Archive for October 27th, 2008

Child rapists charged

| 27/10/2008 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Police confirmed today that two men recently arrested have now been charged with the rape of a five year old child. The charges come in the wake of an investigation by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) Family Support Unit, following accusations made on 20 October.

The charges also follow the controversial circulation of an email identifying one of the perpetrators before charges were made which raised concern in the RCIPS that people may take matters into their own hands.

Police confirmed today, however, that Marden Hernandez-Kirkconnell, 26, has been charged with one count of rape and Kent Robert Ebanks, 52, residing in West Bay, has been charged with three counts of rape. Police confirmed that the charges relate to the molestation of a 5-year-old child. Both men appeared in court Monday afternoon, 27 October.

The issue of sex offenders has taken centre stage in the media recently following what was considered a lenient sentence handed down to a convicted paedophile earlier this month and the failure of the courts to identify the perpatrator in order to protect the victim. As a result local activist Sandra Catron has said she intends to establish a website where the names and details of sex offenders living in the Cayman Islands will be published.

“The objective of a sex offender registry is to prevent further victimization through improving the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders who are in the community,” said Catron.

Police said anyone who would like to speak to an officer about crimes of this nature should contact the Family Support Unit on 946-9185.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Man released but murder enquiry goes on

| 27/10/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): A man who has been held in custody by police since Saturday, 18 October, helping them with enquiries regarding the murder of Estella Scott Roberts has been released without charge and the investigation continues. Superintendent Marlon Bodden, who has strategic oversight of the investigation, said officers were, however, following a number of positive lines of enquiry.

“This man is free to go,” said Bodden. “We have a number of lines of enquiry which all need to be thoroughly followed up. We work with the evidence and material we have at the time and build upon this with additional information that comes to light. The implication and elimination of people is reliant upon the evidence.”

The man was released today after being questioned without police bail or charge but over 20 officers, led by Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett, remain working on the investigation. Numerous statements have been taken and a number of exhibits have been sent overseas for forensic analysis.

“We have a number of positive lines of enquiry which we cannot elaborate on at this time,” Bodden added. “We appreciate all the assistance we have been receiving and encourage the community to continue to work with us. We must take a stand against violence as a whole community.”

Estella Scott-Roberts was last seen in the car park in-between Deckers and Buckingham Square at around 11.15pm on Friday, October 11. Her burnt out black Ford Edge was found in the Dykes in West Bay the following day. An examination of remains found in the vehicle by a forensic pathologist has left little doubt that the body is that of Estella Scott-Roberts. Anyone with information is asked to contact the murder team directly or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477. Dedicated contact numbers are as follows: Detective Inspector Kim Evans – 926-1773; Detective Constable Wade Chase – 925-7240; Detective Constable Charmane Dalhouse – 926-3975; Detective Constable Karl Lovell – 925-6761.All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to US$125,000 should their information lead to an arrest and conviction.

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Are Cayman’s laws too lax?

| 27/10/2008 | 7 Comments

The right of the community to be informed of potential offenders in our midst must be weighed against the basic legal principle that the accused is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law by a jury of their peers and further that they have exhausted all their legal rights.

In a population pool as small as ours, can anyone with an internet address be called to jury duty nowadays and be trusted to limit themselves to examine the evidence presented in an objective, non-biased manner and hand out a fair verdict?

The seemingly new idea of placing alleged offenders on the world-wide web and having them quickly “convicted” in the court of open public opinion does not bode well with me. We must guard against this seemingly “rush to judgment” becoming an obsession and in the end, allowing a hardened criminal who should be removed from the law abiding midst of our society and neighborhoods’, remain simply because a fair and just trial could not reasonably be expected to be given due to the “alleged perpetrator” already having been convicted in the open arena of public opinion and “world-wide web” court of weak jurisprudence.

I believe most of us agree that the sentence handed out on the recent case of indecent assault on a five year old was – to say the least – ludicrous, and a result of laws that are not severe enough to be effective deterrents for the kind of gut-wrenching offenses we are witnessing in our islands today.

Though I expect the usual segments of the population to oppose the reinstatement of capital punishment, I really fail to see why the law abiding majority of us should pay for years of humane living conditions for offenders that obviously forfeited their humanity when they chose to commit such heinous offenses. The idea of my hard-earned tax money being utilized to provide three meals a day, medical and dental care, clothes and a token salary to such offenders is anathema to me. I would prefer to help needy children or the elderly with my tax dollars.

And this is with the backdrop that today’s crimes ´seemingly are being committed by younger perpetrators, thus their likelihood of long term incarceration and additional “prison housing costs” will be of a greater and ever larger costs to me and you. Thus we ALL need to be concerned in regards to what now seems to be an attitude of “creeping criminality” and “passive acceptance of criminality in our society”. It ought to be and must be stamped out at its early stages, or else we will ALL suffer long term and dire consequences for failure to act decisively today.

In conclusion, I think that excessive leakage of information before a case goes to trial will ultimately undermine our legal system. However, our laws need to become as harsh as the crimes that are being committed, and if reliance on the old adage of “ I want my pound of flesh”, is to be relied on, then I too think that life in prison is not enough for murder in the first degree and neither are a few years for a serious crime against a minor!

In short, we have much to be thankful for yet in our mostly tranquil and socially harmonic society, and this should give us all greater impetus to rally around the campaign to stamp out “creeping criminality” within our Caymanian society.


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Blacklist threat part deux

| 27/10/2008 | 2 Comments

An interesting but predictable follow-up to the threat by some EU countries to have the OECD blacklist Switzerland (itself an OECD member) as an uncooperative tax haven occurred over the weekend.


The Swiss Foreign Minister chastised Germany and warned the German Finance Minister not to pursue this.

“It would not be the approach one expects from a state bound by the rule of law” she said. On Monday, the EU ambassador to Switzerland said that the EU does not envisage putting Switzerland on a tax haven blacklist.

So what can Cayman glean from all this? Switzerland has always been treated with kid gloves by its European neighbours. It has excellent diplomatic relations and a good network of treaties and agreements with them. It has also been a bastion of democratic freedoms for centuries. But most importantly, it occupies a strategically vital geographical location. It controls key road and rail links both North-South and East-West. The Germans, French, Italians and Austrians in particular know this very well. The odd “technical” problem with the tunnels can bring a large part of European commerce to a halt. So there will be some rhetoric, some little chats behind closed doors and calm will be reestablished, at least for the time being.

Would that the same would happen for Cayman. Unfortunately, the Germans (and perhaps the French) will feel aggrieved that they have not been able to nail the Swiss this time round. So they will be looking for some easier scalps. And the other EU countries will feel that they should help their German and French colleagues. So we should expect Liechtenstein and Cayman to be firmly in the EU and the OECD sights so they can show “they are doing something”.

Do not expect the UK to help Cayman. Indeed, it is likely that the UK will, as before, use Cayman as a bargaining chip to protect its own interests and Cayman will yet again be a “casualty of war”. If anyone has any doubts as to the UK’s attitude towards its territories, the Chagos Islands experience stands as a stark reminder. There are some things Cayman can and should do. But there is not much time.     

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Tom Jones wins new resort

| 27/10/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Cayman’s latest five star resort development will begin construction very soon following the announcement by developer Michael Beggs that Tom Jones International has won the contract to construct Island Resort and Residences in Grand Cayman’s East End. An exclusive and reclusive ‘condotel’ Beggs says this development will raise the bar in Cayman when it comes to high end resorts and Tom Jones is the best company for the job.

“Having seen the work that Tom Jones international did on Beachcomber and other major developments I know we have the right people on board,” said Beggs who explained that island Resort and Residences had reached a preliminary agreement with the firm which is also currently developing two of the government and fast becoming one of Cayman’s biggest contractors.

Beggs said that it took him sometime to decide on a contractor as he said the project needed an experienced company that won’t take any shortcuts and will construct a safe and secure resort. Engineered to withstand anything that nature could throw at it Beggs said finding the right firm to build the Island Resort was as important as finding the right architects and design team.

“People will now begin to see this amazing resort take shape as construction begins and we really are bringing something entirely different to Cayman,” Beggs added. Despite the recession Beggs says he is confident the resort will be a success. “The ultimate hedge against recession is luxury,” he explained adding that with so many new resort developments cancelled around the Caribbean , his development will be attracting investors looking for an exclusive destination that are now faced with less choice.

The resort, which will have 221 rooms, is being constructed on the Queen’s Highway in between the Royal Reef Resort and the proposed site for the Mandarin Orient. Beggs says that during construction there will be lots of employment opportunities for Eastenders and local sub-contracting firms. He said that Tom Jones International will soon be holding district meetings to talk to the local community about the jobs available.

Once the resort is open Beggs said not only will it have an impact on the Cayman economy as whole by attracting high net worth individuals to the island but it will also continue to offer excellent career opportunities for lots of local people.

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Global warming greatest risk

| 27/10/2008 | 1 Comment

(Reuters): The risks of inaction over climate change far outweigh the turmoil of the global financial crisis, a leading climate change expert has said. Calling for new fiscal spending tailored to low carbon growth Nicholas Stern, a former British Treasury economist said inaction on emissions blamed for global warming could cause economic pain equal to the Great Depression.  Go to article.

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Hedge Fund Meltdown

| 27/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(Here is the City): ESL Investments has seen its holdings in eight of its largest investments fall an average of $193m in each trading day in the last 26, which translates into a paper loss of $30m an hour. According to Morgan Stanley analyst Huw van Steenis, US hedge fund managers may lose up to 15% and Europeans 25% of assets to withdrawals by the year-end and Citadel Investment Group founder Kenneth Griffin has said: ‘I have never seen a market as full of panic as I’ve seen in the last seven or eight weeks’. Go to article.

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An alarming first for Cayman

| 27/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): This week delegates from all over the world will be descending on the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman for the annual meeting of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) the first time the conference has been hosted in the Caribbean. The three day meeting includes a keynote address by Thomas Von Essen, Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department who was at the helm of rescue and protection efforts alongside Mayor Giuliani during 9/11.

Von Essen will be speaking on “Lessons In Leadership”, based on lessons he learned during this most difficult time when he faced his greatest leadership challenge.

Some 300 delegates are attending the event and aside from being an important event for the industry the conference offers an off-season money-spinner for the Cayman Islands, according to locally owned Island Electronics principal George Hunter who is the only member of the Association from the Caribbean and who will make the welcoming speech.

The CSAA is a trade association covering businesses that offer burglar and fire alarms systems for both commercial and residential premises through a central station.


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Constitution not on agenda with new UK minister

| 27/10/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The Leader of Government Business said that there will be no discussions regarding the negotiations for the Cayman Islands’ new constitution while the government is in London this for the Overseas Territories Consultative Council, OTCC meeting. Kurt Tibbetts said that they would take the opportunity to set the dates for the next round of talks in December but the constitution itself would not be discussed.

The delegation however will be meeting with the UK government’s new Overseas Territories Minister Gillian Merron who replaced Meg Munn in the recent Cabinet reshuffle. Tibbetts said that he saw no potential problems with the arrival of a new OT minister during the constitutional negotiations as Merron had been briefed and was up to speed on the situation. Tibbetts explained that this visit to concerns the issues affecting all of the territories and the delegation is facing a packed agenda.

“The Overseas Territories Consultative Council meets once a year in London,” he said. “It was established in 1999 and serves as a forum for the Government of the United Kingdom to engage in discussion of key policy issues with heads of territory governments.”

The discussions will include issues such as good governance and a follow-up to the FAC report;     Economic Issues related to Development; International human rights obligations; Immigration; Environment and Disaster Management; Financial Services and Anti-Money Laundering and a Caribbean Witness Protection Programme which will be chaired by the LoGB.

Tibbetts said aside from the OTCC meetings the delegation will also be meeting with the UK Foreign Affairs Committee and the All Parties Parliamentary Group/Friends of Cayman, which he said continues to give vital support within the UK Legislature on issues that affect Cayman.

“The first engagement following our arrival in London is a reception for Caymanian students on Saturday evening,” he said. “On Monday, we will discuss issues related to the future of the Cayman Islands office.”

Tibbetts added that the delegation, which includes Alden McLaughlin, Minister of Education, Attorney General, Samuel Bulgin, Financial Secretary, Kenneth Jefferson, Cabinet Secretary, Orrett Connor, Assistant Financial Secretary, Deborah Drummond, Barbara Conolly, Political Analyst to the Leader of Government Business; and Jennifer Dilbert, the Cayman Islands Government Representative in London, was looking forward to a successful meeting.


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Police round up criminals in George Town

| 27/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Despite the obvious focus by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service on the murder of Estella Scott-Roberts officers are not neglecting the day to day work of apprehending criminals through proactive and reactive targeted operations. Police said that over the last few weeks officers have arrested a number of offenders in George Town. And 19 new recruits have been sworn in as special constables.

Notable arrests include an 18-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of burglary. During the operation a number of suspected stolen items were recovered including a laptop, some jewellery and an iPod. The man has been released on bail pending further enquiries. A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and possession and consumption of cocaine. The man was charged and has been remanded in custody. A 42-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft following the recovery of two chainsaws which were thought to be stolen. Investigations traced them to a hardware store, the owners of which, after checking, confirmed that they were missing the items. Another man was also arrested for suspicion of possession of ganja with intent to supply, consumption of a controlled drug, driving whilst disqualified, using a vehicle without a certificate of road worthiness and using a vehicle licence plate with intent to deceive.

According to the RCIPS the district has many strategies in place to tackle crime including proactive patrols in areas of interest, the monitoring of known criminals and the continuation of the Hot-Spot team. The team is made up of regular and special constables and is tasked with tackling crime and targeting known offenders. The team focuses on licensed premises and areas of interest.

“George Town police work hard to ensure the district remains a safe area for people to live and work and welcomes reports of suspicious behaviour or criminal activity,” the police said.

Meanwhile, nineteen special constables completed the 11-week training course recently and were sworn in to the RCIPS during a special graduation ceremony held on Wednesday 22 October by Acting Commissioner David George.

“These men and women are a very welcome addition to the service,” he said adding that their contribution to ensuring the safety of the Cayman Islands cannot be underestimated. “These are members of the community who are willing to give up their time to assist the police in ensuring the Cayman Islands remain as safe as they are. They are an invaluable resource.”

From this class, seven specials will be assigned to the Bodden Town district, six to George Town and six to West Bay. With an Emergency Medical technician, an electrical engineer, a dentist, a welder, two computer technicians, a computer salesman, a civil servant, a health care assistant, two cashiers, a nursery assistant, a construction worker, two general managers, a taxi/transport operator, an inventory clerk and a retired Fire Chief the volunteers bring a variety of skills to the Special Constabulary.

The team will start work right away with one of their first tasks being to assist with Pirate Week festivities.

“The Special Constables have an integral part to play in policing; they have the same powers as our regular officers, wear a similar uniform and in many cases show as much commitment to the safety of the Cayman Islands as regular officers,” said Inspector Anthony White head of the Training Department. “These officers worked extremely hard over the last 11 weeks and we’re very proud to have them join us.”

The role of the Special Constabulary is to provide efficient and effective operational support to the RCIPS, thereby enhancing the quality of service to the public and assisting the organisation achieve its policing objectives.

The volunteers are unpaid members of the community who are dedicated to protecting the Cayman Islands.  The special constable can expect to be involved in assisting the RCIPS to police public events, as well as providing operational support by performing regular police duties under the supervision of full time officers of the RCIPS.

Anyone interested in joining the Special Constabulary should email the Special Commandant on

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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