Archive for May 12th, 2009

Prisoner back in Northward

| 12/05/2009 | 40 Comments

(CNS): Update Tuesday 12 May 12:45pm: James Orville Ebanks, who escaped from HMP Northward on Friday, is now back in custody. He was apprehended at approximately 8:15pm Monday evening, 11 May, by a search team of prison officers, operating in conjunction with the RCIPS, just a few miles from the prison in Bodden Town. He was returned to HMP Northward and subsequently handed over to the police. He is currently being questioned by police officers at the Central Police Station.

Ebanks was found to be missing during the 11:30 am lunch break head count on Friday. When his escape was announced, prison officials said he apparently used an instrument to cut through the bars of his cell window, and then cut through the prison fence, making his escape. One prison officer has been suspended in connection with the incident.

Commissioner of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Dr. William Rattray and Deputy Commissioner of Police Anthony Ennis thanked all police and prison officers for their diligent work over the past three days.


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No fires allowed on beaches

| 12/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Residents are being reminded that open fires should not be lit on any beaches in the Cayman Islands. The message comes after an illegal bonfire was left burning on Seven Mile Beach. The blaze was discovered at Governor’s Beach Friday morning, 8 May. Staff from the Recreation, Parks and Cemetery Unit put the fire out, which appeared to have been started using a number of large logs. The RCIPS would like to remind the public that open fires on the beach are not only extremely dangerous, but also illegal under the Penal Code.

Residents should also remember that littering is an offence under the 1997 Litter Law. If cooking on the beach, residents should always put safety first, use a grill at all times and ensure that all hot embers are put completely out when finished with.

“Officers will be looking out for offences like this while on patrol,” said Area Commander for West Bay, ChiefInspector Angelique Howell.

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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CAL extends kids special fare

| 12/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Airways has announced that the booking period for this summer’s “Kids fly half off” deal on Cayman Airways has been extended to 29 May. The summer special is for children aged 12 and under who are accompanied by at least one adult with a full fare ticket. The offer is good for travel between 1 June and 30 August 2009, when schools are out for the summer. Parents are also being treated to some great deals on Cayman Airways this summer, with full fare tickets to all US gateways starting at US$219.

Cayman Airways CEO Olson Anderson says that Cayman families are an important client sector for the national flag carrier, and this year the airline is pleased to assist families with keeping their summer vacation plans during these lean times.

The national flag carrier’s summer gateways in the US this year are Miami, Tampa, and New York. To book, visit, call 345-949-2311, or your local travel agent.

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Charges laid in fund collapse

| 12/05/2009 | 4 Comments

(CNS): A 48-year-old man has been charged with a number of fraud offences as part of an ongoing investigation by the Financial Crime Unit into the collapse of the ‘Grand Island Fund’. Robert Christopher Tom Girvan has been charged with three counts of forgery, obtaining a money transfer by deception and uttering a false document. Girvan will appear before magistrates this morning, Tuesday 12 May. In a statement following Girvan’s arrest in July 2007, the FCU said the collapse of the funds was thought to represent millions of dollars and that the FCU was unsure how many people were affected by its collapse.

It is thought that ‘Grand Island Fund’ relates to several or all of four interlinked funds: Grand Island Commodity Trading Fund I, Grand Island Commodity Trading Fund II, and Grand Island Income Fund, which were registered by CIMA in 2006, and Grand Island Master Fund, which is unregulated.

In the wake of the voluntary liquidation in June 2007, David Walker and Nicholas Freeland were appointed by the Joint Voluntary Liquidators (JVL) of all four funds, which were domiciled in the Cayman Islands. At least one was founded and directed by local businessman Naul Bodden, and CNS understands that Close Brothers (Cayman) Ltd were the Fund Administrators. Not only were the funds locally managed, a considerable number of local investors are also said to be involved and to have lost significant amounts of money.

PwC Corporate Finance & Recovery (Cayman) Ltd, wholly owned by PricewaterhouseCoopers Cayman Islands, was appointed as Receiver over various accounts held at ScotiaMcLeod in Canada, which are believed to be related to the funds. PwC said in July that this would facilitate the repatriation of monies currently held in accounts in Canada back to the Cayman Islands until the proper allocation is determined. The liquidators were expecting to have made an application to the Grand Court to have the funds placed under its supervision and heard this week.

Investigations are ongoing into the matter and detectives would like those with information or knowledge to come forward. Anyone who can assist should contact Detective Constable Richard Clarke on 949-8797.

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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CIAA hosts 2009 IAAF World Athletics Day

| 12/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): In celebration of World Athletics Day, the Cayman Islands Athletic Association will be one of the 160 IAAF Member Federations (out of 213members in total) requesting to participate in the International Association of Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Day. The annual worldwide festival of youth is one of the busiest programmes of competitions in the global Athletics calendar which continues to be as popular as ever, a release from the CIAA says.

Until last year, the festival, inaugurated in 1996, had always been held on a designated weekend each year. While the weekend of Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 May 2009 is the preferred time for the IAAF’s Member Federations to celebrate the IAAF World Athletics Day however, the option of holding their celebration at any time in the month of May if it suits their arrangements better has been allowed in an effort to aid the greatest possible number of participating Federations.

Cayman’s Meet will take place on Saturday, 16 May, at 9:00am at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex for Youth Age Group children who were born in 1992-1993 (16-17 years old). Also participating will be boys and girls born in 1994-1995-1996 (13-15 years old) in keeping with the goal of the IAAF Athletics’ World Plan, for the fourth year, to make Athletics the number one sport in schools. 143 of the Member Federations have signed-up for the School element known as the ‘Minimes’ age group.

As in the past, once all competition results have been received by the IAAF, there will be a draw of national winners for the Youth Age Group and the “Minimes” School Children sometime in the month of June. The World Athletics Day 2009 Draw will determine the winners, that is 12 children from the Youth Age Group (1 Boy and 1 Girl by Area) from the winners of Club competitions, and 6 youngsters (13-15 years old, 1 per Area) from the winners of School Individual competitions.

The 18 ‘lucky winners’ of the draws from the individual competitions will be invited to attend part of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany (August 2009 – *travel and full-board accommodation costs covered by the IAAF). In addition, 6 Teams (13-15 years old, 1 per Area) from the winners of School Team competitions will be drawn and each shall receive one set of youth athletics equipment for their school.

In Cayman, registration is open to ages 11 and above to give the CAC age group some more exposure to their events. Forms are available at schools, the CIAA’s office at the Sports Complex or by contacting Coach Williams at 323-0163, Coach Yen at 925-6917 or Coach Wason at 916-6966. Registration closes at 6:00pm on Thursday, May 14, 2009.

The events being contested are as follows:

LONG JUMP M/F 11 – 12, 13 – 14, 15 – 16, 17 & OVER
HIGH JUMP M/F 11 – 12, 13 – 14, 15 – 16, 17 & OVER
SHOT PUT M/F 13 – 14, 15 – 16, 17 & OVER
BALL THROW M/F 11 – 12, 13 – 14
DISCUS M/F 15 -16, 17 & OVER
JAVELIN M/F 15 – 16, 17 & OVER

60M HUR F 13 – 14
80M HUR M 13 – 14
400M HUR M/F 15 -16, 17 & OVER
100M HUR M/F 15 -16, 17 & OVER
60M M/F 11 – 12
80M M/F 13 – 14
100M M/F 15 – 16, 17 & OVER
800M F 11 -12
800M M/F 15-16, 17 & OVER
400M M/F 15 -16, 17 & OVER
200M M/F 15 -16, 17 & OVER
1000M 11 – 12 (Boys), 13 -14 (Girls)
1200M M 13 -14
1500M M/F 15 -16, 17 & OVER

The pubic is invited to come out and show their support.

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Date set for Excellence in Education award

| 12/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The winner of the 2009 Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award (JCA) will be announced at an evening to honour the six finalists and their proposed initiatives/projects, which include Cayman Islands Youth Development Consortium’s Youth Development Partnership Scheme; the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)’s Accessing Computer Aided Learning; the Cayman Islands Scout Association’s Cayman Islands Scout Band; John A. Cumber Primary School’s Improving Literacy and Numeracy Through The Arts; and John Gray High School for both BTEC First in Music Technology and the John Gray Surf Club. (Left: Joanna Clarke)

The winner will be granted up to CI$12,000 at the event, which will be held on Saturday, 30 May, at Ristorante Pappagallo, hosted by Cayman Islands-based business conglomerate, dms Organization Ltd. (dms). The JCA Evening will include a champagne reception, dinner and award presentation, as well as entertainment from local students from past JCA recipient schools, Savannah Primary School and John Gray High School.

In prior years, the JCA Evening was an exclusive, invite-only event. For 2009, it is open to the public to encourage all who champion education to join in paying tribute to Joanna Clarke, and celebrate the admirable efforts of the JCA finalists. Tickets are on sale for CI$125 per person, CI$1,150 per table (10), with proceeds going toward a new Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund which will grant financial support to an aspiring or existing teacher looking to further his/her education.

President of dms Don Seymour commented, “This scholarship fund is an expansion to dms’ commitment to education. It was developed to nurture young adults who wish to pursue a degree in education or for teachers who wish to further expand on their careers. With their significant influence on young minds, dms believes that teachers play an important role in the future of Cayman, encouraging students to discover their potential.”

For further information on the Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award or Scholarship, to reserve tickets/tables, or to make a contribution, contact dms Marketing Coordinator Kim Fellman at 814-4279 or

dms Organization is a business conglomerate engaged in the financial services, real estate and media industries.

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Big name endorsement for Burns Conolly

| 12/05/2009 | 47 Comments

(CNS): George Town independent candidate Burns Conolly has picked up a high profile endorsement from former politician Truman Bodden, who publicly backed his candidate at a campaign meeting on Wednesday evening 6 May. Bodden, a former leader of government business and education minister, said, “Burns is highly qualified; he is someone that this country can have as a leader… It takes people like Mr Conolly to take us to the next level where this country can go back to prosperity.” He went on to say. “Mr Conolly is very competent, experienced and a highly qualified professional and something that this country badly needs in the legislature.’’

According to a release from the campaign, Bodden stated that with a former legislator as a father (Warren Conolly) and a chief education officer as a mother (Islay Conolly), Conolly “comes with the appreciation of the dedication that is necessary to give when you are a member of the Cabinet or Legislative Assembly. It is my distinct pleasure to endorse Mr W. Burns Conolly.”

Bodden went on the say that as an independent candidate, Conolly had the ability to “provide the balance” between the political parties that was badly needed in the legislative assembly at the current time. He said, “I am voting for Burns. I have assessed him. I am satisfied that he is good for the country and I am asking the people of George Town to vote for him and please put him in the Legislative Assembly.”

Conolly said, “It is a distinct honour to have someone of the stature of Mr Truman, and someone with the deep knowledge of the Legislative Assembly, endorse my campaign. I have worked hard to be above the field, providing solutions to issues rather than mudslinging and Mr Truman’s endorsement is a testimony to the result of that work. I thank him wholeheartedly for the support.”

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Lions osteoporosis awareness

| 12/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Lions club of Tropical Gardens is hosting an "Osteoporosis Awareness Meeting" on Thursday, 28 May, at the Elmslie Hall at 7:30 pm. This meeting will take the form of a panel discussion, with panel members Dr. Khan and Samantha Conolly sharing in their specialized area. A question and answer session will follow the panel discussion. It is hoped that this meeting will educate the public – both men and women – about existing treatments and ways of preventing this silent, debilitating disease, as well as the importance and benefits to leading healthy lifestyles from an early age. Literature on osteoporosis and vouchers for 30 bone density tests will be distributed. A display of nutritional supplements courtesy of Progressive Distributors will also be on display.

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Impact of EU regulations on Investment Managers

| 12/05/2009 | 2 Comments

On 29 April the European Union published the text of a draft Directive which would, if approved, lead to the regulation of alternative investment fund managers in the EU. This sounds incredibly boring. However, the scale of Cayman’s funds industry and its importance for the local economy mean that any proposed regulation in this area will without doubt affect Cayman.

The EU’s stated motives for the draft Directive include preserving the stability and integrity of European financial markets and protecting investors. Fund managers are already regulated by the individual EU member states, but the European Commission considers that national regulation requires greater cross-border coordination to be effective.

The Directive would require the authorisation and regulation of managers who are domiciled in the EU and who manage alternative investment funds (including hedge funds, private equity funds, commodity funds and real estate funds) with a combined value exceeding €100 million.

All such managers will be required to demonstrate that they are suitably qualified to provide management services and will be required to provide detailed information on the planned activity of the manager, internal arrangements with respect to risk management and arrangements for the valuation and safe-keeping of assets and audit arrangements. Such managers will also be required to hold and retain a minimum level of capital.

At the investment level, managers will be required to report on a regular basis on the principal markets and instruments in which they trade, their principal exposures, performance data and concentrations of risk. Additional disclosure obligations will apply to managers managing leveraged funds and controlling stakes in companies.

From a Cayman perspective, the effect ofthis aspect of the regulation should be limited. It is possible that increased costs and inconvenience may deter some new managers from launching fund management businesses, but this should not be significant.

The Directive also provides that only managers established in Europe can provide their services in Europe. So for example US managers will need to establish a European presence if they are to manage Luxembourg funds. This may slightly reduce the number of investment management vehicles formed in Cayman.

More importantly for Cayman, however, the Directive provides that only funds domiciled in Europe can be marketed by EU authorized managers in Europe. As more than 9,500 of the world’s hedge funds (not to mention private equity funds etc) are domiciled in Cayman, this could have a significant impact on Cayman’s funds industry. On the face of it, managers may be faced with the choice of forming a fund in Europe and being able to operate largely as they wish, or incorporating the fund in Cayman and being unable to offer the fund’s interests in the world’s largest economic bloc.

The good news is that there are at least four reasons why the position may not be as bad as it seems.

First, for the time being and for a three year period after the Directive comes into effect, EU authorised managers will continue to be able to market Cayman funds under existing rules in the individual member states. So nothing much will change for the next few years, although when the Directive comes into force there will be a competitive advantage for fund domiciles such as Luxembourg and Ireland over Cayman as EU funds will be marketable in countries like France and Italy while under current rules Cayman funds will not.

Secondly, the draft Directive includes a passporting mechanism which will commence three years after the Directive takes effect, under which non-EU funds may be marketed in the EU provided that certain conditions are fulfilled. One of the requirements is that there must be a tax information exchange agreement between the territory where the fund is domiciled (eg. Cayman) and the EU country where the fund is to be marketed. Leaving aside the question of why it is considered appropriate to introduce a tax-related requirement into legislation regulating fund managers, this obviously increases the importance of the Cayman Islands Government’s efforts to negotiate tax information exchange agreements with EU member states. It is not clear whether Cayman’s unilateral mechanism would satisfy this condition as drafted.

Thirdly, the Directive is not expected to come into force until 2011, and even that assumes that political approval of the proposal is achieved by the end of 2009. So Cayman’s funds sector, and the international fund management industry as a whole, will have some time to adapt. It may be, for example, that the common master-feeder structure will be modified so that in addition to a US feeder fund for US investors, an EU feeder will be added for EU investors to sit alongside a Cayman feeder for non-US and non-EU investors.

The final cause for modest optimism is that almost everyone hates the draft Directive. The European Commission itself has acknowledged that "it is expected to be the object of intense political discussion and negotiation". The draft was rushed through an abbreviated consultation period and has been attacked by the French Finance Minister and others who consider that the proposed draft does not go far enough, and at the other end of the spectrum by many in the funds industry who regard it as, defective, disproportionate, inappropriately political and protectionist.

It is clear that there will be spirited debate about the draft Directive in the months to come and Cayman should once again expect to be regularly referred to with varying degrees of antipathy. Although Cayman will have little influence over the outcome, the private sector and the Islands’ political leaders need to respond and adapt effectively to seize any opportunities that may arise and to keep Cayman at the pinnacle of the global investment management industry.

Nick Rogers is a partner in the Investment Funds Group with Walkers.



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Court house divide emerges

| 12/05/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Both Stanley Brodie QC and Anthony Akiwumi kept up the pressure on court staff today, the fourth day of Justice Priya Levers’ tribunal, as they sought to raise doubts about the full truth ofthe statements they had made against the Judge. Offering possible alternative motivations and exposing inconsistency in the statements of court house witnesses, her legal representatives also revealed divisions among the court staff as they presented contrary statements from other members of the judicial administration.

The day’s proceedings (11 May) began with Elizabeth Webb, who returned to the stand and faced further questions and challenges from Brodie. He questioned Webb again over details and dates regarding the Leticia Barton letter to Cayman Net News and various inconsistencies and differences across the statements she had given on the issue at different times. Brodie also raised the issue that Levers had begun to have concerns with her work. He asked how it made her feel and she admitted she had been upset. Brodie then suggested that she may have had an ulterior motive for making accusations against Levers.

Brodie then challenged Webb’s statement that Levers had made her send a copy of Justice Dale Sanderson’s expenses to an attorney outside the court via email. He pointed to the fact that the attorney in question had denied ever receiving such an email and that Webb herself was unable to produce the original email but, instead, one that she had forwarded to herself. “This is how it looks now but it wasn’t like that,” Webb said, adding that she had forwarded it to herself from an old address but there had been an original one which she insisted was sent to the attorney despite the denial.

He than moved on to the accusations that she had seen a marshall in the court, Eric Geenidge, hand Justice Levers a copy of a petition going round the court house from some members of the staff dissatisfied with the way the chief justice was managing things. Webb said she had seen the petition later in the day in the justice’s garbage. Brodie, however, pointed out that Geenidge had testified that he had handed Levers a document that day but the envelop contained his pay slips as he had some queries over his pension, which Levers had addressed for him with the people in pay-roll.

“I saw the petition in the garbage and I saw him give her a document, so when I saw the marshalls’ envelop and the petition in the garbage I thought he had given her it,” Webb said. Brodie then noted there was a statement submitted to the tribunal signed by 13 witnesses that Levers had nothing to do with the petition and suggested that her evidence was both untruthful and unreliable.

As the morning moved on, Brodie questioned more staff from the courts and it became apparent that there were certainly differing views among those in the court over Levers’ responsibility for the series of critical letters in Net News, criticisms of other judges and her behaviour in the court room. He cited contrary witness statements from some court staff countering the allegations and began to reveal divisions among the staff itself across the court house.

Questioning Patricia Palmer, the chief justice’s secretary, who had also told him she suspected Justice Levers was the author of the Net News letters, Brodie asked if her view on that was speculative and she said it was. However, she said the reason she suspected that Levers could be the author was because the content of the Leticia Barton letter appeared to be very similar to opinions Justice Levers had shared with her during a conversation in her chambers. She also noted, however, that the chief justice had dismissed her suspicions when she shared them with him as he believed the author was someone else.

Lorraine Hennie, who became Levers’ secretary after Webb moved to another part of the judicial administration, who was the third witness of the day, recalled incidences where Levers had spoken ill of other members of the judiciary. She told the tribunal that the judge had tried to draw her into critical conversations about Justices Alex Henderson and Sanderson as well as the chief justice and accused her of being involved with the petition.

Hennie related an incident during her interview for the post as secretary to Levers where, she said, the judge had inferred a critical issue of the CJ without directly naming him. However, the other staff members from the court house on the interview panel at the time had submitted statements contrary to Hennie’s position, which Akiwumi probed her on. Hennie remained adamant that the justice had asked her awkward questions regarding the CJ, whom she had worked for in the past.

Hennie had also accused Levers of hosting favoured attorneys in her chambers without the opposing counsel present to discuss cases, despite the fact that the door was closed and the accusations was denied by the attorney she said was involved. Hennie then became angry when Akiwumi quizzed her about why she left the chief justice’s employ, as he suggested that she had told people she was unhappy. Hennie accused Akiwumi of being rude to her and said she left for personal reasons following Hurricane Ivan. It was also revealed that in her role as Levers’ secretary she too had breached the justice’s confidentiality.

In the afternoon, the tribunal heard video evidence from a former Canadian plaintiff who had been unhappy with a Levers ruling in family court but had also said that the justice was disparaging towards her. What disparaging remarks were made were not stated, but the witness said she had discussed the complaint with Sanderson. She acknowledged that a judge in Canada had upheld Levers’ ruling and she had never followed through with an appeal for reasons of cost. The question over whether the witness was upset with the justice’s behaviour towards her or the result of the ruling remained.

Lorna Allen, a clerk in Levers’ court on a daily basis, then took the stand and presented a very different picture of her court. She disputed the description of it as a bullying and traumatizing experience offered in earlier statements by Carol Rouse and Karen Myren. She said Levers had been kind to her on many occasions and counselled her when she suffered from bouts of depression.

Allen said the laughter Rouse had referred to in Levers’ court was because of a juror falling asleep and snorting, which was rather unusual for the court room, but she had never seen Justice Levers laughing at witnesses. She also related an occasion when she said Levers had “uncharacteristically snapped” at her in court but she had apologised in front of the court and later privately. As a result of that she confirmed that Rouse had asked her to make a complaint but she said she did not. Allen said she had not heard Levers criticize other judges or make any of the accusations contained in the Leticia Barton letter.

Yasmin Ebanks, the listings officer, however did refer to Levers speaking ill of her judicial colleagues and said she too suspected Levers of writing the letters to Net News as a result of the information she received from Webb, including the incident relating to the suspected Leticia Barton letter. Although when questioned Ebanks could not define how she was convinced by Webb given the limited information, but she said she had no reason to doubt her friend. Going through her statements she also recalled a time when the judge had called her when she was out shopping. Levers asked her if she wassitting down because she had something shocking to reveal, “She told me that Henderson and his wife were …..” at which point Ebanks was silenced by Otty.

The afternoon concluded with a number of housekeeping matters which concerned the possible appearance of Justice Sanderson before the tribunal. Exchanges between the attorneys alluding to statements before the tribunal judges made it evident that the legal teams representing the tribunal itself and those representing the judicial administration would not be happy to see him appear and even less happy for him to be questioned on the issues Brodie had raised. However, Brodie pushed for Sanderson’s appearance as he said it was necessary for him to question him as the accusations of rumour made against Levers involved Sanderson.

Sir Andrew Leggatt, the tribunal chair, said that he would confer with tribunal members Sir Philip Otton and Sir David Simmons and offer his ruling tomorrow (Tuesday 12 May).

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