Archive for November 17th, 2008

Kernohan accuses Governor

| 17/11/2008 | 8 Comments

(CNS): The legal representatives of suspended Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan have released a copy of a letter they sent to the Governor Stuart Jack last month accusing him of lying, a breach of the Commissioner’s contract of employment, an unlawful and irrational exercise of his executive power as Governor and depriving Kernohan of his job for no good reason.

The content of the letter by Campbells, Kernohan’s attorney, focuses on the decisions of the Chief Justice, Anthony Smellie, In the matter of Operation Tempura handed down on 22 February 2008 and 4 April 2008, copies of which the lawyers say they received for the first time on 1 October 2008.

The letter makes it clear that the Governor must have been aware of Smellie’s judgment and therefore had deceived the public and Kernohan when it was stated at a press briefing in March 2008 that the Commissioner was placed on required leave but not under investigation, as clearly attempts to get a warrant to search the Commissioner’s house had been refused.

“You will recall that on 27 March 2008 you placed Mr. Kernohan on required leave and promised to review that required leave on an ongoing basis. On the same date, and in light of the Chief Justice’s decision, Mr. Bridger gave a press briefing at which you were present confirming, clearly falsely, that Mr. Kernohan was not under investigation,” the letter states.

As there appeared to the Chief Justice to be no evidence of a crime committed by Kernohan back in April, and no more indication of any brought forward since, the lawyers state that the continued decision to keep Kernohan on required leave is “not only a serious breach” by the Governor of the Commissioner’s contract of employment, but may also be an unlawful and irrational exercise of the executive power as Governor.

The letter adds that there can be no possible benign motive for Kernohan’s continued absence from duty, “… not least because you cannot be unaware of the damage which has been caused to his reputation by your actions and by your statements, and those of Mr. Bridger to the news media in these Islands.”

Campbells accuse the Governor of acting in bad faith and maliciously prolonging what they describe as an unnecessarily pointless and expensive police operation, not just to the disrepute of Kernohan but the jurisdiction and the people of Cayman. Campbells go on to request that the Governor respond within 7 days in writing stating that any investigation against Kernohan is at an end and to reinstate him with a full public apology and damages.

According to the Attorneys, the letter was sent on 9 October and as yet no response has been received from the Governor. Moreover, there have been no statements or comments regarding Operation Tempura from either the Governor or SIO Martin Bridger, the leader of the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) since Sir Peter Cresswell ruled the warrants to search Justice Alex Henderson’s office and home unlawful, nor since the elected government asked Bridger to go home, nor since Acting Commissioner David George and the Attorney General Sam Bulgin cleared Henderson of any investigation and arrest against him. (The complete letter is posted on TheLeggeReport)

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Andy’s robbed at gun point

| 17/11/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Following yet another violent robbery in the George Town area, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has begun an investigation regarding Andy’s Rent-A-Car on Owen Roberts Drive near the airport. The well known car rental store was the scene of an armed robbery on Sunday, 16 November where robbers made off with cash, cheques and radios after injuring a member of staff.

Police said this afternoon that the 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from an employee at Andy’s around 9:20 pm on Sunday evening stating that two masked men had robbed the business of an undisclosed sum of money. Police responded and were told that the men entered through the front door carrying what appeared to be hand guns.

There were two employees on the premises at the time. The men demanded one of the staff members hand over cash and cheques, they took two Motorola radios that were in the building and left through the back door. One of the employees received minor injuries during the incident.

The suspects were both fully covered, including their faces. One of the men is described as about 5ft 6ins tall, of medium build and was wearing a dark grey long sleeve shirt. The other man is described as about 5ft 9ins tall and wore a dark coloured long sleeve shirt with a white print on the front. Police carried out a full area search and Scenes of Crime officers processed the location.

An investigation is underway by George Town CID and anyone with information on the robbery should contact the George Town CID on 949-4222 or DC Ronald Francis on 526-2578.

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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International developments

| 17/11/2008 | 0 Comments

Are there some more tealeaves to read? Last week produced some more clues for us as to where the economic powerhouses of the world would like to go in their relations with offshore financial centres. Cayman should take careful note.

First, the European Commission released its proposals for what may best be called “Son of the European Savings Directive” (or EUSD II). EUSD I (automatic reporting of interest income paid to EU taxpayers) did not, unsurprisingly, produce the golden goose some European governments had hoped for, i.e. huge inflows of money and information to enable them to restock their depleted treasuries. However, it got them the foot in the door in places like Cayman as the implementation of EUSD I required the establishment of the infrastructure for reporting. The Cayman Tax Information Authority (CTIA) is the relevant government agency that receives the reports from banks here and passes the information on to the tax authorities in the relevant EU member states. This agency also deals with requests for information from the US IRS under the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) and any other TIEA’s or similar arrangements Cayman may enter into in the future.

There was much ill-advised public gloating in a number of offshore centres (not including Cayman I may say) over the ease with which EUSD I could be circumvented by the use of personal holding companies, trusts and the like and by converting interest income into something else outside the scope of the Directive. They had clearly ignored the fact that Brussels is not stupid and that Brussels has a very long term game plan. The eurocrats could sit and wait for the right moment to move again.

The recent outcry over cases of tax evasion using products and service providers in Liechtenstein and Switzerland together with the global financial crisis gave Brussels (and the French and Germans) the moment they were waiting for. Hey Presto, EUSD II is accelerated as part of the solution to these problems. EUSD II is not final yet and the devil will be in the detail, but it looks almost certain to include “cut through” and “substance over form” provisions to require paying agents to report where the underlying beneficial owner is a EU taxpayer and where the income is in reality interest income. It also appears that certain investment funds that are currently outside the Directive will be brought within it (this could have an impact for some Cayman funds).

Cayman has survived and indeed flourished under EUSD I. But Cayman should be thinking hard about EUSD II and how it may impact its competitive position.  There is no question that, under the current constitutional arrangements with the UK, implementation by Cayman of the EUSD II (once implemented by the EU) is a foregone conclusion. It is simply a question of “when” not “if ”. Competitors under the thumb of the UK such as Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are likely to be in much the same position as Cayman. Competitors such the Bahamas, Barbados and Panama, that are sovereign nations, have more wiggle room. But the really serious long term competitors like Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai that have shown polite refusal to sign up to EUSD I  will be even less likely to sign up to EUSD II any time soon.

The second development is the communiqué issued by the G-20 after the Summit in the USA last weekend. This is a masterly product of compromise and diplo-speak. Much of the document is sensible and non contentious (better communication and coordination amongst regulators etc).But there are some interesting code words buried deep within the text, included no doubt at the insistence of the French and the Germans as a quid pro quo for the grand words of commitment to free markets and the avoidance of overregulation demanded by the US and maybe the UK. The G-20 agreed to protect the integrity of the world’s financial markets by inter alia “protecting against illicit financial risks arising from non-cooperative jurisdictions”. Further, they agreed to “promote information sharing, including with respect to jurisdictions that have yet to commit to international standards with respect to bank secrecy and transparency”. And they urged national authorities to “strengthen their cross border cooperation to protect the international financial system from illicit actors” and “to implement measures that protect the global financial system from uncooperative and non-transparent jurisdictions that pose risks of illicit financial activity”. Finally, “lack of transparency and failure to exchange tax information should be vigorously addressed”. Pulling all that together and joining the dots, the G-20 agreed to go after jurisdictions that do not meet and implement what the G-20 perceives to be the right standards of transparency and cross border assistance and exchange of information. It is a brave person who would conclude that, however unfairly, Cayman is not likely to be one of jurisdictions in mind.

Thirdly, the indictment by a US grand jury of a very senior officer of the Swiss bank, UBS, for conspiring to assist US taxpayers to evade US taxes shows that the US has at long last decided to go after the offshore service providers in egregious circumstances. The message is chilling. Historically, the US authorities have been keener on simply obtaining the information from the service provider in order to successfully prosecute the US taxpayer. But increasing frustration has been building for some time in the US over the aggressive involvement of overseas service providers in developing and promoting tax evasion structures and products. So the thinking is to shut down these service providers or persuade them to get out of the business. Certainly, such suggestions have been made by US Senate committees during their investigations of the use of offshore vehicles (including Cayman based ones) by US taxpayers. Now we are seeing the results, and they should be concerning to anyone who has assisted or is thinking of assisting US taxpayers in anything approaching tax evasion or anything other than very conservative tax planning.

And by way of postscript…none of this has, as yet, anything much to do with President-elect Obama. We will have to wait and see what his contribution in this area will be. It may not be immediate, but it will come.

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Mr D’s farewell to customs

| 17/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Following 18 years of happy service with the Customs Department, Coulson Daniels is looking forward to spending more time with his family having recently enjoyed a farewell celebration with his colleagues, friends and family who gathered to wish him well on his hard-earned retirement. Coulson’s long career with the Department began in 1990 as a Warehouse Clerk, responsible for ensuring proper unloading of freight, assisting customers in retrieving their cargo and exporting freight.


In 1992, after just two years with the Department, he assumed the role of Warehouse Foreman responsible for daily management of the warehouse, tending to customers, receiving and inspecting goods, deciphering dangerous goods and motivating his team of nine employees to do the best job possible. 

Presenting him with his retirement gifts, Collector of Customs, Carlon Powery, said, Mr. “D” (as he is affectionately called), has been a committed, reliable member of the team who is highly respected by his colleagues. “His efforts have been instrumental in modernizing the operations of the Warehouse.  I would like to thank Mr. “D” for his years of dedication to the Customs Department and wish him God’s richest blessings as he enters this new chapter in hislife,”Powery added.

In his farewell speech, Coulson said given the cahnce he would do it all again. “I hope to be remembered as a patient, firm and understanding man who had a good relationship with the staff. I have enjoyed my years in the Department, and hope that my determination to excel in my role has inspired others. I have always prided myself in being punctual and setting a positive example to others.” When asked about his future plans, Mr. Coulson said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family.

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TV upgrades technology

| 17/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Local  cable and communications firm WestTel /WestStar TV Limited have broken ground on a $15 million, seven-year project delivering Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) for all of Grand Cayman.  The firm says that Fibre-to-the-Premises is highly superior compared to traditional networks with high capacity communications solutions delivered on a fibre optic platform, outperforming copper based networks.

“We have consciously chosen to direct our attention and substantial investment to what our customers say is most important – service,” said WestTel CEO, Mike Edenholm when officials from WestTel Limited, WestStar TV Limited, and ABC Trenching broke ground on 14  November. “With the fibre roll out, we are able to raise the standard of telecommunications in Grand Cayman, offering faster and more reliable data and voice services at affordable prices.” 

WestTel will install fibre directly into the business or home, making more bandwidth available it said in a release.  This option is a larger investment for WestTel than combining with existing coaxial or copper infrastructure, but is ideal for customers who need the fastest connection speeds available.  The fibre network also creates redundancy for WestTel’s existing infrastructure making it more resilient while eliminating latency.

The first phase is focused on delivering fibre-optic infrastructure to corporations.  Initially, the network will go from Television Centre to Camana Bay, then up West Bay Road to Governors Square.

Technical Project Manager, Pauline Biron added: “We are rolling out fibre to corporations first because they demand super high-speed data and voice services, particularly in the financial sector which depends heavily on communications networks to conduct business.”

Phase 2 will be deploying Triple Play: HDTV, High-speed Data, and Voice to residences along West Bay Road.  Phases 3 through 7 will bring fibre coverage throughout the rest of Grand Cayman.


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Women sailors in spotlight

| 17/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman’s women sailors made a respectable showing recently finishing 6th in the Budget Marine Women’s Caribbean Keelboat Championships held in St Maarten over the weekend of 1st/2nd November 2008. In an exciting weekend of racing with 12 teams from around the Caribbean and the USA participating, the local St. Maarten team claimed victory.

The Cayman team of Jane Moon, Pam McDonough, Lindsey Macfee and Chantal Goevaerts however did a great job with one win and some high placings. The St. Maarten team had consistent results, finishing in the top two for almost all races. They had some good competition from Karen Portch and her Antigua Yacht Club team, Emma Paull from RBVI Yacht Club and Penny McIntyre from Barbados (all past winners of the event). While the Cayman team finished in 6th place overall they were positioned in the top four in most of the races and secured an impressive first place finish in Race 10.

The racing was based out of St Maarten Yacht Club and the course was set up in the Lagoon at Simpson Bay. A total of 14 races were sailed on a rotational basis, each team sailing 8 races in seven Lagoon Sailboat Rentals Sunfast 20 boats. Teams rotated boats after each race which gave those sitting out an opportunity to watch the racing. Races were windward leeward courses with an offset windward mark and a leeward gate. The Race Committee set a starting sequence of three minutes and race duration of 20 minutes which meant clean air starts were vital for the short, sharp races in the very shifty conditions.

The regatta, organized by the St Maarten Yacht Club and sponsored by Budget Marine, is a great effort towards the expansion of women’s sailing in the Caribbean region and competitors enjoyed fun and exciting racing and great camaraderie.

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Man injured in single vehicle crash

| 17/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police said this morning that one man is currently in hospital following a single vehicle car crash which occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning 15 November.  The 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from a member of the public at around 3:50 am reporting that a car had crashed on Shamrock Road near McRuss grocery store.

Police and medics attended and found that the driver of a grey Mazda 3 which had been heading east appeared to have lost control and crashed into a wall on thejunction of Marina Drive and Shamrock Road. The sole occupant of the car, a 19-year-old man, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. He remains in hospital and is said to be in a stable condition.

An investigation into the crash is underway by officers in the Traffic Management Unit. Anyone who witnessed the crash and has not yet spoken to a police officer is asked to contact the unit on 946-6254.

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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SMB stabbing charges made

| 17/11/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Following a violent incident where a man and a woman were injured in a stabbing which occurred somewhere in the vicinity of Peppers nightclub in the Seven Mile Beach area on Saturday 8 November two men,  Devon Jermaine Anglin (22) and Raziel Jael Omar Jeffers (25)  faced court this morning on a number of charges.

Anglin has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, wounding, possession of a restricted weapon by night and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to threaten violence, while Jeffers has been charged with threatening violence.

The charges relate to an incident which reportedly began with shots fired in the vicinity of the Peppers nightclub which were reported to the 911 Emergency Communications Centre at around 9.40pm.

Soon after a second call was received by 911 from a man reporting that a man was behind Grand Pavilion and was suffering from what appeared to be a stab wound. Police and medics were deployed to the scene, but in the interim the injured man was driven by car to the hospital, with a second, female victim.  Police attended the hospital and found that the man had suffered a number of stab wounds to his body. The woman had suffered a stab wound to her hand.

Following investigations by George Town CID, Anglin was arrested in West Bay on Sunday, 9 November on suspicion of possessing an unlicensed firearm, attempted murder and wounding. Raziel Jael Omar Jeffers was arrested the same afternoon on suspicion of attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and wounding.

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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Contribute Online by Credit Card to Brac Relief

| 17/11/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The Rotary Clubs of Grand Cayman have joined forces to simplify the international collection of donations that will be used to help rebuild hurricane-lashed Cayman Brac. They have created an Internet site that allows any credit card holder in the world to easily contribute funds for Rotary’s Brac relief effort through

As both a fundraising and communication resource, the site was initially suggested because Rotarians had learned that many people around the world incorrectly believed Hurricane Paloma had no effect on the Cayman Islands. Because Grand Cayman had been spared the brunt of the hurricane’s wrath, people mistakenly thought that the entire country had been just as fortunate.

This Rotary-inspired hurricane relief site uniquely allows people across the globe to use their credit cards to aid in therebuilding of Cayman Brac. Several other relief sites created by other organizations are accepting donations made by bank wire transfers. But with the ubiquitous use of credit cards, the Rotary site provides an easy way for people to make donations without undue paperwork or expense. People around the country and around the world are encouraged to tell their friends and family members about this easy way to help Cayman Brac get back to normal.

Rotary International is an association of Rotary clubs worldwide. It’s made up of more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. The members of these autonomous clubs are called Rotarians, and they form a global network of 1.2 million business and professional leaders, all volunteering their time and talents to serve their communities and the world.

The Rotary Clubs of Grand Cayman include the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Central, the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise, the Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman, and Rotaract Blue Cayman Islands. These clubs are working in concert with the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac to efficiently and effectively aid in the rebuilding of hurricane ravaged Cayman Brac.

For more information about the post-hurricane service activities of these local Rotary clubs, please refer to the information site at:

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