The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has completed its investigation into allegations that a policewoman submitted a 17-year-old girl to a cavity search at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport last February.
A report on the OPR’s findings is likely to be submitted this week to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The Force has acknowledged that a female rank from the Force’s Narcotics Branch searched the 17-year-old at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport. At the time, the teen was an outgoing passenger to Barbados.
The release by the Force stated that the female rank denied conducting a cavity search of the passenger.
But the rank has reportedly admitted to ordering the teen to remove her clothing.
But the girl’s aunt, Winifred Morris, insisted that her niece said that the rank had inserted a finger in her vagina. She also said that her niece’s luggage was searched and she was ordered to ‘strip naked ‘ and ‘squat’ in a room.
In a telephone interview from Barbados, the teen told Kaieteur News that she arrived at the airport around 04:00 hrs.
She alleged that just after her luggage was scanned, “a fat woman with lipstick” in “a blue top and jeans” approached her.
“She told me that she has to check my bag; she emptied out my suitcase and tried to bend it. She say she checking to see if I carrying any illegal drugs.”
According to the teen, after emptying the suitcase, the woman indicated that she had to do “one more thing.”
She alleged that the woman then escorted her to a room, and told her to remove her clothing.
“I started to take off my top and pants and she told me to take off my bra and lift my breasts.”
She was then told to remove her underwear and ‘squat’ and ‘cough’, while the woman “came close and watched my privates.”
The door was partly open when she was being subjected to the search, and a man was just outside, the girl claimed.
“Afterwards, she told me to hurry and put on back my clothes because she got other people waiting. After I went to Immigration, she came and took my passport and took down the information on it, and the address where I would be staying in Barbados.”
Expressing her feeling of humiliation, the teen said: “I feel really bad because I had to stand up naked before this person that I don’t know.”
Mrs. Morris, who said she has lived in Barbados for over 19 years, said she has contacted an attorney with a view to taking legal action.
“We are taking legal action; whatever has to be done will be done. We are not backing down.
“My niece feels so humiliated. I picked her up at the (Sir. Grantley Adams) Airport and she was in tears. She cannot enjoy her vacation.”
The woman said she was not surprised that the rank had denied carrying out the cavity search on her niece.”No one will admit to fondling a 17-year-old girl.”
Relating her own experiences travelling through the Eugene F. Correia International Airport (formerly Ogle International), she alleged that the airport “has some of the most unfriendly people, and we need to do something about this.
“I am a registered nurse and midwife, and I have worked at all the hospitals in Guyana. I have never been in trouble with the law.”
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