After receiving superb information from the cruise ship staff, the arrest of Mr Seney was a bonus for the narcotics squad who were having the best year of their existence; not only were seizures were up, quality seizures with prisoners had been acquired. To quote Superintendent Bissell, '1990 was the best year the narcotics unit had seen'. One only need read the Seney Debrief to understand what we had stumbled into and just what we prevented.
The arrest of Paul occurred after I was informed by the Commissioner of Police Clive Donald, in front of George Jackson, that I was no longer to attend the narcotics office and had been 'returned to uniform'. I claim none of the kudos associated with his arrest.
Paul agreed to undertake a controlled delivery of the cocaine he had imported.
A 'controlled delivery' is nothing more than a supervised delivery of packages containing a sample of the imported drug. The idea is that the importer is encouraged to meet with his Bermuda contact enabling the police to identify who is behind the importation in Bermuda. There is generally no promise of immunity, the best officers can do is inform people like Paul that their assistance will be bought to the Court's attention. Faced with little alternative, many will deliver.
But what if the delivery goes wrong? What if the drug is disposed of by the importer or the person who whom he hands it gets away? To get around this, we would make up dummy packages that contain a small quantity of cocaine from the imported product. Note: following a recent ruling, this is no longer permitted - you have to deliver the entire quantity imported.
Having dispensed with my services from the narcotics department, there was a shortage of capable personnel. On the night that Seney was to make the controlled delivery, there were few officers available. I received a call from George Jackson, the then detective inspector effectively in charge of narcotics. A message was left on my answer phone; I was asked to attend the department and assist.
You have to be joking; only a few days before I had been told by the Commissioner of Police, in front of George, that I was not to become involved in narcotics cases and here was George ignoring this order and requesting my presence. What a ridiculous request that I provide support in respect of a case which, to that point, I was uninvolved with. What did George think he was doing? He was effectively ensuring that I would become involved in another importation case and be required to return to the island later and give evidence. He was certainly ignoring the Commissioner's order.
I did not attend but only because I did not receive the message until the following morning, when I recovered from my evening of clubbing. But what of the controlled delivery ...?
It went ahead; Paul Seney did his bit, he delivered the packages to the Lighthouse where he was to meet his contact. The police were keeping a particularly close eye on him for one very good reason:
The police watched as Paul handed over the cocaine to Dexter Dillas. Then the police pounced ... or should have! Dexter and the package left the area but the police failed to stop him; George's operation was a mess and whilst officers gave chase, Dexter eluded them.
The events of the evening evolved into what would be best be described as a 'cluster-fuck' (where everything becomes screwed up). Unbeknown to the police, after taking the package, Dexter became ware of the police presence and promptly dumped the package believing that it was the usual dummy containing only a small sample of cocaine. When clear of the police, Dexter tossed the package onto a golf course and made off.
The nights events came to a conclusion; Seney was in custody for importing a package that had disappeared. Dexter had not only evaded arrest, the police had facilitated his receipt of the cocaine. The following day you can imagine the fury. Needless to say George vented his frustrations in his bombastic style. Apparently, I was partly to blame for failing to attend the office, an act that George believed to be intentional on my part. I suggested he prove it and pointed out that he was at liberty to make a forma complaint hand have me investigated for 'dereliction of duty' or similar. I could not resist adding that I thought the rank of Commissioner was senior or that of inspector; was he suggesting I should act other than in accordance with the Commissioner's order? The conversation concluded with my suggesting that he report himself for an attempt to breach the COP's order and a reassurance that I would not raise the subject with the COP; we UK officers live by a different code - we don't shaft our colleagues and can be trusted.
Living a charmed life (as evidenced by his promotions) George was fortunate; the package discarded by Dexter was handed in by a golfer.
Dexter was later arrested and charged. He was represented by Julian Hall and the trail appeared to be going in his favour until he began bragging about his exploits in his prison cell. One industrious co-prisoner recorded the conversation and presented this to the police. Rather than have the tape transcript played in Court, Dexter (or was it his barrister?) changed plea and was sentenced to a term of 18 years in prison.
The tape transcript appears here: February 1993
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