GENERAL- OPERATIONAL - SPECIFIC - COURIER SERVICE (INCIDENT INVOLVING CUBAN CUS

Created: 5/28/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM , RELEASEAS SANITIZED

m REGISTERSHO.

(Specify Air or

RXBAT/SI CLASfarfcATTOH -

568

4

DATE.

TO pbsuccess, Headquarters

from 4

eneral Operational SUBJECT(spectfic Courier Service

(Incident involving Cuban Customsay SUJ

OnU, Mr.vas debriefed with regard to the incident surrounding the: opening of the sherwood tapes by the Cuban Customs onU,

L tated that he had departed Miami, Florida,. onayPiA. Flight UO enroute to El Salvador via Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival ^Havana at approxiBatolyll passengers deplaned during the usual thirty.minute, layover. He deplaned with the other passengers and passed through one custom check-pointmall area and then througharger area. The other passengers then went on through this second room into the lunch fountain, leaving their bags in the second room. One of the customs men toldt o leave his-bags and go on with the other passengers.

c old him he would just wait where he was as he desired nothing to eat or drinK. The customs man told him to go on into the.fountain area and started to take the bags^to hold unti} his return. L ^'having been briefed to hold on to the bags, did so and- walked to the .other end of the room away from the customs official. This official' evidently became ^suspicious, got three other customs officials and approached!, . They demanded to know the contents of the bags, which were paa passenger-bags with zipper' tops. C Jtold them they were recording tapesotion picture company waking film In Central America. They insisted that the bagsened for inspection. They opened one bag and unwrapped one package of tapes. .They-appeared disappointed that zhe package actually contained taoe. One of thevcuGtomii officials wet his finger, touched the tapes and then tasted it, evidently.foritho.purpose of checking on narcotics. They did not bother to open the other bag or check the tapes carefully. They made no notes nor evidenced any interest in the topes.

ontinued on Flight Ui3 to Salvador where he had about await, but nor difficulty with customs. Be then boarded Flight L J over an bour.late, and arrived at .

. '" pn arrival ir. f t was raining and tha Steward on the airplane tolo J, lhe could not deplane. Only persons stopping.ir ould alight

YBAT/SE8ff^

Page 2

from tho plane. C J brushed by tho Steward with tho remark that hestretch his le^s. At the bottom of tho stops thereuardblocked L ay with an umbrella, fc ^attempted to oass thothererief argument. At tliis timeirocoodod

out on the field andL ote which statoaCaetaio isyou, please follow t he guard dosiated in his attempts to to the guard that it would be all right

for i Jto go into the airport.that he then met CASTILLO

ickup truck just outside the airport and the PAA flight bags were switched.

5. Corrective action will be taken in the future to prevent thesuch an incident. The courier will be instructed to bo the last personthe plane at Havana and will leavo his PAA flight bag under thofor him. This bag will be inconspicuously sealed to preventand also for the purpose of dotocting whether or not it haswith during the courier's absence. The courier will then be* sure tothe foesseneers to return to tho plane. Arrangements are beingnavtinsure that tho- courier is called off tho plane "to

ersonal message in the

WILLIAK.O.

- wash

$h

C

PBSUCCffiS/RyjmT/SB(&r

Original document.

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