Archive for December 4th, 2008

Abuse needsfocused response

| 04/12/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The Chairman of the recently formed National Advisory Committee on Gender Violence, Len Layman has said that in order for government to really address the problems of abuse in our community the country needs a national committee that can help co-ordinate the many elements required and drive things forward if we are to make any meaningful head way in eradicating violence.

Having handed over a report compiled by this committee which existed just for thirty days to government Layman one of the founding members of the Crisis Centre and a driving force against gender abuse has said that there is no point dwelling on past mistakes but instead the community needs to move forward and establish a permanent committee that can spearhead an education campaign in the community, ensure legislation created is appropriate, direct resources and conduct the necessary research needed to understand the causes of abuse and violence.

“I believe the priority move for government must be to establish a permanent committee that can drive forward and co-ordinate the implementation of policies,” he toldCNS. Layman explained that there is a wide group of different organisations from the Women’s Resource centre to Family Services as well as legislation pending regarding the issues of violence and abuse, all of which needs to be focused. He added that with a dedicated but independent committee, all of these elements can be properly co-ordinated. “it wouldn’t just provide oversight and assistance to Government but it can also be a platform for input from all sectors of the country,” Layman said.

Speaking at the launch of the 16 days of activism against Gender Violence when he handed the report to government Layman drew attention to the key issues surrounding this abuse. “It is widely accepted that the home is the breeding ground for healthy, non-violent youth and adults, as well as the youth and adults who follow the path of violence. The Special Advisory Committee members asserts that more needs to be done to ensure that in the Cayman Islands that we are raising healthy, non-violent adults,” he said.

Layman also called for an ongoing public relations campaign to educate the public on the importance of promoting healthy relationships and the availability of services.

In order to move forward we have to recognize that this island and its people have been terribly hurt by the recent violence and it is critical that we acknowledge that hurt and move toward healing.  It is also clear that these events have in many ways been divisive in our community,” he said. “If we are to make Cayman a more peaceful, less violent place it is going to take the combined efforts of all of its residents, regardless of background.  For this reason we are asking government to declare January 9th 2009 a National Day of Healing and Unity. A day we can all come together, start healing, and begin moving forward together.

The Human Rights Committee has also given its support to Layman and the recommendations that the 30 day committee made and urged government to follow it and do something about gender violence.

 

Continue Reading

In defence of offshore

| 04/12/2008 | 1 Comment

Responding to a piece on FT.com Prof Boise and Prof Morris experts in the field dispel some myths regarding offshore financial centres and defend Cayman’s position. Harbours of resentment makes three important errors they write and CNS has reproduced the letter below.

First, you repeat the OECD’s silly claim that the current financial crisis has “brutally exposed the risks inherent in small countries with large financial sectors.” As anyone who has read the FT’s coverage of the financial crisis would know, its roots lie not in Grand Cayman or the Isle of Man but in New York and London.

 If there has been any “brutal exposure” it is of the inadequacies of the U.S. and E.U. oversight of their financial systems.  Second, your piece suggests that Cayman and others “thrived” because the second half of the twentieth century was “free-wheeling.” Nonsense. Cayman and the other top OFCs all have more rigorous anti-money laundering regulatory regimes than the U.S. or any member of the E.U.  Our research into offshore financial centers has consistently shown that OFCs have better legal tools and tougher standards than do most onshore jurisdictions.

Third, while institutions in OFCs may well have $6,000bn on their books that money is not sitting in safe deposit boxes in Grand Cayman or Jersey. It is invested in assets located virtually everywhere else. Indeed, it is the U.S. and E.U. that benefit most from foreign direct investment channelled through OFCs.  Blocking these capital inflows in the midst of a liquidity crisis would be folly.

We have together taken dozens of U.S. law students to study the Caymanian legal system, interviewed professionals throughout the offshore world, and conducted research into the history and current status of several of the largest OFCs.

Our teaching and research have shown us both the importance of OFCs to the functioning of onshore economies and the high standards prevalent among the more reputable OFCs. Attacking the offshore sector may be politically popular in Paris, London, and Washington, but it has nothing to do with resolving the global financial crisis.

Craig Boise is Associate Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH and Andrew P. Morriss H. Ross & Helen Workman Professor of Law and Business Professor, Institute for Government and Public Affairs University of Illinois Champaign, IL 61820

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Noisy oceans threaten sea life

| 04/12/2008 | 1 Comment

(BBC): Increasing noise pollution in the world’s oceans is threatening the survival of whales and dolphins, a UN-backed conference has heard. Experts say the noises sea creatures use to communicate are being drowned out by noises from commercial shipping, new military sonar and climate change. As a result the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, is considering issuing a resolution that would oblige countries to reduce sound pollution. Go to article

 

Continue Reading

Scams give FCU headache

| 04/12/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Despite having a number of serious financial crimes to deal with committed right here in the Cayman Islands the RCIPS Financial Crime’s Unit is still dealing with reports of internet, e-mail and fax scams. Urging members of the public and the business community to beware of fraudsters in the run up to Christmas, Chief Inspector Henderson Hunte said, “Scams which prey on people’s good nature are extremely prevalent during this time of year and members of the community are warned to be on their guard at all times.”

Scams come in many forms, he noted and the most common of which include the Lottery Scam.  This is when people receive an email stating that they have won millions of dollars, often as a result of a computerized ballot system. Individuals are instructed to pay money before they can collect their winnings. The money will be requested via money transfer agencies, such as Western Union, and will purportedly be for registration, tax, customs fees, etc.

Another scam currently doing the rounds involves a Hoax SMS Message which reads “CONGRATULATIONS! Your mobile number has won the sum of £250,000.00 GBP on this year NOKIA PROMO. For claims call: +2348032764530. Or Email us: nokianige@live.com Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from Cable & Wireless bMobile.” Rather obviously this is nonsense, the email address given as a point of contact for information is not valid. The telephone number is also invalid with callers getting a busy signal when they call.

Tony Ritch, LIME Country Manager said customers should not respond to this as it is mobile phone SPAM, effectively an unsolicited bulk message that has been sent to potentially thousands of customers. “We did not authorize or send this message, it is a hoax. We also want to let the public know that we will do every thing we can in such instances to identify those responsible and report them to the relevant authorities as well.”

In other cases Individuals will get a letter and form via email, supposedly from the USA’s Internal Revenue Service, requesting personal information, including bank account details and social security numbers. Again these are not genuine IRS forms. The IRS does not ask for this kind of information and does not correspond via e-mail.

One credit card fraud causing concern for the FCU involves businesses being contacted by overseas companies wishing to purchase goods or services. The orders are often higher than those normally dealt with and could be viewed as a windfall for the victim’s business. These scams often occur in the form of businesses with conference facilities being asked to facilitate a conference or seminar. A credit card is used to pay the bill and soon after the fraudster will cancel the booking and request that the refund be sent in cash via money transfer.

Fraudsters are also offering puppies for sale over the internet or in the local press, often using a yahoo or similar email account as the only point of contact. The fraudster will request funds to have the puppy shipped with an additional fee to have it delivered to your door. Once they have your money you will not hear from them again and you will not get a puppy, the FCU said.

Although there has been a lull in the appearance of fraudulent traveller’s cheques over the past four months, the FCU is urging members of the public and businesses to be on the alert to this type of fraud as well and says anyone who comes across any of the above schemes is asked to ignore the communication and delete or destroy all correspondence after informing the FCU that they have been in receipt of such scams. Anyone who receives fraudulent cheques should also contact the FCU as soon as possible on 949 8797. Attempting to cash counterfeit cheques is an offence that could lead to a ten-year prison sentence.

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.

Continue Reading

LoGB tells industry experts Cayman will stay competitive

| 04/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Speakingat the opening of the country’s largest annual conference — Cayman Captive Forum, , the Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts said Wednesday, 3 December, that despite the stresses exerted by the state of the global economy, the government’s fiscal policy for the coming financial year was designed to keep the Cayman Islands “business-friendly” and economically stable in these turbulent times.

“We will continue our policy of constructive engagement on international issues so that those who matter know, understand and respect us and so that we stay faithful to the international standards and norms, existing and evolving, that are necessary for a responsible and reliable partner in the global financial system,” he said.

In his speech to local and international delegates from the captive industry, he said as stakeholders in the sector the CI government was committed to ensuring that the financial services offering remains strong and competitive. He said it was the government’s duty to uphold what a recent US Government Accountability Office report on the Cayman Islands described as  a “…reputation forstability and compliance with international standards, business friendly regulatory environment and prominence as an international financial centre.”

Cayman’s Captive market, which the country has been actively pursuing since 1979, now has more than 770 captives domiciled writing US$7.6 billion of premiums and with over US$35 billion of assets under management, the LoGB said.

“Cayman’s public-private sector committees, working groups and task forces help ensure that our legislation and regulatory regime remain current.  We will be hosting a follow-up IMF assessment next year, in preparation for which the Insurance Law will be amended to ensure that it clearly responds to the relevant IAIS standards as well as to the marketplace.”

He also noted there was a drive to create a more conducive business environment for the reinsurance sector. “The reinsurance business plays to Cayman’s natural strengths.  It fits well with Cayman’s institutional business specialisations, including a vibrant insurance sector, professional infrastructure, experience in reinsurance products such as sidecars and catastrophe bonds, and the presence of the hedge fund industry – which has been a key source of capital for reinsurers.”

Work was going on to support the roll-out of an attractive regime that promotes commercial certainty for prospective reinsurance firms, he said.

Tibbetts added that the government’s partnership with IMAC and participation in key healthcare insurance events such as the Risk Insurance Management Society and the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, contribute to Cayman’s reputation in the US market.  “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the private sector under the “Cayman Islands Financial Services” banner at these events, and believe this solidarity is even more important in the current environment,” he added.

Continue Reading

Despite lows no snow for Santa’s landing

| 04/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although recent malfunctions with the local temperature gages suggested that the Cayman Islands had enjoyed an overnight low recently of 41degrees Fahrenheit , the weather forecasters at the Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA) said they were not expecting any snow this weekend when Santa Claus makes his annual landing on Saturday 6 December at the Airport Park. 

 

The traditional Kiwanis event, which starts at 2:00 pm, has been sponsored by Caribbean Utilities Company Ltd. for the past 21 years and, as is customary, Santa and his helpers will be handing out gifts and treats to the children. Bouncing castles, face painting and photo opportunities with Sparky will all be part of the afternoon’s activities.

 “CUC is pleased to continue its support of the Santa Claus Landing and recognises the joy and excitement this event brings to the many children who attend,” said Manager of Corporate Communications Pat Bynoe-Clarke. “This event is a major highlight of our Community Involvement calendar and our employees are happy to volunteer their time and talent to ensure its success.”  

The annual Santa’s Landing is coordinated by the Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman and supported by other local businesses. CUC and the Kiwanis Club encourage parents to bring their children out between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm to meet Santa Claus and have some fun, but no need to bring gloves.

 

Continue Reading

Grace over for Brac drivers

| 04/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Despite the continued difficulties for those living on Cayman Brac, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) says the grace period for unlicenced vehicles has expired and all drivers need to get coupons for unlicensed vehicles to avoid running foul of local officers.

Police officers on the Sister Islands said they are now prosecuting offenders for unlicenced vehicles. “In the aftermath of Hurricane Paloma we had a grace period to the end of November for drivers who were unable to licence their vehicles,” said Acting Sergeant Ashton Ferguson. “We are now strictly enforcing the Traffic Law and expect vehicle owners to have their licence and insurance up to date.”

The Licencing Department is operating from the parking lot of the District Administration Building on Mondays to Fridays between 9:00am and 12:00 noon. The Treasury Department, where all fees are to be paid, is also open daily at the Administration Building from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

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.

Continue Reading

Veterans meet Olympians in local sailing tournament

| 04/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): According to organizers the 2008 Laser National Championships have been described as the most successful championships the Cayman Islands Sailing Club (CICS) has hosted for years. “We have not seen such a large number of Laser competitors since the 1980’s when the Sailing Club was located on Seven Mile Beach, in the position now occupied by the Great House” said Andrew Moon Club Commodore.

 

The event was held at the CICS on November 28 & 29 when a total of 16 Laser dinghies entered the championships and the racing was, the club said, extremely competitive. Both young and old sailors battled it out over seven races, fighting for every available point, in the series that left the competitors physically and mentally exhausted after the two days.

In a release the club revealed that veteran Laser sailor and Olympian Mark Clarke, who hasn’t raced Lasers in 10 years, surprised and impressed the fleet by challenging the mainly younger group of racers and finished second overall. Nick Taylor who was part of the New Zealand Olympic squad and who has only been in Cayman for two months came first overall.

“We were all hoping the strong winds that Cayman has been experiencing over the last couple of week would persist and, although conditions were relatively light on the first day, we were not disappointed as the winds strengthened onthe second day,” Charles Grover, CISC Communications Officer, said.

Three races were sailed on Saturday in winds of 8-10 knots with Mark Clarke winning the first race. Thirty-two year-old New Zealand national, Nick Taylor, won the second and third races. Sunday’s strong and shifty wind made for more challenging racing. Four races were sailed and once again it was a battle between Clarke and Taylor, each winning two races. In the end Nick Taylor won overall with 9 points over Clarke’s 13. Mike Weber, CISC Sailing Director, finished third with 18 points. Mark Clarke was also the recipient of the Compass Marine Clydesdale Trophy for top sailor in the heavyweight division. Stuart Jennings was top youth sailor.

Jon Faris, the CISC dinghy representative said,  “The Sailing Club is excited at the addition of Nick Taylor, a keen, talented sailor and experienced coach, to the local fleet.”

Taylor said having just arrived in Cayman he was impressed with the quality and enthusiasm of the Laser fleet. “It was a great weekend of racing and I thank the volunteers for organizing a great regatta," he added.

Organisers noted that they expected everyone in the fleet will be upping their game next year, benefiting from the presence of Nick Taylor, and the re-emergence of Mark Clarke, who is shifting his attention toward Laser competition. CISC Race Officer, Peta Adams observed that regardless of the dominance of Taylor and Clarke on the results sheet, the front of the fleet was remarkably tightly spaced with lots of challengers looking forward to their moment of glory.

The regatta was a culmination of a successful year of Laser sailing at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, with the fleet having grown to 20 sailors taking part in competitive weekly racing. 2009 promises to be equally exciting as racers of all ages share their experience and challenge one another to improve their skills and excel as sailors. To view the full race results please visit www.sailing.ky

 

Continue Reading