clean-up `a flop'

Two years after the launch of a concerted campaign to clean up the St. Monica's Mission neighborhood, the area continues to be used as a drugs supermarket, claimed an MP.

St Monica’s Mission, also known as 42nd Street, has gained notoriety over the years as being a haven for drug pushers.

Works and Engineering Minister Alex Scott said that Government was playing a "supporting role" which he believed had yielded some results in the sense that the residents were beginning to police the community.

Hotel managers to meet Police Commissioner

Hoteliers are planning a meeting with Police to discuss the recent attacks on tourists and break-ins at tourist accommodations.

Take a stand against attacks on women

A march through Hamilton this week in protest of the growing number of violent and sexual attacks around the Island has been acknowledged by the Police.

Police probe the no-show court cops

Police Commissioner designate Jonathan Smith has launched an investigation into non-appearance of Police officers in court cases after Director of Public Prosecutions Khamisi Tokunbo and Acting Senior Magistrate Ed King slammed Police on Thursday for wasting court time.

"My officers (DPP staff) are constantly embarrassed by officers not turning up," said Mr. Tokunbo. The DPP suggested that Police are suffering from lack of discipline and said he had written senior officers about the no-show problem, but to no avail.

Mr. Tokunbo made the impromptu comments after Mr King denied the Crown an adjournment on a speeding case when Police officers failed to show up.

Mr. King said the problem of absentee Police witnesses was reaching "epidemic proportions".

Police responded yesterday that the service also finds non-appearance unacceptable "if the appropriate notification for their appearance has been given".

The Police response continued: "It is noted that the Acting Senior Magistrate commented that the problem seemed to be confined to `certain officers'. The Service clearly respects the role of the courts and will take necessary steps to ensure that those officers who are properly and adequately notified of their requirement to attend court, do so."

March 2001

Adding insult to injury
Bermuda, March 29, 2001

The father of murdered Canadian teenager Rebecca Middleton has accused Government of trying to sweep a report into serious crime under the carpet by repeatedly putting it off for debate.  David Middleton, whose 17-year-old daughter was brutally raped, tortured and murdered while on holiday in Bermuda, said he could not understand why a report written last September had still not been publicly discussed.

And he said it seemed as though Government was deliberately trying to put the whole issue off.

A Commission of Inquiry into the investigation and prosecution of serious crime on the Island was held throughout August of last year following an outcry over the handling of Rebecca's death. Both the Police and prosecutors involved, including the now Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Khamisi Tokunbo, were heavily criticised over their involvement.

However, throughout the inquiry, nobody accepted responsibility for any wrong-doing in the case, which has constantly been a source of annoyance to Becky's family.

He said the inquiry was held in August, and the 100-page report and 60 recommendations written in September. It was then handed out to the Attorney General's Chambers, Police, and the DPP in October, and finally released to the public at the very beginning of November.

"I don't think we got any answers out of the inquiry, anyway. It was deliberately set up so that nobody would delve too closely into Becky's death.  "As a result, we got no answers, nobody admitted responsibility, and many of the people involved are still in their jobs, some have even been promoted.

It was tabled some weeks ago by backbencher and former Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Perinchief, but has been repeatedly adjourned.

Earlier this year, Commissioner of Police Jean-Jacques Lemay said senior officers were studying the 42 recommendations made in the report regarding Police, and said he was waiting for an update.


Rumors run rife within the service.  On the one hand the suggestions are Mr Lemay is putting this off to leave it for his successor who will be able to claim a lack of knowledge or involvement.  On the other, some officers have expressed the concern there have been no disciplinary hearing.  To quote one: "if this had been an ex-pat Constable making a serious error, we'd have been on the carpet (the subject of a disciplinary hearing), one rule for officers, another for us"

Police continue investigation
Bermuda, March 22, 2001

Almost three months after cricket star Dean Minors was arrested at the Bermuda International Airport in connection with alleged drugs offences, Police have said the incident is "still under investigation".

Minors is Bermuda's national cricket team wicket keeper and has enjoyed a clean-cut image both on and off the field.  His arrest after arriving on a charter flight from Orlando, Florida caused widespread shock throughout the community.  Minors is employed as a physical education teacher at CedarBridge Academy, and was suspended on full pay following his arrest.

Handbag snatcher strikes again

March 1, 2001

A handbag snatcher was bashed with an umbrella on Front Street after his victim put up a fierce fight.  He grabbed her handbag was able to free the bag from her grip and flee east along Front Street.  The victim suffered some bruising to both thighs and abrasions to her knucklesThe stolen handbag contained cash, bank cards, a cell phone and other personal items.

Call for action against bag snatchers

February 27, 200: A Bermudian woman who escaped a mugger in Jamaica has called on Government here to get tough with bag-snatchers who prey on tourists.

Still trying to tackle the effects and not the causation.  When will Bermuda admit that they have a serious drug problem which their police are unable to combat with current training and resources?  Tourist season is coming, the opportunities to commit robbery increasing.  The euphemism 'bag snatcher' is used to give the impression this is an inconvenience; a petty crime.  The offence is robbery - theft with violence. Fortunately, to date, the force used has not caused serious physical injury, not much consolation to the victims who now have cause to fear Bermuda's formally safe streets.

Lethal `moonrocks' hit `big time'

February 2001

Comment: Bermudians have been experimenting with their drugs of choice (cannabis, cocaine and heroin) for years.  In 1986 crack took off and they were 'speed-balling' (injecting a mixture of cocaine and heroin) then also.  The current trend is just another means of taking the drugs; possibly increasing the demand for heroin given the bad press associated with injecting the suff which led to may deaths and AIDS related illnesses.  

Do note that crack is advertised at $50 a rock - STILL.  Accepting the rules of supply and demand, nothing has changed in the past 10 years - the price of crack remains the same!  And you really believe the police are 'working out how to combat the spread of the drug' - they've spent the last 20 years attempting to address the island's massive cocaine consumption without success.  What makes you or your police think this drug will be any easier to combat or that the police / government will show any greater interest in the matter?  Face it, you are plagued by complacency.  The drug in itself is not the problem, it is simply symbolic of your failure to realise that there are those who profit from your acceptance of the situation.  It doesn't hurt until it affects someone close by which time it id too late.  However, in Bermuda, one would expect every addiction or death to touch someone close - so why is the subject not foremost in everyone's minds and of greater concern?  Why do you not demand greater protection?  Bermuda may not have welcomed the drug menace but it appears they have accepted it; given in.  How every sad.

And is that 'Larry the wife beater' I se in charge of the Narcotics department - surely not the former 'head' of Somerset police station - stuck in the same rank for the past 10 or so years?  Do note that it has been around a while and the narcotics department do not even have a sample yet!  Really, what chance do you stand?

A potentially lethal drug cocktail which combines crack and heroin has hit Bermuda.

The Police Narcotics squad is now working out how to combat the spread of the drug known as "moonrocks" or "dope rocks" which is catching crack users unaware.  One user told The Royal Gazette that the drug had cropped up all over the Island with marble-sized rocks of crack mixed with heroin being sold for $50 a hit - the same price as crack.  He said: "It's very prevalent, it's as prevalent as crack cocaine. It's all you can get now.

"You are going to buy crack but they are not telling you. Everyone is getting duped. I don't think the dealers are aware they are selling it in many cases.  I don't know where it's come from and I don't know what they are trying to do but that's what's happening, that's what's here, it's hit big time. They are selling them at all the same places you normally buy drugs, Court Street, areas like that."

He said the dealers would lose out with the switch because the effects were so devastating that crack users would not be returning soon for another hit.

"I have tried it - the affects are different.  You don't get the usual rush you get with crack. You are waiting for a second and you realise it's not working and then the heroin takes over and it takes over big time.  All of a sudden you are sitting there stupid, thinking what's going on, what hit me? You are stuck for hours. The heroin takes over and it takes over big time. I have seen people pass out for hours. The high is just as if you had shot up.  I tried a very small piece. I would have thought it could not have done that to me but it did - and I have been smoking crack for 20 years.  I was in one spot for three hours."

He denied the new drug was creating more heroin addicts; instead it was just frustrating crack users and leading to violent confrontations. "It's getting hairy, people are getting hurt. They want their money back.  It took me a day and a half to get it out of my system. It's terrible.  I couldn't control it, I wasn't looking for it, I wasn't ready but I only had a small portion.  There are cases of people throwing up, having accidents, being irrational. Some end up just nodding, that's all they can do.  It started coming a couple of weeks ago - I don't know where it comes from. We have another epidemic."

Chief Inspector Larry Smith of the Narcotics Department said: "We learned yesterday there was some in the country.  It's a lethal combination, I can assure you. I have had a meeting with staff to discuss it and we are putting in some extra efforts to see if we can get a seizure. I am anxious to get hold of some of the stuff to see what we are looking at. We have not seen any ourselves. For those people not used to crack and heroin it's supposed to make them sick."

The Narcotics Department is now getting data on the drug from the Drug Enforcement Agency in the United States.  National Drug Agency Director Dr. Derrick Binns said: "This gives us concern. We are sorry to hear that this has now reached us."  He said both cocaine and heroin were dangerous enough already and the way the pair was combined with other chemicals could cause more, as yet unknown, side affects.

He warned: "You are playing with your life. You can overdose on heroin and it is not uncommon for cocaine users to have serious respiratory problems and heart failures. We have had that in Bermuda.  It's similar to speedballs - which were cocaine and heroin but crack has different properties to cocaine.  With crack one person became many people - something similar may happen with this."

He said it was important people knew about the new phenomenon so they could begin to tackle it.  One drug addict The Royal Gazette spoke to said moonrocks had taken off with the drug cartels in the US because they were doubly addictive.  He said the crack would cause a psychological addiction while the heroin would cause a physical addiction.  "If you have both of those you don't become an addict, you basically become a slave. It's insanity."  But he explained that crack addicts were attracted by the drug because the heroin allowed them to calm down after the initial crack high and helped combat intense paranoia, allowing them to disguise their habit.

"You get a rush from the crack and the heroin brings you down. If you work the next day, rather than looking at the ceiling all night you can get some sleep." 




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