Cruise Ship Passengers Found With Ammo

June 11, 2011

[Updated] Two American tourists were detained this morning [June 11] after being found with 40 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Officials said as they determined the cruise ship visitors “inadvertently carried” the ammunition to Bermuda, they will not file charges.

The tourists, a 26 year old man and a 29 year old female, were released from custody and departed the island this afternoon.

The full Police statement follows below:

About 8:45 am today two U.S. citizens travelling together on a visiting ship were arrested at the cruise ship terminal in Dockyard after they were found to be carrying 40 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

A 26 year old man and his 29 year old female companion were searched by ship’s security officers as they returned aboard the ship when the ammunition was found in the man’s bag, and the police were called.

The Bermuda Police Service carried out a full investigation and has determined that the ammunition was inadvertently carried to Bermuda.

The man had previously used the bag to lawfully carry ammunition to a shooting range in the U.S. He did not empty the bag before travelling to Bermuda and was unaware he was carrying any ammunition.

The police have consulted with the DPP’s office and they are satisfied that no charges will be laid in this case.

Their decision is guided by a recent ruling in the Supreme Court on appeal that charges for these offences need more than evidence of just physical possession: it must also be proved that the person was aware of what they were carrying and that they did so with a criminal intent. That is not the case in this matter.

Both persons were released from custody without charge, and they departed the island this afternoon. The ammunition was retained by Police and will be destroyed in due course.

Update June 13: Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief is “working closely with Government House” with respect to the issues surrounding the seizure of ammunition at Dockyard on Saturday. “These matters fall within the Governor’s remit and I will be writing to him formally very shortly. “the Minister said.

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Comments (56)

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  1. Great...JUST Great! says:

    ok so why is this up again if no files where charged?

    • Bob the Builder says:

      to show people that even if a tourist comes on the island with medicinal weed from their doctor in california that there was intent….hmmmmm

  2. Applying for green card says:

    When are we going to get serious? When are we going to stop accepting the ignorance defence as a legit one? 40 rounds? wtf? And we let them go just like that?…..taking into consideration the improved shooting abilities of our new-age, wanksters, 40 rounds would have probably claimed 10 more lives. We get all rough and toughwith the old medical marijuana woman carrying a legit prescription but let slip through our grasp, a couple carrying 40 rounds of pure death. I mean they both plead ignorance to our laws. This case stinks of BS!

  3. Fool me once says:

    Am I reading this right? The man, woman and bag were returning to the ship from a day ashore in Bermuda. This should be ringing alarm bells. It was ashore. It doesn’t matter if in this case the man brought it on the cruise “inadvertently” or not. It’s the sentence, “were searched by ship’s security officers as they returned aboard the ship” this is the scary part that Bermuda Customs did not find the ammo BEFORE they came ashore. It came ashore undetected and was only found by the ship’s security people after the ammo spent the day in Bermuda. Really shocking!

  4. no you did not read the story right….it starts with :About 0845 am today… The ship arrived in BDA after 8am today…they did not spend the day in Bermuda!!!

    As for Bermuda Customs comment….have you ever been on a cruise..Bda, USA, UK…NO Customs do 100% passenger screening coming off a ship…the boat was here for 10 hours…do the maths..2000 plus passenger screenings at 5 minutes per passenger.

    • Real Talk 4 real says:

      why be so defensive of customs? They screwed up on this one they are only part of the problem the real issue is a major mistake was made from different sources of security check points and needs to be fully investigated to help from it not happening again

  5. College Graduate says:

    What a horrible system we live in

  6. Me says:

    So medical marijuana granny gets a month in jail and bullet carrying couple get off? SMH

  7. Will says:

    so have non lethal substance(weed) which hasn’t killed anyone ever and get prison time…bring ammunition and get let off….WTF Bermuda your justice system is wayyyyyy too messed up

  8. itsme says:

    The fact that this ammo made it unto the ship in the first place, is what bothers me. I have been on many cruises and from what i remember every piece of luggage included carry-on bags pass through x-ray machines. The BPS should be asking for an investigation of how the ammo made it unto the ship in the first instance.
    Not so long ago, we had several tourists arrive by plane with weapons. So how is it that they made it through TSA. Thats the question we should be asking. Let’s be thankful that why they were touring Bermuda that they didnt get robbed, thus unknowningly contributing to out gun crime.

  9. Kathy says:

    They found 40 rounds suppose they had more. May have sold some before getting back on the ship. Oh well.

    • Real Talk 4 real says:

      Exactly! Just when there seems to be some progress being made on gun crime The bps and dpp show they still have a long way to go in thier thinking

      • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

        “One step foward,two steps backwards”

  10. Ring Master says:

    Looking at another angle, Bermuda Customs find it by searching passengers coming back on board in Bermuda – so how did it get past US Customs when the passengers boarded there?? This is not the first time firearms and ammunition have been brought into Bermuda after apparently eluded screening in the US, and found by Bermuda Customs. This is a serious breach of US security procedures and needs to be addressed.

  11. F*CKERY IN BDA says:


    • sure ...right ... says:

      I’m no gun expert but I can’t think of any state in the US where guns (which happen to need bullets) are illegal. So I highly doubt you’d be busted for having a bullet.

      As for the weed issue … why does it seem that it’s getting woven into every thread on Bernews now ? No matter what the topic it ends up getting thrown off by people still whining that herb isn’t legal ..

      Enough ! ! ! Just grow up .

  12. Terry says:

    Load of bollocks.

    Like the song says…”It an’t heavy….he’s my ammo”.

    “Honey, why’s my bag so heavy..I mean I only got the camera and two bottles of water and ……”

  13. Liars says:

    ……@f*ckery…learn how to spell or go back to school!

    • bermyshotta says:

      @ Liars – jump off a bridge bra…who cares. you still got de msg!!

  14. Real Talk 4 real says:

    Two scenarios First is the story above is true second this was a well planned excuse in case they got caught(criminals who think outside the box or have experience do this)and this was a delivery the 40 rounds was what wasn’t purchased judging by reports by the media 9mm guns are the most popular guns not only being used but found on the island how dumb could the bps and dpp have been on this one sorry but I have to keep real I am hoping the first scenario is true maybe the real suit and tie gansters can explain why the couple weren’t even held longer people get held longer by he police for much less

  15. smfh says:

    I agree with “f#ckery in bda”., this system is f**ked right up! only bermuda i tell you!

  16. Observer says:

    Take a chill pill, people!

    As a source close to this whole thing, I can attest to the fact that while this sounds horrible, that this was all just an innocent mistake. The Police and Customs aren’t stupid (despite what you all think). These two were arrested and detained for hours-they weren’t just asked a few questions and let go!

    Stop thinking like Bermudians for a second. First of all, if these individuals did bring in ammunition for someoneone in Bermuda, why would they be taking it back with them on the ship on the day the ship was set to depart? Secondly, the male was a member of a shooting club in the U.S.-all legit where he lived. He stored the ammunition in a bag and forgot about it. How many times have any of us placed things in a side compartment of a bag and forgot it was there? It was just part of his routine and he didn’t give it a thought when he packed the same bag for his trip.

    These people were genuinely horrified when they realized what had happened. Think about it-bullets are cheap in the U.S. If this guy intended to meet up with someone to sell them the bullets and the meeting didn’t take place, why take them back through security on the ship? They would have just dumped them somewhere before re-boarding.

    As I said, the Police aren’t stupid. They checked all this stuff out including the fact that this guy was a member of a shooting club. Police can tell when someone’s b-s’ing and when they’re not. From these two’s reactions, if they really were guilty then they deserve an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and every other award out there for their acting skills in proclaiming their innocence and explaining what happened.

    It really was just an innocent mistake. It made no sense to spend taxpayer money on keeping these two here and locking them up over an innocent mistake that could have happened to anyone (forgetfulness).

    (How they got through all the security checkpoints before getting here is another story…)

    • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

      “Stop thinking like Bermudians for a second” That statement speaks volumes!

    • College Graduate says:

      mistake, slip of memory, IGNORANCE…the law is the law…i’m sure the lady who had medical marijuana feels she made an innocent mistake

      This is MY Country and under the laws in MY country these two should be charged especially will all the gun crime going on.

      I’m going to go roll up cause s%$ts crazy right now

      Legalize it

      • Observer says:

        There is a difference between this and the medical marijuana lady. She knew what she was doing and thought she could get away with it. She knew that the laws in her country would not be valid in other countries but was arrogant enough to do what she did anyway.

        I say to stop thinking like Bermudians because as Bermudians we are used to weapons and ammo being illegal. In the U.S. you can easily go and get a permit for a weapon. I don’t know about now, but at one point you could go to the local WalMart and buy ammo! You can go to Outdoor World and buy all the weapons and ammo you want.

        In many places having tons of weapons is the norm-especially if you live in a place that’s big on hunting. Then there are people like this guy who shoot for recreational reasons-something that is perfectly normal for him. It was perfectly normal for him to load up his bag for a fun day at the shooting range, then clear this same bag for a vacation but miss a box of bullets. What person would take the chance of going off on vacay with bullets in their bag knowing it could be searched at any moment?

        You people didn’t witness ANY of this or speak to ANY of the people involved so you can’t pass judgement. People much smarter than you and higher up in the judical scale than any of you are even close to had a look at this and believed that it was a genuine mistake. Case closed-get over it.

        BTW-I personally once innocently had an item in my carry-on luggage that could be deemed to be a weapon. I temporarily placed it in my bag at the hotel and forgot about it. Somehow, for reasons I don’t understand, TSA totally missed it and I didn’t realize my mistake until I got back to Bermuda. If I had been caught, I would have been out there on the wrong side of the law pleading my innocence and hoping I was believed. This stuff can happen to anyone.

    • Unreal says:

      “Opinions” – They clearly thought that been they got through the first time when boarding the ship that they would be fine a second time. They probably had more rounds and got rid of some but not all that was planned. That story was a perfect cover up for the truth (well prepared if caught by the law). Either way let a local get caught and we would go down, no story would help us get free, and the airport customs would provide a whole different outcome. So take your cop loving self and think normally, I suppose you spoke with the tourists directly and fell for their “innocence”!

    • Real Talk 4 real says:

      you are talking like a cop/customs officer/prosecuter looking to justify this dumbness the law is the law no matter how you or anybody else put it and for wasting tax payers dollars my thought on that is please

      • Rockfish#1 says:

        @ Observer
        Do not assume that you are the only person person in Bermuda who ” is close to this whole thing” You are not!!
        You are either repeating something that you heard,making excuses for incompetence, or simply defending someone who was involved.

    • Real Talk 4 real says:

      take your head out of the sand

      • Observer says:

        It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that many Bermudians have the IQ of a turnip. Unless you actually WORK in law enforcement and HAVE ALL THE FACTS then you cannot make a full assessment with just the bare facts laid out by the media.

        If someone is going to smuggle anything into a foreign country you aren’t going to bring your fiancee, her parents and other relatives with you as was the case here. These were clearly folks on a family vacation-that’s for starters.

        Secondly, there are FORENSIC WAYS of tracing these people’s movements before their arrest. If these people were going to meet up with their ‘contact’ here they would have gotten in touch with them, now wouldn’t they? There was NO evidence at all that these people contacted or even knew anyone in Bermuda-ALL THAT WAS CHECKED! They knew no-one here and did not attempt to make contact with anyone here. THINK ABOUT IT-these people made ZERO contact with anyone in Bermuda so how was this ‘meeting’ going to go down to pass off the ammo? Also-what, were they planning on taking their whole extended family with them when they did it? OH, PUH-LEEZE.

        As for people talking about ‘cop lovers’ or badmouthing law enforcement agents: let YOU or YOUR LOVED ONES be the one in need of assistance from the Police. You won’t be badmouthing them then, now will you…your fingers will be dialing 911 in a heartbeat. So before you smack talk cops, just think about THAT!

        • Organic Bermudian says:

          Observer? Still there is no need to judge the mentality of a group of people by claiming the are DUMB What does that make you?? Yes, some people spout off from the mouth based on information they recieve and are not privy to the INVESTIGATION of the person in question, however you offend more people judging them then you do explaining! Try not getting so emotional about how others feel regarding information they recieve!! One day you WILL be ACCOUNTABLE for YOUR BELIEFS of US – BERMUDIANS!! YOU and the OTHERS who think like you!

          • Notorious says:

            Well Observer obviously knows what he or she is talking about, what he or she said makes a lot of sense(even though the couple getting off I don’t agree with- others don’t get a chance over a mistake) and people on here who don’t have a clue will still argue with Observer so I don’t blame them. Get over the name calling thing, Observer wasn’t the only one who did it. You all see what you want to see and jump on certain people and not others.

    • Dog Lover says:

      You’re wasting your breathe. These people dont want to listen to reason. No matter how much sense you’re making. Either way they are GONE, so they will ALL have to get over it, like they get over EVERYTHING else! Let them make their comments cause by Tuesday everyone would have forgottten about them and moved on to the next topic they dont agree with. Why dont these people every trust that maybe Customs and Police may actually know what theyre doing and trust their decision. Did you people ever think that Bernews doesnt have all the facts??

  17. bda for life says:

    Its amazing that the police and dpp fell for that bullshape story…then again its not suprising!

    • Rockfish#1 says:

      Why would anyone be surprised? The criminal element make a point of keeping a few steps ahead of law enforcement,and this may have been a trial run!
      There are more questions than answers here.

  18. Bernews observer says:

    I’m a bit confused “…were searched by ship’s security officers as they returned aboard the ship…” How can they return aboard if they were not off ship in the first place. And when traveling, who doesn’t look through their luggage before repacking for another trip, especially one outside the country. Do cruise passengers go through a metal detector when coming back aboard during stops, or was this ammo found after only a cursory search? There are a lot of questions here but it seems as likely to me that they were bringing ammo in, planning to meet up with someone on island who perhaps didn’t make the meeting point and had to take it back aboard with them.

    • The truth says:

      This is a theory I put to my wife, the meeting point never came to be, and so they had to bring it back on? I mean it’s total speculation on our parts….but very odd. Why weren’t they caught with the first time they got on the boat??

  19. Terry says:

    Yah cunfppzed….Me two……If they did’nt leave the ship……Um ewan more cunfoozed.

    I think it’s the reporting.

    .you wants bullets..ask the guys that paint the hulls of container ships…..ann a freee gahun two………

    I need a rum…..

  20. Notorious says:

    What type of BS is this?

    “it must also be proved that the person was aware of what they were carrying and that they did so with a criminal intent. That is not the case in this matter.”

    How do they know this? So they know it was a mistake because they told them so? And the aware part, how are you NOT aware of what you are carrying on an overseas trip?I know EVERYTHING that I take overseas.

    Do they CARE about whether a person is aware any other time? How many people have been caught with a small amount of marijuana and said they forgot they had it on them coming into Bermuda? A LOT! What is really going on? I agree with that other person who commented we would not get off if we did that in the United States. These tourists like to play dumb like they don’t know the laws here! A simple google search would tell them guns are illegal and no shooting ranges are here. Why would an American tourist come to Bermuda to shoot off guns when they can do it ANYWHERE in their own country anyway? So because he’s a member at a shooting range that means he couldn’t possibly have been attempting to sell the bullets? I mean with all the shooting lately how much of a stretch is that to believe? This is unbelievable and pure BS. Why do they get a break when others don’t?

    • Rockfish#1 says:

      Minister Perinchief stated that the BPS know that Bermudians fire weapons on ranges in the US.
      Is it too much of a stretch to think they make friends/deals while there?

    • Observer says:

      Trust me-these guys were no geniuses..we’re not talking Bonnie & Clyde material here-I don’t think they even had the capability to set up the types of operation you all think they did. In life some people are just absent-minded bubbleheads…why should the Bermudian taxpayer then pay to keep them here just to ‘teach them a lesson?’

      Bottom line is they’re gone. If they had gone to court the judge would have just dismissed the case based on the facts, anyway. Prosecutions clearly felt they had nothing to go on or they would have had them in court in a heartbeat.

      AGAIN-you don’t have the facts,and these people are gone so GET OVER IT!

      • Dog Lover says:


      • Notorious says:

        @observer I’m sure they weren’t but I don’t agree with them getting off. The law is the law. I didn’t know they had special laws for mistakes and forgetfulness. I wonder who the couple was related to. Friends or family in high places I assume.

        • FYI--read Observer's piece again says:

          @Notorius as quoted by Observer (just a few snippets)

          “If they had gone to court the judge would have just dismissed the case based on the facts, anyway. Prosecutions clearly felt they had nothing to go on or they would have had them in court in a heartbeat.”

          The police and customs did their job. They apprehended the suspects, questioned them and PROSECUTIONS did not have anything to go on. High place or not, seems like it may have been a waste of time and costly Bermudians.

          “….you cannot make a full assessment with just the bare facts laid out by the media.” Ditto on those assesments.

          HOWEVER, I do believe (and as a former Immigration worker) I strongly believe this if American visitors arrive in countries where there is an American consulate and are arrested for any type of crime (whether charges are dropped or not) the American embassies need to enforce tougher penalites against their own citizens before dishing out stoplist passes to Bermudians for what maybe deemed in their countries as a misdemeanor offence. Greater transparency between the BPS and the American Embassy needs to be forged in order to sift out many of the issues stemming from antiquated laws.

      • Terry says:

        But they will be back. No stopping them.

  21. YES MATE! says:

    “Seriously officer, I didn’t know i had all this crack in my bag!”
    These guys worked our so-called police service real good! Last I checked ignorance and forgetfulness is no excuse. Forty rounds of 9mm weighs about a pound. How can you pick up a bag with a pound of metal in it and not notice it?
    “Honey we can sell some bullets to our connection in Bermuda and what we don’t sell there we can sell in our next port. Free vacay!”
    “I didn’t know I was drunk ossifer”
    “Okay. No problem. Off you go.”


      @YES MATE as quoted by Observer & official BPS statement(just a few snippets)

      “The police have consulted with the DPP’s office and they are satisfied that no charges will be laid in this case.”

      Their (referring to DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS) decision is guided by a recent ruling in the Supreme Court on appeal that charges for these offences need more than evidence of just physical possession: it must also be proved that the person was aware of what they were carrying and that they did so with a criminal intent. That is not the case in this matter.

      So, whilst so many are blaming the BPS and Customs about enforcing the law, it is rather transparent that they did what was required ie., detaining the suspects, questioning them and releasing them as per instructions from DPP. And not directly at YES MATE, but there are a number of comments that boast the LAW is the LAW. The LAWMAKERS (Lawyers, DPP, Etc.) made the decision not to pursue, so, the issue that many are so quick to highlight should really beg to question:

      Under what provisions of the law does it enable the DPP to pick, choose and refuse what cases to consider?

  22. Ring Master says:

    What this confirms is that it is OK to bring in firearms, empty, or ammunition without a firearm, but not together. If you’re caught there is no criminal intent as a firearm needs ammunition and vice versa. Plead forgetfullness and you’re free to go. If you’re not caught, in comes weapons and ammunition.
    Now tell me the law is not an ass.

  23. Geza says:

    hahaha this priceless. Good thing they didn’t have cannabis, then there would have been a problem.

  24. The truth says:

    I’m at a loss here. A 55 year old woman brings Marijuana into the island, on a doctor’s note, and is jailed and fined. Ok, the law is the law.

    So why does someone get off because they ‘accidentally’ brought 40 rounds of ammo in. I’ve seen plenty of times where someone claimed to ‘mistakenly’ bring in Marijuana, and been prosecuted. The thing is, the Americans in this case ‘should’ have been questioned when the left the U.S ” Are you aware of your bags contents at this time”……” Did you pack your bags”…..”Did you leave your bags unattended while traveling”…… If he/she answered yes to being aware of the contents then, then they have accepted responsibility for what’s in his bag.

    I don’t understand this at all… and this is exactly why people saw the law doesn’t make sense. Now you’ve set a bad precedent….so the next time a person ‘accidentally’ brings Marijuana in, they get off, right????

  25. Emeka47 says:

    The Laws of Bermuda are either skewed or there is something wrong with the Police and Politicians!! I am more sceptical concerning this case.

    We have all sorts of gun crime being committed in Bermuda. Why were these person not caught with this ammunition when the boarded the cruise ship when they sailed to Bermuda? Why is it not plausible that therse two persons were paid to take this ammunition out of Bermuda. Unlike the US authorities, if you are caught with drugs, weapons and other illegal items, you cannot travel to the USA, and possibly thrown into their prison system. But in this Island, a foreigner can say “I didn’t know ” and the Law says, “that’s ok, go free! When you pack for travelling, you check your luggage first! People must laugh at our Judicial system. This has happened many times before.

    If I borrowed a suitcase and was caught with weapons or drugs in Bermuda, I’d be in jail!!! We’ve heard this same excuse with Bermudians or nationals from other third-world countries being used unaware as couriers of drugs or weapons. They are in Westgate! Where is the justice for Bermudians.

    Two Laws always seem to play out in this Country, (the WHO YOU ARE OR KNOW, and THE NOBODY of IMPORTANCE!) If you think that we as Bermudians are willing to offer up information to resolve our crimes, while foreigners go free….THINK AGAIN!

  26. The truth says:

    On reflection I have to agree with Observer above to a degree…. we don’t have all the facts. But this is just a very peculiar situation, to say the least.

    • YES MATE! says:

      Fact – They were caught with 40 bullets
      Fact – Possession of bullets is illegal in Bermuda unless you have a license issued by the Bermuda Government.
      Fact – They don’t have a license issued by the Bermuda Government to lawfully possess bullets.

      How much more fact do you need?

      • the truth says:

        If you read my above post, I’m highly suspicious of the entire thing. I’ve simply chosen not to jump to immediate conclusion. But my gut instinct is I smell a rat.

  27. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Bermudians are SPACIAL PEOPLE!!!WERY SPACIAL!!!!!!