US Customs and Border Protection is coming under fire as an investigation is underway regarding CBP agents who “went wild,” with Newark-based employees reportedly committing acts of hazing unto their own that allegedly got to the level of sexual assault.
The investigation involves the duct-taping of victims to a table known as the “rape table,” which is located in a secured room of the New Jersey-based Newark International Airport.
Several CBP officers of the Passenger Enforcement Roving Team prompted an investigation after reporting what had happened to them.
“I’m afraid for my life, my safety,” CBP officer Diana Cifuentes said of her treatment. “This is terrorizing. How is it that officers believe they’re free to do whatever they want to do?”
Cifuentes and CBP officer Vito Degironimo are but two of the CBP agents who were assaulted in a conference room at the airport’s C terminal.
“Hazing wouldn’t do this justice. This is complete assault. They take you in a room and your fellow officers are all watching as officers grab you,” said Degironimo.
The officers are placed on the “rape table”- though clothing is never removed, the genital areas of victims are grinded and touched inappropriately.
“Once the lights go out, they grab you up like a gang, and they forcibly throw you on the table and one officer ended up mounting me and pretty much riding me like a horse,” he added. “I’m grabbed by other officers against my will. I don’t know how much more criminal you can get.”
Reportedly, the “Party Boy Song” from Jackass is played in the room during the hazing.
In Cifuentes’ case, she was strapped to a chair with green customs tape and held at gunpoint, where she had to make the decision to take the abuse or risk being shot by another CBP officer.
According to NBC 4, the CBP is looking into the matter quite seriously.
“We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we cooperate fully with all criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, whether it occurs on or off duty,” CBP said.
According to Cifuentes, the officers have -until now- been afraid to speak out for fear of persecution by their own.
“For this to stop we have to go to the public,” said Cifuentes. “We have to let people know that this is going on. We have to let other branches of the government know that this is going on.”
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