Sunday, 6 July 2014

Are Bermudan authorities too harsh on cruise ship passengers?

Are Bermudan authorities too harsh on cruise ship passengers?

Bermuda has been criticised for operating "kangaroo courts" that penalise cruise ship passengers in possession of small amounts of illicit substances.
 
Jim Walker, a lawyer based in the US, said on his personal website that port authorities are punishing people for carrying minuscule amounts of drugs, including a 25-year-old US woman with two grammes of cannabis in her cabin.


 
The culprit – Chelsea Vega – was fined $500 (£293) and Mr Walker believes those carrying drugs are targeted because they are a potential source of revenue, while those who have committed more heinous crimes are largely ignored because they generate little in the way of profit.
 
He stated that raids by port authorities on docking ships are common place.
 
"They even request the ship security personnel to open up the safes in cabins," Mr Walker went on to add.
 
Despite calls from pressure groups, the Bermudan premier has ruled out decriminalising cannabis, however, he stated that a system of cautions may be introduced for those in possession of small quantities.