The 17-year-old girl who was subjected on Sunday to a cavity search for drugs at the Eugene F Correia International Airport (EFCIA) at Ogle has broken her silence and says that her family is currently seeking legal advice.
Speaking to Stabroek News from Barbados a day after the incident, the teenager described the search as the most traumatic experience in her life. “It was embarrassing and humiliating for me because everybody was watching after I came out of the room. I felt uncomfortable,” she said.
According to the 17-year-old, the bags of all the passengers for the flight were searched but she was the only who was singled out for a cavity search.
The teen said she was informed by the officer that she had to do a strip search and was directed to a room.
“When I went into the room I started to take off my clothes because she said it was a strip search. I stayed in my underwear. The officer came in the room and told me to take it off. She then told me to squat and cough three times I did that and she took her finger and inserted it into my private parts,” the teen said.
During the search, the teen explained she was told by the officer that if anything was found she would be taken to the doctor. However, after nothing was found she was told she could put back on her clothes.
The teen said that during the search she felt uncomfortable and was surprised at the search as she is a frequent traveler.
Asked if she could say which security agency the officer was from, she responded in the negative. “I cannot remember what she was wearing but she had on a jeans and top, she was not wearing a uniform,” she explained.
“In the line she introduced herself but I didn’t focus on her name or where she was working because I never expected this. She also told me that she was doing a drug search because she suspected I was taking illegal drugs with me,” the teen noted.
She added that although the search was completed, the officer still held on to her documents and only handed it over to her when a fellow colleague told her to.
The teen said she did not report the search to anyone in authority in Guyana but immediately informed her aunt who picked her up at the airport in Barbados.
The young woman said she is seeking a public apology from the agency and the officer and she would not allow the matter to go away as she believes “it should never happen again to any woman…”
Meanwhile, the aunt of the teen told Stabroek News she has signed up her niece for counselling. “This has been a very traumatic experience not only for her but the family. When she told me I screamed at the airport and cried because I never believed this would have happened,” the aunt said.
“We don’t want this to happen again and so we are seeking legal advice… we need to be treated like humans and I am ashamed this happened in Guyana my home country,” she declared.