Baines admits cop fuel abuse

| 07/05/2010

(CNS): The police commissioner has admitted that a criminal investigation is ongoing regarding the abuse of the government’s fuel card management system, as revealed by the audit general’s report. David Baines denied that there was significant abuse by RCIPS officers of the system but said there may have been some misuse. He said police detectives were following up on transactions made on one card in particular, but the police boss suggested the problem was poor management of the system and not that fuel had been obtained fraudulently. Baines conceded, however, that he did not have enough officers to investigate the numerous transactions that were considered suspicious.

During Thursday’s Public Accounts Committee meeting the police commissioner was one of several witnesses called to answer questions about the special report by the auditor general’s office based on an internal audit report on fuel card usage and management by government departments and agencies.
In the report the internal audit revealed literally thousands and thousands of fuel transactions had been made by police officers as well as other public servants that were suspicious because the control of government fuel cards for public sector vehicles under the Gasboy system had been lost. The internal audit revealed a complete breakdown with multiple cards in circulation for the same vehicles as well as multiple cards in the hands of individual personnel.
Multiple transactions in one day for one vehicle exceeding fuel tank capacities and the fact that cards allocated to people who had left the RCIPS were still being used were all revealed by the report.  Baines insisted that all of this was as a result of a poor system and not major abuse and said he resented Dan Duguay’s findings and the auditor general’s allegations of fraud. However, he admitted that not only was one investigation into possible theft underway but also that he did not have enough staff to examine all potentially suspicious purchases.
He said most of what Duguay had said were suspicious transactions could be explained away, but did not indicate how he could be confident of that given the lack of information available.
Baines told PAC that the RCIPS had taken on board the recommendations of the report but that it was still possible that the system would fail for the same reasons as it had broken down in the first place, which he said was not fraud. The commissioner said he and the AG disagreed over the report’s findings because the police needed evidence to make the kind of statement made by Duguay that fraud had been committed.
“We concur that some abuse has taken place,” the commissioner said, “and in some cases there wasn’t an explanation.” He said, however, that it was down to glitches and mismanagement and suggested cards were lost in washing machines and misplaced rather than being used to take fuel for non-governmental purposes. “We have not been able to find the evidence to back the statement that this was criminal. We believe it’s just lax management of an over bureaucratic system.”
Baines insisted that the AG had been wrong to put out the message that here was widespread corruption regarding the police and fuel.
However, had the AG not made the internal audit a public document by examining the findings, the public would have been none the wiser about the abuse that has taken place and that the system was failing so dramatically, leaving public money so blatantly exposed to abuse.
Duguay pointed out that before the audit was done none of the problems had been addressed. When he discussed the findings with the commissioner before publication’ the police had been able to explain only one of the thousands of suspicious transactions because there was no way to know what had really happened every time the hundreds of cards allocated to the police had been used.
“Of the thousands of transactions which were examined in the audit’ one in three was suspicious,” Duguay noted. “Were they all fraudulent? We don’t know because there is no information. There were so many problems in this system that no one had any idea what was going on.” Duguay said there was no reconciliation of the fuel usage and the commissioner could not say with certainty what had happened. “It is inconceivable that all of these transactions can be explained away.”
The commissioner conceded that there had been abuse by the RCIPS but said that things were in place now to limit future potential abuses, but he said he felt the system overall needed to change and the bureaucracy removed.
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  1. DEAN NELSON says:





  2. Anonymous says:

     Mr. Baines freely admitted that his officers are currently busy handling serious criminal matters and simply do nothave time to probe what he called “administrative issues”.

    It was so called administrative issues at HMP Northward that led to the murder of a young girl at the Prison Farm.

    No one in Government seems to take notice of ‘administrative issues’ and rather turn a blind eye.

  3. islandman says:

    What a mess!…shame on the CoP for such a flimsy excuse.

    How many civilians are in prison for theft?…while the Police get a free pass…and the CoP makes excuses…yet we somehow expect the public to "trust and respect" the Police…and by extention the Govt.

  4. Anonymous says:
    Cayman you get the police force you want, and the crime you deserve.
    Most posters probably don’t realize, but the RCIP is currently trying to recruit overseas for officers, jobs have been advertised in Jane’s Police Review. When prospective officers do a little research (as they inevitably will), and look at the Cayman News Service website, and read the bitter and twisted rants on the various threads relating to the RCIP, from members of the public who once received a traffic ticket and didn’t like it (I found most people in Cayman feel the law should apply to everyone else but themselves), they are going to look elsewhere for overseas policing opportunities. So the Cayman community will be deprived of good officers, and then no doubt people on this website will be complaining about the lack of ‘quality’ officers in the RCIP.
    Did anyone actually read the article? Its fairly obvious that the vast majority of transactions at the gas pump have nothing to do with fraud, but problems with the system. I know this because as a former RCIP officer I had to use the system, and it was a disaster, not everyone had cards, so 99% of the time people would be sharing cards to fill up police vehicles, which would explain why one card had been repeatedly used over a short period of time.
    People are so eager to jump on the bandwagon and stick the boot in to the RCIP, a police force cannot operate without the support of the public, so at the end of the day it is you who will suffer. Its already apparent you are already getting the crime you deserve, and the criminals are laughing as you fall over each other trying to bring down the RCIP.
    • Twyla Vargas says:

      19:54  I must agree with your comments. Its very true that some people who have gotten a traffic ticket will hold up the whole police force for this.  I know we are all humans and hurt, but the fact of the matter is, the police is there to protect and serve, which they cannot do without the public help.  Not saying that all police are the same.   Far from the truth, remember they too are human beings with blood running through their veins.   Although in a split moment of defence we do not think that way.   Another thingwe will find some ex cops, will be against the police when they leave office.  Please remember what we were taught.  "Once a Cop always a cop"

      It is very humble that some of us still think that way, while others still hurt.  But that too is being human.  Frankly speaking we have  cops from all walks of life that only work for a paycheck. Parliament and Preachers do it too;  so no one is perfect, and so to peak, again,  it is human.   The bible says, "Any man who say he has not sinned is  liar"  So those who have not sinned, cast the first stone.

      Police now a days need to live like brothers and sisters, like they did back then.  That is not happening now.  So if the RCIP  is devided, it cannot stand; which then gives the public and criminals every opportunity to,……….like the writer says, jump on the bandwaggon and stick a boot in the RCIP.  As a member of the public, ask yourself the question.  Am I doing my part in supporting the police?  And to the RCIP. I ask, "Are you supporting each oter,  living like brothers and sisters or are you undermining your felow officers.?  Be true to yourselves with much love and I am sure God wll do the rest to protect you all.   Blessed

  5. Anonymous says:

    Shame on you Baines,,,,Fully investigate each case within the Police or simply turn a blind eye,then you need to resign. If you blame poor management of the fuel system,then as head of the police you should resign..Good bye sir.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I guess that theft is only a problem when it is seen to be a problem. The slight mismanagement of the government fuel depot involving hundreds of thousands of peoples money isn’t really a problem.

    Oh and there aren’t really gangs in Cayman only groups.

  7. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Every person in the Cayman Islands show understand why the Hong Long Independent Commission Against Corruption was established.

    Brief History

    Since its inception in 1974, the Independent Commission Against Corruption has embraced a three-pronged approach of law enforcement, prevention and community education to fight corruption. With the support of the Government and the community, Hong Kong has now become one of the cleanest places in the world.

    But how serious was the problem of corruption in Hong Kong before the ICAC came into being? What was the reason for setting up an independent body to fight corruption?

    Hong Kong was in a state of rapid change in the 1960s and 70s. The massive growth in population and fast expansion of the manufacturing industry accelerated the pace of social and economic development. The Government, while maintaining social order and delivering the bare essentials in housing and other services, was unable to meet the insatiable needs of the swelling population. This provided a fertile environment for the unscrupulous. Many people had to take the "backdoor route" simply to earn a living and secure other than basic services. "Tea money", "black money", "hell money" – whatever its name – became not only familiar to many Hong Kong people, but accepted with resignation as a necessary way of life.

    Corruption was rampant in the public sector. Ambulance crews would demand tea money before picking up a sick person and firemen would solicit money before turning on the hoses to put out a fire. Even hospital amahs asked for "tips" before giving patients a bedpan or a glass of water. Offering bribes to the right officials was also necessary when applying for public housing, schooling and other public services. Corruption was particularly serious in the Police Force. Corrupt police officers offered protection to vice, gambling and drug activities. Law and order was under threat. Many in the community had fallen victim to corruption. And yet, they swallowed their anger.

    Corruption had become a major social problem in Hong Kong, but the Government at the time seemed powerless to deal with it. The community’s patience was running thin and more and more people began to vent their anger on the Government’s futile attempts at tackling the problem. In the early 70s, a new and potent force of public opinion emerged. People pressed incessantly for the Government to take decisive action to fight graft. Public resentment escalated to new heights when a corrupt expatriate police officer under investigation was able to flee Hong Kong. The case proved to be the last straw.

    Controlling assets of over HK$4.3 million, Peter Godber, a Chief Police Superintendent, was under investigation in 1973. It was suspected that his unearned wealth had been obtained from corrupt means. But Godber managed to slip out of the territory undetected during the week given to him by the Attorney General to explain the source of his assets. Godber’s escape unleashed a public outcry. Students spearheaded a mass rally in Victoria Park, protesting and condemning the Government for failing to tackle the corruption problem. Demanding prompt government action, protesters with slogans like "Fight Corruption, Arrest Godber" insisted that Godber be extradited to stand trial.

    In response to mounting public demand, the Government was quick to take action. Following Godber’s escape on June 8, 1973, Sir Alastair Blair-Kerr, a Senior Puisne Judge, was appointed to form a Commission of Inquiry into Godber’s escape. He compiled two reports. The first detailed the circumstances of Godber’s escape. In his Second Report, Sir Alastair pointed out that "responsible bodies generally feel that the publicwill never be convinced that Government really intends to fight corruption unless the Anti-Corruption Office is separated from the Police…"

    In the wake of the Blair-Kerr reports, the then Governor Sir Murray MacLehose articulated for an independent anti-corruption organisation in a speech delivered to the Legislative Council in October 1973.

    "I think the situation calls for an organisation, led by men of high rank and status, which can devote its whole time to the eradication of this evil." Sir Murray told legislators. "A further and conclusive argument is that public confidence is very much involved. Clearly the public would have more confidence in a unit that is entirely independent, and separated from any department of the Government, including the Police."

    Many in the community sensed the wind of change at this time. They started to see the Government setting the stage for the birth of an effective anti-corruption regime.

    The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was established in February 1974. Since its inception, the Commission has been committed to fighting corruption using a three-pronged approach of law enforcement, prevention and education. The ICAC’s first important task was to bring Godber to justice. In early 1975, Godber was extradited from England to stand trial. The charges were a conspiracy offence and one of accepting bribes. Godber was found guilty on both counts and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. Godber’s extradition and prosecution were an unmistakable statement of ICAC’s determination and resolve to eradicate corruption. It was this landmark case that kicked off a new start against corruption and the beginning of a quiet revolution.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Condoning corruption by your officers dont speak very well of you Commisioner.

    Now I understand why you had to get those operation Tempura people permanently on the force.

  9. 529 says:

    nothing is more disgusting than abuse by those entrusted and empowered to uphold the law. enforcement must start on the inside, make sure you have a clean house, then move out from there.

    commissioner – this is your chance, go in, get the abusers, prosecute publicly to the fullest extent of the law (dont just make them repay) and this will be your first step.

    inaction risks complete breakdown of public trust, and will defeat the morale of your remaining hard working, dedicated professionals.


    lets call a spade a spade here. crooked cops are the foundation of every crappy country in the world.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Someone said, "WHO SCREENS THE POLICE?"


    Should we rely onan outside anti-corruption team to do it; or, should we form our form own Cayman Islands Investigative Unit that is independent from the RCIP and has powers of arrest?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the bottom line these people is GUILTY and that’s  that now the question is whats going to happen to them NOTHEN because like everything else that happens in Government is sweep under the mat thank you Mr. Duguay for bringing alot of this dirt to light i guess thats why you no longer have a job but the truth will set you free. God Help us the people of these Islands if this crap continues.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I wish I could receive free gas and diesel.

    In the book "Animal Farm", every animal is equal, except that the pigs are more equal than the others.

    Of course, this abuse is nothing but theft, and the fraudulent credits received by everyone involved should be added up and billed back to those same people.

    Remember that crimes against the public are crimes against everyone in the country, and should not be tolerated.

    Their should be zero tolerance for crimes committed by those who are positions of public trust .

    They are far more heinous than crimes committed by ordinary criminals who no one trusts.


  13. Anonymous says:

    not enough officers to investigate these matters!! So if it’s crime by the Police we can’t investigate but we can bring UK investigators to undermine the judicial system and get rid of the few good cops but we can’t find two to dedicate to investigating this abuse.

    Shame on you Commissioner Baines, Leadership starts at the top and is done by example. If the police Officers know that they can commit crime and get away with it so do the criminals.

    I’ve got say as a businessman the business of Government is a shambles and we they need to start taking a more businesslike approach to it day to day management.

    In the private sector, if one of my managers came to me and said my employees were stealing from me but he didn’t have the time to find out who they were, I would fire him on the spot then I would find out who was stealing from me and I would fire them too.

    Does anyone wonder now why the civil service can do as they please? Not only do they get all the perks such as a job for life( even if they commit crime) full pension and insurance paid, good salaries, pay rises (even in recessionary times) and the list goes on.  My god, we have have employees at the chief officer level of pay that are allowed to stay home at full pay because they can’t find a position to put them in. No business is run like this and government needs to take stock and start taking action. This is one of the big reasons we are going to have to pay taxes and not a damn thing will change in the civil service, in fact they most likely will be exempt form any taxation as well.

    A lot of this deadwood and lack of leadership needs to be rewarded with a good firing not a pat on the back. Get rid of some of these people and you will start seeing others take notice. (I’m not talking about politician "retiring" people either)

    Come on Cayman, everyone of us sees this abuse and lack of leadership including our Governor and our politicians. Lets try to impress on them that it’s time to run the country in a more businesslike way and stop these people from taking advantage of the rest of us.

    Commisioner Baines, you continue to let me down!!!


  14. John Evans says:


    CoP Baines, "Suggested cards were lost in washing machines and misplaced."

    As any other UK police officer would say, "Pull the other one son."

    I thought Operation Tempura was a joke but this is just getting beyond belief. So much for dealing robustly with corruption.

    If the RCIPS can’t deal with what is a fairly simple audit trail (it’s child’s play compared with some of the welfare fraud investigations I was involved in as a civil servant some 25 years ago!) to find the culprits what hope do they have when it comes to solving serious crimes?

    And if the RCIPS are short of manpower to deal with this I’m available right now to come over and help out. I’m sure someone from the Operation Tempura team will give me the appropriate references 🙂

  15. Voice of Reason says:

     I wonder which officers these are? Are they expat or local Caribbean? I think can guess…… 

    Why is it that the criticism for authority on these forums always seems to be made by those whose written English is so poor? It’s the same in all societies, it is those people who were happy not to pay attention at school (or too lazy), who are generally the first to try and find fault in authority.

    Those responsible for the fuel theft (or "misuse as Mr Baines so eloquently put it) should certainly be held accountable. However the overriding sentiment of "entitlement without effort" that seems to emanate from many of the posts on this website is both worrying and annoying.

    Worrying I suspect because these are, no doubt, the same people who would quite happily vote for independence despite the clear lesson from Jamaica that such a move would be ruinous. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    This Commissioner is proving to us right now that he is part of that same ol boys club that has been in the Police Force for years.  I have no faith in this commissioner and hope his contract is not renewed when the time comes.  We need real men that will hold real accountability. 

    I bet you if it was some young person take $5 in gas he would have his officers lock the poor kid up and throw away the keys.  I have no faith in the RCIP.

  17. incognito says:

    Im trying hard not to be judge-mental but it looks as if there is no one left that cant be honest.. Its sad that we become a place where everyone is for themselves and even the police can’t be trusted. sad sad sad… 

  18. Anonymous says:

     he didn’t admit cop abuse.  he admitted that there was an investigation.  really wrong choice of words.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Commisioners denial of wrong doing by his officers remind me of Governor Jack defending the money wasted in his operation tempura etc.

    • Anonymous9 says:

      Not the same whatsoever. Not in the least. You nor any other regular citizen will ever know what Tempura was all about. Where there is smoke, there is fire. There just wasn’t enough time nor money to get to the bottom of that.

      Don’t compare. NO comparison.

  20. Anonymous says:

    i hope the investigation go right across the board, and not just caymanian officers, but also the ones from England and Canada and other areas. I hope these allegations have genuine basis.

  21. Anonymous says:

    ha! no way to deny this one huh? like those kids on talk live asked, why is it that other words are used to substitute theft (like, perhaps, ABUSE)! if the people who are supposed to be enforcing the laws can’t even identify them when its slapping them in the face, why should we??

  22. Anonymous says:

    wow, what chance do we have?

  23. Anonymous says:

    the police commissioner should be hold accountable and charge and sentence for his staff abuse. He is claiming he dont have enough officers to investigate these claims, what rubbish. arrest him or he comes fair and give the public justice.I’m donot have a beef here with the police, but who screens the police?

    • Anonymous says:

      He reports to Franz  Manderson.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Well if we are going to go by how we are thinking,  then half of Cayman would have to be locked up for these sort of things.  I personally do not think we should blame the Commissioner of Police for these things which happened before he was here, however we can make sure it dont happen anymore.   But each and every one of us have done something wrong in our life time.  Dont misunderstand,that I am taking up for the police or anyone else, no, but It would make heads roll and eyes spin if all that is going on in this place was told.  You think it is only Gas Guzzling?, then ye better think again.  Because if pin did’nt bend, story would’nt end. 

      • Anonymous9 says:

        Twyla you have missed the point here. XXXXXX

        Stealing is stealing and every use not authorised is theft. Every use after you have left the employ is FRAUD!!

        Read the full article. Baines is trying to explain away the unexplanable and inexcusable.

        • Twyla Vargas says:

          21:32  I understand fully well what you are saying.   I never miss a point, I keep people guessing, and,   I hope  you have never been in the position which Mr. Baines is in. 

          I always feel that people who live in glass house should not throw stones.    I do not think Mr Baines is trying to coverup.   I believe he may be caugh beween the devil and deep blue sea.  So its go to Hell or Drown, which ever way death is enevitable.

          As Captain Would you try and save your crew, or escape on the only life raft available.    Its called being human,  not making excuses, but some of our hearts are so hardened, that If there was a TREE  by the Town clock, every day there would be a hanging going on. Oh my.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m Sorry but these people should be lock away because if it was any one else they would have been fired and change and sent to prison for these charges what makes these any diffrent lets see what will happen NOTHEN all it would be like not a dam thing happen only Government these things could happen .

  25. A Great Mind hmmm says:

    I for one agree with the first poster.

    Theft is theft in all it’s forms.  Officers abusing cards to fuel multiple vehicles can only serve as a sign that these vehicles were not all Govt. owned.

    The fact that Officers used these cards after leaving the RCIP and no longer have any right to use of this fuel is THEFT.  Does Commissioner Baines want this publics help or criticizm?  If he wants our help then stop with the denial Sir.  If you don’t then by all means I hope you can take the licks that will come from your obviously ‘not thought out response’, and surprisingly coming from you lips.

    They stole the gas, and they should now be made to refund the Govt. every freaking dime or loose their pensions against it. There are more ways to skin a cat I am told, this is just one to hit them in the pockets for stealing.  That is if you don’t want to prosecute them.

    When theft occurs in Govt. the only purse that gets hit the hardest is the Tax Payers Purse, yes the people out here are the ones who have to pay.  The culprits get away with not refunding a dime to the Govt.  This rubbish need to stop. 

    I wonder how much longer we have to suffer at the hands of all these injustices against the Govt. Purse (which is infact the people’s purse).

    Commissioner Baines, get real and admit the truth, your officers stole the Gas whether on your watch or otherwise they did so fradulently and that’s a crime that needs to be addressed.  Bring everyone involved to justice or take it from their pensions.

    We the people give The Govt. permission to do so.

  26. verticalpig says:

    “Nothing to see here” Eh Police Commissioner Baines?

    If the size ten boot was on the other foot what are the odds it would be kicking in doors “pursuing investigations”.

    The word “accountability” does not appear to exist in the official CI Dictionary does it?

  27. Anonymous says:

    So the Commissioner concurs that some abuse has taken place.  However to suggest that cards were lost in washing machines and misplaced is illogical.  If the cards were unreadable due to damage from a washing machine or if they were lost, then a legitimate transaction could not have taken place.  Therefore the cards were being not being used for the purposes they were intended to!!!

    If I remember correctly, a employee’s fuel card was meant to match a vehicle’s fuel card and an odomoter reading was to have been registered. If all of the officers had abided by these rules and properly registered their fuel transactions then there would not be a question of suspicious activities.  Mr. Commissioner, if your officers did not follow the rules then the AG is absolutely right to question these activities and to report that they were suspicious. 

    Of all people who should follow the rules Mr. Commissioner it is the police.  The excuse of poor management of the system means your officers chose to ignore the rules.

    Shame on them Sir but moreso shame on you for defending them.


  28. Anonymous says:

    How convenient that the government does not have the required numbers of officers to investigate other government employees. Yet we seem to have an available RCIPS Inspector to deal with the incredibly important case of the "stolen" dog.  It just shows how pathetically out of line the priorities really are. What an embarassment.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Anyone filling up their own private vehicle or filling a company vehicle for private use is obtaining fuel fraudulently and needs to be prosecuted. They are not ‘accidentally’ doing it, of course they knew what they were doing.

    Everyone invlolved in the scam including the fraudsters taking fuel when they shouldn’t, their supervisors signing off, the operators letting their mates take fuel etc etc all need to be fired and their assets frozed whilst estimates are made of the costs of their fraudulent activities.

  30. Rorschach says:

    Again, the old doublespeak…."abuse" and "misuse", not "Theft"…yeah, right…Someday, someone will have the B@lls to actually call a spade a spade and not a shovel…but don’t hold your breath…and to say that the cause was "poor management" of the system is like saying that the thief isn’t guilty if the homeowner leaves his valuables lying around…the fact remains, Police Officers STOLE Governement property!!!   This alone should be enough for the Commissioner to stop giving lip service andstartkicking some a$$!!  The CoP has been dismissing police officers left, right and center for petty disciplinary offenses in an effort to reduce the operating costs of the RCIP without having to cut his budget…well, here is his opportunity to cut some more!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    In the words of Ed Lover… "C’mon SON! Get outta here with that BS!" Do you really believe that all this time ONLY ONE time was the gas card abused (just maybe?) I mean wow… But yet some of us do really believe that there is no corruption in the RCIPS…  So naive…

  32. Anonymous says:

    Does he really expect us to believe this? Oh please… What will we do without Dan the MAN!

  33. Goosed says:

    Has anyone possibly worked out how much fuel was truly used by the police over a period of time? Figure out the number of vehicles used by the police, ascertain the mileage over that period,  ascertain the MPG and figure out just what amount of gasoline should have been used. This is not rocket scientist stuff. It may not be exact but it gives you an idea.Over to you Dan just before you leave. Oh and thanks for the report and indeed all your reports.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Surprise surprise!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Of course it is fraudulent – I don’t believe for one second that someone who no longer works for the police force yet still puts petrol on their card – or someone who is filling several vehicles in one day, doesn’t realise that they are abusing their trust?  oh come on….

    • Pending says:

      Is this is not fraud then what is it Mr. Baines?

      In Dan Duguay had not performed the audit then this would still be going on, FACT.

      And there would still be people "who no longer work for the police" using these fuel cards, which I think you will find is called THEFT.

      This will be one of many red alerts that comes up in the -Ex-AG’s finduings and probably not the last when the new guy gets here…unless he has been told by our dictator that he is not to report anything suspicious.

    • Anonymous says:

      of course they abuse the authority by taking the gas they should check Environmental Health special on may 15 2009 how somebody used 750 for 3 days but i will just keep it to my self