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American fined $16,000 for attempted bribery

A New Jersey man was fined $16,000 after he offered to pay off a customs officer who found drugs on him.

Paul Rodrigues, who is understood to be a prison guard in the United States, admitted having a quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient of cannabis, destroying evidence and attempting to bribe a customs officer in Magistrates’ Court on June 28.

The cruise ship passenger was arrested on June 26 in Sandys after the drugs were discovered.

The court heard that Rodrigues asked a temporary customs officer to discard the drugs found on him, and said: “I’ll even splash you some cash.”

He was also able to destroy a quantity of “lemon lightning” vaporiser cartridges by pulling them from a sealed evidence bag and flushing them down the toilet.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe fined Rodrigues $10,000 for attempting to bribe a customs officer and another $5,000 for his attempt to destroy evidence.

He additionally was fined $1,000 for the importation of a controlled drug.

Mr Wolffe ordered Rodrigues to pay the full fine before he is able to leave the island.

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