Archive for November, 2009

UK Tory candidate’s cash held in the Cayman Islands

| 29/11/2009 | 2 Comments

(Standard): High-profile Conservative party millionaire, candidate Zac Goldsmith is facing pressure to end his "non-dom" tax status as the party struggles to fend off claims that it wants to featherbed the rich. Goldsmith was accused of a "cynical" attempt to avoid taxes after it emerged that he benefited from a device normally used by wealthy foreigners working in Britain. Goldsmith, who grew up in Britain, claimed that his wealth will make him a good MP. "I was born into a position of privilege and am therefore not corruptible." He inherited a £200m fortune and said he was "non-domiciled" due to his late Anglo-French father’s own tax status. The bulk of his inheritance is said to remain in a Cayman Islands based family trust.

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US police tap into ‘text-a-tip’ programs

| 29/11/2009 | 7 Comments

(msnbc): After struggling for years with an anti-snitching culture that made witnesses too afraid to come forward, police across the country are getting help from text-a-tip programs that allow people to send anonymous, text messages from their cell phones. In Boston, the first city to heavily promote texting for crime tips, police have received more than 1,000 tips since the program began two years ago. Police credit text tips for providing them with key leads in at least four high-profile killings, including: the accidental shooting of Liquarry Jefferson by his cousin; an arson fire that killed two children; the shooting of a Boston teenager on her 18th birthday; and the fatal stabbing of a man during a bar fight.

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Gunshots were aimed at cops

| 28/11/2009 | 105 Comments

(CNS): Update Saturday 11:30am — Gunshots fired at a police Chevrolet Lumina early this morning injured a special constable but may have been aimed at the inspector who normally drives the car, according to unofficial sources, who said the vehicle was part of a police convoy on "Hot Spot" patrol. Police say that at approximately 3:15 this morning (Saturday 28 November) a number of police vehicles were travelling in a convoy along Shedden Road, in the direction of central George Town. As the vehicles reached the junction of Dr Roy’s Drive a number of what is believed to be gunshots were heard and the rear windscreen of a police vehicle was smashed.

Sources told CNS that the shot penetrated the vehicle but the bullet luckily only grazed the officer in his back, leaving a burn mark only, and he was released from the George Town hospital after treatment.

A huge area of George Town has been cordoned off by police, from Elizabethan Square to Funky Tangs on Sheddon road, plus a number of side roads. The area, which appears to have an epicentre around Dr Roy’s drive, is being patrolled by armed officers. CNS will update as soon as more details are known.

Police are appealing to any witnesses who may have been in the area around this time and are urging them to call the Criminal Investigations Department at 9494222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Judge stops report release

| 28/11/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Following a judicial review heard behind closed doors on Friday, the tribunal’s report concerning suspended Grand Court judge, Justice Priya Levers, will remain under wraps until the Privy Council says otherwise. CNS understands that the governor has given an undertaking to the court not to release the report by Andrew Leggatt, the chair of the tribunal of enquiry into allegations of misbehaviour on the part of Levers, before the question is considered by the Privy Council in London. Justice Angus Foster reportedly ruled that publication should be determined by a judicial committee of the Privy Council and not the governor.

The application for a judicial review, which took place in Justice Foster’s chambers, was made by Levers’ legal team following a move by the governor to release the report after an FOI request was made by a local journalist. Levers sought to stay the release of the report on the grounds that the governor had said it would not be published until after her case was heard at the Privy Council and that for him to do so was unfair.

In legal documents filed in the Grand Court earlier this month Levers’ attorneys, Stuarts Walker Hersant, argued that, not only would the release of the report before the case is concluded be against natural justice, the governor had stated publicly in a press release and in the media that he would not publish the contents until after the case went to London.

However, the governor appeared to have changed his mind and made a decision to release the report on 2 November, which is when Levers’ legal team moved to stop the application. Following his receipt of Leggatt’s report in August, Jack had clearly stated that because “the case is ongoing and will be referred to the Privy Council the governor is not at liberty to release the report.”

The governor. who had his last day in office today (Friday 27 November), will leave the island next Wednesday, and if he still wants to release the report he will now need to seek approval directly from the Privy Council, a move which could see the already significant coststo the Cayman purse climb further.

Sources close to the case suggest that making an application to the judicial committee of the Privy Council to have it released before the substantive hearing could add as much as $700,000 to the bill, which is already expected to exceed $1.5 million. The governor has reportedly hired legal firm Clifford Chance to represent the CIG at the main hearing, but the Cayman government will also have to pay the Privy Council’s legal fees as well as those of Justice Levers.

A source close to the case told CNS that it was difficult to understand why the governor would pursue the goal of releasing the report before the Privy Council hearing as it was exempt under FOI because if formed part of ongoing judicial proceedings. “Since this comes within the exceptions as set out in the Freedom of information Law, one wonders why the governor has chosen to do this literally days before he leaves the island.”

The governor has agreed throughout these proceedings that the Cayman government will not only pay the costs of pursuing the case against Levers but will also foot the bill for Levers’ legal team as well, so if he seeks to gain leave to publish from the judicial committee the money will have to be found for Jack’s or the new governor’s legal advisers as well as those of Justice Levers.

According to the appropriation in the 2009/10 budget, $800,000 has been set aside for legal proceedings related to the whole case. However, CNS understands most of that has been used to pay the bills from the previous tribunal proceedings and funds do not appear to have been allocated to cover any of the forthcoming Privy Council fees, which are expected to be incurred in this financial year.

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Speedy arrests for robbery

| 27/11/2009 | 21 Comments

(CNS): Police have arrested four men in connection to an armed robbery at the Texaco Station on Walkers Road in the early hours this morning (Friday 27 November). According to the RCIPS, four men, one of whom had a gun, entered the gas station at 2:15am and demanded money from the cashier. Sources say that one of the men held a gun to the head of the gas station employee before all four men made off with an undisclosed sum of cash. Police said that 45 minutes later three men were arrested in the Appleby parking lot, and later Friday morning a fourth man was arrested on Mary Street.

Police said all four suspects are in their 20s and are in currently in police custody. The owners of the gas station are no strangers to crime and say the same worker that was threatened this morning was also injured during a robbery a few years ago.

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Scientists take first step towards biodegradable plastic

| 27/11/2009 | 0 Comments

(ScienceDaily): A team of pioneering South Korean scientists have succeeded in producing the polymers used for everyday plastics through bioengineering, rather than through the use of fossil fuel based chemicals. This groundbreaking research, which may now allow for the production of environmentally conscious plastics, is published in two papers in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering. "The idea of producing polymers from renewable biomass has attracted much attention due to the increasing concerns of environmental problems and the limited nature of fossil resources, " said Professor Sang Yup Lee.

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CLICO customers urged to find alternative insurance

| 27/11/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Health Insurance Commission says individuals and employers who have been insured at CLICO (Cayman) Ltd must get health insurance from other approved insurers in order to stay compliant with the Health Insurance Law, since, as of next Tuesday 1 December, the insurance company will no longer provide health insurance in the Cayman Islands. This follows a “cease and desist order” issued in March to Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited, trading as Clico (Cayman) Ltd, by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA.

Under the order, CIMA has directed the company to stop issuing new policies with investment features until the asset level in its trust fund has been increased to the required level and approval is granted by the Authority for the Company to resume such activity; and prevented the company from receiving any new premiums on existing policies with investment features until approval is granted by the Authority to resume such activity.

CIMA has also required CLICO to “take certain actions within a prescribed time frame and imposed additional reporting requirements on the Company to better monitor its business activities and financial condition.

For more information, call the Health Insurance Commission at the Department of Health Regulatory Services. The number is 946-2084 or the visit Department’s website at www.dhrs.ky

 

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US shares plunge on fears of Dubai crisis

| 27/11/2009 | 0 Comments

(Times Online): US shares plunged by over 200 points today as investors took fright at the unfolding debt crisis in Dubai. It is the first time American investors have been able to react to Dubai’s mounting financial problems after markets were closed yesterday for Thanksgiving. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged by 2 per cent, down 217.58 points to 10,246.82 within seconds of opening. In London, shares remained in positive territory, despite a sharp 80 point fall at the beginning of the day, and rose 29.38 points to 5,223.5. There are fears that companies, banks in particular, are exposed to the Emirate after the Dubai government announced earlier this week it would ask creditors of Dubai World, the state-owned conglomerate, for a six-month standstill on its debt repayments.

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Local lawyers offer cut price real estate service

| 27/11/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A new boutique law firm specialising in real estate law has opened its doors in Cayman offering, the firm says, more competitive fees for clients. The first and only legal firm to focus entirely on property, Cayman Law Associates will be advising on all real estate issues and transactions including residential and commercial property purchases and sales, leasing, development, construction, strata titles and landlord and tenant matters. “As the firm does not follow the usual corporate law firm model we are therefore able to operate with a lower cost base,” partner and head of real estate, Richard Sykes, said.

“This ultimately leads to far more competitive fees for clients however it does not mean a sacrifice in quality. The main objectives are always efficiency and availability,” he added

Sykes, formerly with Walkers is originally from New Zealand, where he is a qualified barrister and solicitor. He relocated to Grand Cayman after spending the majority of his working life in London dealing with a wide variety of real estate matters. “I am very happy to have the opportunity of offering high quality legal services to the Cayman community at competitive prices and I’m confident about the current and future state of the real estate market,” he said.

Sykes noted that his clients say pre-sales have increased and they are looking at bringing back online some projects that were previously put on hold. "We are obviously still a small market and effected by what happens overseas, but prices have been pretty stable over the last few months although the volume of transactions has been down," he said.


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Rotary fund raiser set to rock the beach

| 27/11/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A permanent fixture on the Cayman Islands entertainment calendar Rotary Central’s 14th annual Music Extravaganza takes places this Saturday at Royal Palms. Organisers say fans will rocked, rolled, shaken and stirred at the event which starts at 7:30 pm ad offers up an eclectic mix of the Islands’ top performers. Opening the show will be Cayman’s famous country band “Gone Country” followed by Sea ‘n’ B with some tropical rhythms before Suite Elite take to the stage with some rock.

Rotary Central member and on of the event organiser Fiona Moseley said the Music Extravaganza is a great night of fun and dancing with Cayman’s most talented local musicians. “The event also provides important contributions to our Islands, as all proceeds from the Music Extravaganza are distributed to the club’s community service programme.  Rotary Central has a long history of serving Cayman’s communities and this event has helped to raise a great deal of money over the years for important local projects,” she added.

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