Archive for June 22nd, 2010

Local controllers appointed to Motor and General

| 22/06/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) announced today that it has appointed David Walker and Ian Stokoe of PricewaterhouseCoopers as controllers to Motor and General Insurance Company Limited’s (Motor and General) Cayman Islands branch. The two local controllers have assumed immediate control of Motor and General’s affairs, CIMA says, and they will continue to manage the branch’s operations and to protect Motor and General’s local policy holders and the assets of the company’s local operations.

“Placing the local entity into controllership allows CIMA to ensure that there are persons in charge of the local operations who have legal power to make and execute decisions to safeguard the interests of Motor and General’s policyholders and the public interest,” stated CIMA Managing Director Cindy Scotland. “This includes ensuring, as far as possible, that the assets belonging to the local entity, including assets held in trust, remain secured for the benefit of its creditors and policyholders and providing ongoing assessment of the company’s financial position.”

In a CIMA release, Scotland further explained that while the Cayman branch is expected to fully comply with the suspension order imposed on its parent company by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, policyholders continue to have valid insurance coverage. This suspension by CBTT is to allow for further investigation into Motor and General Insurance Company Limited’s affairs whilst protecting policy holder rights and obligations.

Motor and General is licensed by CIMA as an approved external class “A” motor insurance company. Under the controllership, Motor and General is permitted to allow renewals of policies on a case-by-case basis but due to the overriding suspension order of the parent company, the entity is not able to pay claims at this time. During this process, and as previously indicated by CIMA, the situation with Motor and General Insurance Company Limited is an ongoing matter and, as such, the Authority is restricted in its ability to provide any additional details on the matter to the public at this time.

Policy holders and creditors with further enquiries may continue to contact Motor and General by telephone on 949 6299 or contact the controllers at or telephone +1(345) 914 8743.

Continue Reading

Bomb scare on Eastern Ave

| 22/06/2010 | 16 Comments

(CNS): Update 9:20pm – Police have confirmed that shortly after 5:00pm this evening (Tuesday 22 June) a bomb threat was received by a member of staff at Kirks Home Centre in Eastern Avenue, George Town. A Royal Cayman Islands Police Service spokesperson said that emergency services attended the scene and the building was evacuated. An extensive search of the premises took place and the all-clear was given around 8.30pm. Police enquiries into the incident are ongoing.” (Photo courtesy News27)

News27 reported earlier that police blocked off roadways on Eastern Avenue from Uncle Bills to Blue Marlin as well as several side streets.

Continue Reading

Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke in custody

| 22/06/2010 | 10 Comments

(BBC): Police in Jamaica say they have arrested suspected drugs lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke on the outskirts of the capital, Kingston. Jamaican media say he walked into a police station although Information Minister Daryl Vaz told the BBC he had been detained in a "police spot-check". The Jamaican government wants to extradite Mr Coke to the US to face charges of drug and gun trafficking. Attempts to capture him in May led to clashes in which scores of people died. Mr Coke, 41, is accused of being the leader of the notorious Shower Posse.


Go to article

Continue Reading

Boy detained for Facebook insult murder in London

| 22/06/2010 | 0 Comments

(BBC): A 16-year-old boy has been detained for killing a former best friend after the pair traded insults on Facebook. Salum Kombo, 18, was stabbed in the chest in Bromley-by-Bow, east London, in December after calling his killer, then 15, names including "pussy". The trial heard the boy, who was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey in May, could not take the "loss of face". The teenager, who cannot be named, has been ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years. Sentencing the boy at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: "There was nothing brave about what you did. "This was quite simply an act of cowardice, as so many stabbings are."

Goto article

Continue Reading

UCCI saves money on Cayman Brac campus move

| 22/06/2010 | 24 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Cayman Brac local news(CNS): With the relocation to the West End of Cayman Brac from its Stake Bay facility, the Brac campus of the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) will save as much as $9,500 per month. From 1 August, the UCCI campus will move into The Avistar III building on West End Road (next to the fire station), where CNS understands the rent is $6,000 and the college may sublet one unit for $500. For the previous location opposite the District Administration, UCCI was paying $15,000 a month.

The new facility will have 2 polycom fitted classrooms, a computer lab, 4 additional classrooms, a library, a student lounge and a board room, which will also be available for public bookings. UCCI Dean of Special Projects, Brian Chapell is also exploring the possibility of the provision of a science lab on the new campus.

Dr Chapell said, “We are very pleased to launch the upcoming academic year in this new location. The Avistar III boasts a great location and a dynamic layout that will allow for a more effective use of space for our students.”

Cayman Islands News, Cayman Brac local newsBrac campus Director Martin Keeley said, "As the Brac campus develops in the future, we plan to add a number of new programmes that will suit the island. We anticipate that these programmes plus the additional space at the campus will give us the capability of attracting both students and professors to the Brac who would not normally come here. This, in turn, will expose our students to interesting and exciting new opportunities."
He added, “ The new location will provide us with more flexibility in terms of the numbers of courses we are able to offer, and will provide both students and staff with their own and very welcome places to escape each other!”

Owner of the Avistar III building, Garston Grant, welcomed the UCCI campus move stating that, “We are happy to have UCCI staff and students in our building and look forward to a long and successful partnership for the development of tertiary education in Cayman Brac.”

There will be an official opening ceremony of the new location in the near future, according to a UCCI release.

Continue Reading

Water Authority tackles 3rd broken main in a week

| 22/06/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Crews from the Water Authority are wrestling with another burst water main this time in the centre of George Town. Officials said this morning that the broken main is located at the junction of Shedden Rd and Dr Roys Dr. in George Town.  Repairs are expected to take around 4hours, during which time service will be interrupted for customers in the area. Motorists are asked to drive with caution and obey all traffic signs. Theauthority apologizes for the inconvenience during restoration to customers and drivers.

Last week the Water Authority dealt with a burst pipe in Spotts area, near the Coral Bay Village and in the Pease Bay area of Bodden Town interrupting supply to customers and rush hour traffic

Continue Reading

Teen pizza robbers arrested

| 22/06/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Three teenage girls and one teenage boy have been arrested in connection with the Dominos Pizza robbery in Savannah earlier this month, police said today (Tuesday 22 June).  As a result of police operations in the George Town and Prospect areas on Sunday 20 and Monday 21 June, the four teens, all aged 17, were arrested on suspicion of robbery. During the robbery three girls reportedly entered the pizza restaurant with machetes and threatened staff before making off with a small amount of cash and bottles of soda. The robbery took place at around 1:45 in the afternoon of Thursday 3 June, no one was injured in the incident and police say their enquiries are continuing.


Continue Reading

NDC aims to reduce drug use with reduced budget

| 22/06/2010 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Despite a reduction in the National Drug Council’s budget from $510,000 last year to 486,000 in this year’s financial plan the Minister with responsibility for youth said government was committed to the NDC and its work in reducing the demand for drugs. As Cayman prepares to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking this weekend with a focus on steering young people away from drugs the minister said that young people were often misinformed about drug misuse and the negative health impact.

This year’s international drive encourages young people to take charge and aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society and especially to young people. With the theme Do drugs control your life? Your life. Your community. No place for drugs, campaign organizers hope to inspire people to say no to drugs.
The minister has encouraged parents to talk to their children about the negative impacts of drug abuse, and urged students to take control of their lives by specifically adopting the last part of this year’s campaign slogan: No place for drugs.
“Teenagers and young adults are particularly vulnerable to using illicit drugs. Many times they are subjected to strong peer pressure to experiment with illicit drugs. Moreover, young people tend to be either misinformed or insufficiently aware of the health risks involved in using drugs,” Scotland added.
In support of the international campaign, Scotland talked about the devastating impact on individuals, families, communities and society as a whole that drugs have.
“Our Government will continue to support the National Drug Council (NDC)’s efforts against illicit drug use,” he said. “Drug and alcohol abuse is a grave problem in our society that can be prevented, treated and controlled. While efforts to reduce supply are ongoing, we must also support those agencies working to reduce the demand, and I give my full support to the NDC so that they can continue their good work.”
Global research shows that the prevalence of drug use among young people is more than twice as high as that among the general population. Cayman’s own Student Drug Use Survey (CISDUS) supports the need to raise awareness among youth.
Established to coordinate government’s efforts to reduce local drug supply and demand, the NDC will continue to be on the frontlines in the fight against drug abuse, said NDC Executive Director Joan West-Dacres. “Research continues to be a guiding force in formulating our national policies. In addition, looking at current trends is equally vital. We will continue to focus our energies on protecting our teenagers and young adults,” she said.
Like most countries the Cayman Islands spends a far greater portion of its money in the fight against drugs via law enforcement and control of those that trade in the drug rather than fighting the problem through education, awareness and rehabilitation.  
The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was established by the United Nations in 1987. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) continues to lead the international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society and especially to young people. It is everyone responsibility to ensure that children and youth in our communities grow up in a society free of drugs.
For more information please call the NDC at Tel. 949-9000, Fax. 949-6264 or email: . For more information on the UNODC’s campaign go to

Continue Reading

Mac rejects opposition debate

| 22/06/2010 | 45 Comments

(CNS): The premier spoke for over three hours on Monday morning as he delivered his reply to the response on the budget debate in the Legislative Assembly. Taking the opposition to task for not offering solutions and again blaming them for the current problems, McKeeva Bush also accused the PPM of hypocrisy over comments the leader of the opposition had made implying that the UDP had been involved in back room deals. In a long and often angry response the premier rejected all the proposals from the opposition benches by both the PPM and the independent representative for North Side. He said both he and the opposition members had struggled to respond to the government’s budget.

The premier spent the first hour of his reply talking about the PPM muddying the waters with accusations of corruption but said they were not lilly white and had made backroom deals at the Turtle Farm. He laid several letters on the table of the Legislative Assembly from Joey Ebanks and his attorneys in which the former Turtle Farm director was claiming some $18,500 from government for vacations pay and a complaint from a tour operator who is suing the farm over a contract that wasn’t fulfilled.

Bush told the Legislative Assembly they were both evidence of backroom deals by the former administration, who were no angels. He angrily accused the opposition of wasting time trying to investigate him when he was in office but they couldn’t find anything on him. However, he said it was the style of the opposition leader to accuse McKeeva Bush of all manner of evil. The premier noted that there were people in the PPM who were very good at English who were using the blogs and newspapers and talk shows to launch “vicious and vile” slanderous attacks on him.
He warned the opposition that he would prove more of their backroom deals as something had gone on at the school, and while he didn’t have a letter about that yet he would do so before the end of this administration.
Turning to the budget debate he rejected Miller’s suggestion of a smaller channel and emphasized the need for a deeper channel as he wanted to attract the yachting business. The opening of Cuba would make the region an attractive yachting area, Bush stated, but owners of mega yachts would not leave their boats there as they wanted a safe, sophisticated, jurisdiction where they could keep their yachts, fly in on their private jets and enjoy fine shopping and dining.
“Cayman is uniquely situation to fill this need,” he said, adding that the industry would build on the country’s maritime history and provide jobs for people in Cayman with seafaring skills.
“The North Sound is a great natural harbour and we need to use it,” Bush observed. He said the water was already in trouble and larger boats using it now were running the bottom as well as the leeching from the dump and the hot water from CUC, which was polluting the water. The premier suggested that the environmentalists on the blogs knew nothing and he would get proper assessments from experts to mitigate any real environmental problems.
Despite arguments from East End representative Arden McLean and Miller against the cargo dock in East End, Bush said he would do it even if they planned on lying in front of bulldozers, as the country needed it to bring in revenue.”If you want economic development you need to create opportunity,” the premier added. He also rejected proposals to collaborate on ideas with the PPM and rejected the opposition leader’s suggestion of a national conference.
Again he accused the opposition of creating all the financial problems and that the leader of the PPM did not know how to lead as he knew nothing of world affairs. He also said it was shocked that the opposition’s best speaker thethird elected member for George Town (Alden McLaughlin) had not spoken and concluded that he could not have found anything wrong with it.

Continue Reading

CAL gets $20 million payout

| 22/06/2010 | 45 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island headline News(CNS): While most government departments and agencies are seeing a reduction in their appropriations in this year’s budget, Cayman Airways Ltd (CAL) has been given an increase in its government handout. In the first line item to be voted on by Finance Committee for this year’s budget appropriations on Monday afternoon (21 June) the national flag carrier received $20.1 million. This included an increase on the amounts allocated last year for the airline’s routes to the Sister Islands, the strategic gateways in the US and the region, as well as a new payment of $5.1 million to start repaying the balance of loans the airline has accumulated as a result of previous unfunded losses.

Although the management of the airline revealed recently that ithad reduced some of its operating costs, CAL has still  received more in the budget this year than last. It has been given $2.5 million for the domestic air service, $1million more then last year, which the chair of the board, Jude Scott, explained was due to the airline’s new policy of greater transparency and realism about costs.He said the new figure was a true reflection of the cost of subsidising, mostly the jet service to Cayman Brac.
Scott said that management was examining the routes to and from the Sister Islands in an effort to consolidate and reduce the frequency of the twin otter which flies six times a day at 70-75% capacity and the jet which flies four times per week at about 55% of capacity.
He said it was not easy to reduce the flights because of connection issues, and attempts to reschedule had so far resulted in disruptions, so there was still work to be done on trying to streamline the domestic routes.
Scott explained that on the international routes in some cases the airline was breaking even and almost making a profit but the $12.5 million appropriation, increased from $11,924,000 last year, was to cover the strategic gateways requested by the government to attract visitors from specific places in the US.
Asked about profitable routes, Scott said he did not want to speak specifically about which ones were the most profitable because of the competitiveness of the industry, but he said the airline was working hard to make more routes break even or make money. The new appropriations, he said, now reflected the real cost of running the routes that are not likely to be profitable but still have strategic value for tourism.
The chair also explained that the new equity investment payment or direct cash subsidy of $5.1 million given to the airline this year was to enable it to start addressing accumulated outstanding loans of $51 million. Scott told the Finance Committee that the airline had previously borrowed as a result of unfunded losses, and aside from paying the interest it also needed to start paying back the principal.
“The airline has not been sufficiently funded and has had to borrow to cover operating costs,” Scott said. “We are trying to make the airline more efficient but it will never be in a position to pay down the debt so government has committed to addressing the debt over ten years.”
Asked by Ezzard Miller about seeking private partners, Scott said it was not his position as chairman to offer an opinion on privatisation but to make the airline as efficient as possible and to work out the value of CAL. He also indicated that he was working to maximise the returns and work on customer loyalty.
Minister of Finance McKeeva Bush, the first elected member to ever chair a Finance Committee, told Miller that if there were to be any discussions about privatising CAL he would be the first to know.


Continue Reading