Cruise Ships


Jan 2002

Cruise ships

Following the arrest of Antonio Miranda and the seizure of cocaine it became apparent that the island was absorbing great quantities of cocaine.  That so much was being supplied by one source came as a surprise.  We received considerable assistance from the cruise ship staff (security) who, we were later advised, were former Mosad.

The cruise ship security staff were extremely helpful ...

In brief, if the security staff had suspicions about a passenger the security staff undertook their own investigations.  Security staff would be aware that passengers would be away from their cabins during, for example, meal times.  This provided an ideal opportunity for the security staff to search cabins and this is apparently what happened on two occasions (before I left the island).

The first person to be arrested following a tip-off from the cruise ship security staff was Victor Alongi (now deceased) and his associate.

Victor had approximately 1 kilo of cocaine on him and was remanded in custody.  I interviewed him but he was unwilling to divulge any information about the source or intend recipient.  He subsequently served a number of years in a Bermuda prison but was released following ill health; AIDS resulted in his death.

His associate, a younger male, was released; Bermuda accepted that his involvement was minimal although this was subsequently contradicted.

The arrest of Victor Alongi caused much concern in the narcotics office.  During a conversation with Detective Inspector Jackson, a row developed about the fingerprinting of the drug in its packaging.  I expressed a desire to obtain elimination fingerprints from the cruise ship security staff, believing they may have handled the drug if (as advised) they had found it in the cabin.  

DI Jackson argued that if the involvement of cruise ship staff was mentioned the defence (for Victor) could argue that the drugs were planted.  It was a reasonable argument; if you were a member of security on a cruise ship and if you were involved in the importation of cocaine, how easy it would be to 'toss Bermuda narcotics a bone'.  Once Victor was arrested, the narcotics department had their hands full - a large seizure, with prisoner - the department would be celebrating and preparing the case.  In the meantime, others would be relatively free to distribute larger quantities.

The question of fingerprinting caused an argument between the DI and I.  Fortunately, Victor entered a plea of guilty and the source of our information has never before been disclosed.

Philip Seney was the next to fall to the cruise ship staff supplying us information.  Arrested for importation of cocaine, he decided to talk and in addition to supplying information about the drug importation network, admitted supplying the gun he believed killed Harry Owens.  Harry was said to have murdered his sister, the person the cocaine importers believed to be the informant who gave us the Miranda etc. arrests.




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