Archive for September 1st, 2010

Two nabbed in West Bay raid

| 01/09/2010 | 13 Comments

(CNS): Police arrested two men and took a semi-automatic pistol and a quantity of ganja off the streets following a police operation in West Bay yesterday. According to the RCIPS, at about 1.45am on Tuesday, 31 August, a joint uniform, CID and USG operation was launched in the West Bay area. A car and premises were searched resulting in the seizure of a quantity of ganja and a semi-automatic pistol. The men, aged 23 and 31 years, were arrested on suspicion of possession of an unlicensed firearm, as well as possession and consumption of ganja. Police enquiries are ongoing. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said, “Following the gun amnesty the commissioner warned that we would be going all out to gather intelligence and mount targeted raids to take illegal guns off the streets. This latest operation and the successful recovery of this dangerous weapon underlines our commitment to do exactly that. The joint RCIPS and Cayman Crime Stoppers reward offered for information leading to the recovery of illegal guns and the arrest of those who hold them still stands. So now is your chance to tell us what you know to help eradicate gun crime in Cayman and put those responsible behind bars."

Anyone with information about gun crime should call their local police office or Cayman Crimestoppers on 800-TIPS.


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CIMA boss to top bill at fund conference

| 01/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS):The Managing Director of CIMA will be the keynote speaker this year at the annual Cayman Fund Focus conference hosted by Campbells, Attorneys. ‘Same Game but New Rules?’ is the theme for the conference making Scotland an appropriate choice to lead the debate. Now in its 8th year and also marking the law firm’s 40th anniversary. The event is expected to attract representatives from across the international fund business. A number of other experts in their field from Cayman and overseas will also join the CIMA MD as speakers. They include experts in the Financial and Investment Services, Hedge Funds, Asset and Investment Management, Law and Securities.

The conference will be held on Friday, 8 October at the Ritz Carlton and aims to expand the knowledge of business leaders in the Cayman Islands and to present threats and opportunities that may exist in our global economic times, Campbells said.
“Campbells is proud to once again host the Cayman Fund Focus conference which is now in its 8th year. We aim to bring high caliber speakers, provocative topics and a wealth of information to help guide the leaders of the local financial sector in their business planning. We look forward to another successful conference,” says Alistair Walters, Managing Partner – Campbells.  
Aside from the presentations each section is rounded-up by a panel debate; moderators include Gary Linford, Managing Director – DMTC Group Ltd, Robert Searle, Partner,- Campbells, Ethan Johnson, Partner – Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Ross McDonough, Partner – Campbells.
For more information on this year’s speakers and programme and to register visit

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No bad eggs in Cayman says government

| 01/09/2010 | 10 Comments

(CNS): According to officials from Department of Environmental Health (DEH) there are no contaminated eggs in the Cayman Islands. The recalled fresh eggs, which were distributed by Wright County Egg in the United Sates, that are potentially contaminated with salmonella have not been found here. The recall for eggs was issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) that has sickened hundreds of people in the US.  An FDA investigation revealed Wright County Egg in Iowa as the common shelled egg supplier in these food poisoning cases. The recall was later expanded to include eggs produced from Hillandale Farms in Iowa.

“Food-safety officers checked all supermarkets for shelled eggs distributed by Wright County Eggs, but did not find the product on local shelves,” said DEH Director Roydell Carter. “We are committed to ensuring that Cayman’s food supply remains safe for public consumption.”
The FDA is in ongoing communication with Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms to ensure that appropriate preventive measures are put in place to reduce the risk of recurrence. Environmental Health Officers from DEH have contacted Cayman’s food importers and distributors to inform them of the recall and, to date, no eggs affected by the recall have been found in the Cayman Islands. Officers are monitoring the situation to ensure that affected eggs are not imported, distributed or sold locally.
Fresh eggs are sold under at least 40 brand names are affected by the recall. Some of these include: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms,  Kemps, James Farms, Glenview, Pacific Coast, Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, and Sunny Meadow.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children; frail or elderly people; and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances the organism may get into the bloodstream, producing more severe illnesses such as infected aneurysms, endocarditis, and arthritis.
For further information, please contact DEH at 949-6696.

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Traders must register to sell tobacco

| 01/09/2010 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Retailers, merchants, bars and restaurants that want to sell tobacco products next year, have only a few months left to register as provided for under the new law. Tobacco dealers have until 1 November to apply for registration for 2011. Although the tobacco ban in public places was enforced from the beginning of this year, business were given longer to comply with and understand the requirements of the law before those relating to the sale of products were implemented. All tobacco traders must register and its sale will be bound by certain restrictions.

 “As prescribed in the Tobacco Law Section 4(1), all tobacco dealers, retailers and wholesale distributors must register with the Chief Officer in the Ministry of Health or designate. Oversight for that responsibility will, for practical reasons, fall to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar,” said Health Minister Mark Scotland.
“While some provisions of the 2008 law went into effect 31 December last year, such as banning smoking in public places, other provisions were delayed to give businesses ample time to get to know them. As such, we hope to see compliance across the board.”
The first year’s registration period will run from now until 31 December 2011. Tobacco dealers are encouraged to register before 1 November in order to avoid paying a late registration penalty of an additional fifty percent of the prescribed registration fee.
Unless registered, it will be illegal to operate as a tobacco dealer.
According to the Tobacco Law, everyone dealing with tobacco products must register annually and display the Certificate of Registration (similar to a Trade and Business License).
A one-off non-refundable application fee of $100 applies, while annual registration fees are as follows: CI$500 for a retailer; CI$750 for a cigar bar, and CI$5,000 for a wholesale distributor or importer.
“I encourage everyone to comply with all provisions of the Tobacco Law. By following its spirit and intent, we show respect for the health and safety of others,” the minister said.  “I am confident that our tobacco legislation will encourage people to quit smoking, resulting in better health and reduced health care costs.”
Dr. Kumar assured business owners of his department’s continued support to help them comply.
“From the start we have worked with all to enhance compliance. We will organise awareness sessions to various stakeholders during the coming months. If anyone is in doubt about any provisions, please give us a call,” he said.
Application forms for tobacco registration will be available from the Public Health Department at the Cayman Islands Hospital from 1 September 2010. The department has also published information guides for business owners. They are available at  For more information on the Tobacco Law and Regulations, contact the department on 244-2621.

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Earl heads to Bahamas as Fiona intensifies

| 01/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As the hurricane Earl heads towards the Bahamas today, Fiona has begun intensifying and is now threatening the northern Leeward isles. Meanwhile, the NHC is predicting that another area of low pressure some 800 miles south east of Cape Verde has an 80% chance of becoming a cyclone. At 8am this morning Earl was 180 miles east of San Salvaldor in the Bahamas. With maximum sustained winds of 125mph, Earl is moving northwest at 16 mph. Earl is a large hurricane with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 90 miles from the centre and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles.

Earl is expected to make a gradual turn to the north-northwest  and the core of the hurricane will be passing well east and northeast of the Bahamas today and tonight and could approach the North Carolina coast by Friday morning.
Tropical Storm Fiona is about 70 miles Northeast of Barbuda and travelling at 15mph in a west-northwest direction.
Maximum sustained winds are at 60 mph with higher gusts and some slight strengthening is possible during the next 24 hours but the NHC said there would be little change in intensity after that.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles mostly to the northeast of the centre. A gradual turn toward the northwest is expected to occur later today and on this forecast track the  centre of Fiona should pass near or just north of the northernmost Leeward Islands later this morning and afternoon.
Meanwhile another storm is likely to develop over the next few days as the NHC said the area of low pressure south west of the Cape Verde Islands has become more organised overnight and environmental conditions are favourable for development.

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Tourist robbed by two men

| 01/09/2010 | 64 Comments

(CNS): Police have confirmed that a visitor from the United States was reportedly robbed along the West Bay Road on Tuesday. At about 10:20 last night officers on patrol came upon a 38-year-old man at the Owens Roberts international airport, who reported to them that earlier on he had been robbed on the West Bay Rd in the vicinity of the Hyatt hotel. He said that at around 9:50pm he was approached by two males who knocked him to the ground. They then took his metal clip which contained a Verizon incredible phone, ID, stamps and various cards and ran off. No cash was involved. He received minor injuries to one of his knees but did not require medical attention. (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

He described both suspects as white males between the ages of 26 and 30 about 5’8” tall with short haircuts. The man said one robber was wearing a blue shirt and white shorts, the other, had a green shirt on the police did not say if either of the men were armed. The man who is from Oklahoma in the United States will be leaving the islands tomorrow, police said.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and might have witnessed the men leaving the scene are asked to call the George Town CID at 949 4222 or Crime Stoppers at 800 TIPS (8477)

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No need for pension swap

| 01/09/2010 | 80 Comments

(CNS): A motion filed in the Legislative Assembly by the government’s George Town backbench MLA, Ellio Solomon, is both completely unnecessary and nothing more than a political manoeuvre, the opposition has said. Alden McLaughlin criticised the motion by Solomon which proposes to allow Caymanians to swap their pensions for a home loan and take up to $35,000 from their pension to use as a deposit for a house or land. The former Cabinet minister said there are already various schemes in place to help people find capital for property and that there is no need to encourage them to put their pensions at risk.

The opposition member for George Town pointed out that the government’s mortgage guarantee programme is just one example where the government is already helping people with deposits for their own home. McLaughlin said he could see no reason why people should have to take money from their pensions to buy homes as there are lots of ways that government is already assisting and guaranteeing people to get mortgages through other means.
Only last week two more banks joined the mortgage assistance programme, which eliminates the need for Caymanians to have a deposit so long as they can meet the full mortgage payments, which is essentially doing the same thing as Solomon has suggested.
The private member’s motion, which has been tabled in the Legislative Assembly by former radio talk show host Solomon and backed by Bodden Town MLA Dwayne Seymour, asks the government,of which he is a member,  to consider amending legislation to allow Caymanians to make a one-time withdrawal of up to CI$35,000 from their pension for the sole purpose of providing a deposit to a local financial institution towards the purchase of either a parcel of land, or the construction of a new home or an existing residence or apartment in the Cayman Islands.
“Given the range of programmes in place to assist first time Caymanian homeowners, this seems hugely unnecessary and merely a political manoeuvre,” the PPM member stated.
McLaughlin explained that the Government Guaranteed Home Assisted Mortgage, or GGHAM, which was created by the PPM during the last administration, had been established for the very reason of dealing with the deposit problem. He said first time buyers could get up to $200,000 without a deposit under the scheme and some 260 people have already taken up the offer and more money had just been pledged to ensure the successful programme would continue.
He said there were other schemes as well, such as the removal of stamp duty for land under 75,000 and other guarantees to assist Caymanians with property acquisition who could afford to pay a mortgage.
He said that taking money from your pension at 25 may seem beneficial but would lead to problems down the line and government was already heavily burdened with the needs of those who had ended their working lives with insufficient coverage.
“I know things are hard but this proposal makes no sense,” McLaughlin maintained and said the more pressing problem was helping those in homes keep them, He claimed this scheme did nothing to assist those who owed property who were trying to save them but was about creating new home owners.
McLaughlin said it was a radical proposal to take money from a long term investment such as a pension when there were several other avenues that potential home owners could pursue. 
Solomon has argued in other media that home ownership was about people’s future and if they owned a property at retirement that would be half of their living expenses taken care of when they were pensioners. 

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Witness heard 13 shots

| 01/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): On day two of the murder trial of Patrick McField, Osborne Douglas and Brandon Ebanks, the crown’s key eye witness said she heard 13 shots fired on the night (5 July 09) Omar Samuels was killed in front of a house in McField Lane, George Town. The sixteen year old girl told the court, during two days of evidence via video link that she was there when the three defendants came to the house. Douglas and Ebanks both had guns, she said, which they held to Samuels head before they began fighting in the yard, while McField looked on. The teen testified that Samuels fell back on to a fence as Ebanks and Douglas began shooting at him. (Photo courtesy of News27)

The witness who was 15 at the time says that she and her female friend were at the house that night to see another friend who lived upstairs at the property. The girl said that she had arrived around midnight to see the woman who, it was revealed during testimony, was a mother with four young children, but she discovered she was not home. She told the court that she went downstairs to the porch to look for her there, when she saw Omar Samuels a man she knew from the neighbourhood sitting by the wall. She said they spoke for a short time but as she was preparing to leave the three defendants arrived.
The teen testified that Douglas walked towards Omar and said “what you saying now?” and McField said “una deal with him” then Ebanks and Douglas began pointing the guns at his head.  As Samuels stood up the men began to fight in the yard and at some point Samuels stumbled in to the fence and shots were fired.
During her evidence the teen said she saw both Douglas and Ebanks point theguns towards Samuels and three shots were fired before she and her teen friend ran away down the side of the house and hid between a wall and the Laundromat. More shots were fired and the teen confirmed she heard 13 in total. When the shooting stopped she said the two girls stayed hidden until the three defendants passed them laughing and talking, carrying the guns.
She testified that a little while later they had hurried back to her own house via McField Lane, following behind the defendants but they had not seen them. She said when she and her friend arrived at her house she did not wake her mother who was sleeping, but they went to her room and looked out of the window. She said she then saw the three defendants come into her home yard as she peered through the curtains.
During cross examination the teen confirmed that she did not call an ambulance for Samuels or tell anyone about what she saw and admitted that she had not gone to the police until more than three weeks after the shooting on the 29 July.
She said she had not phoned an ambulance as she “did not think it was necessary” as she was not certain that Samuels had been injured. However, she learned around 30 minutes later that he was dead as her uncle had called to tell her, but she did not tell him that she and her friend had seen who had shot him because she was shocked and frightened.
Asked by defense counsel to explain why it took her so long to go to the police she said she hadn’t wanted to go and she only went because of threats made by McField that she didn’t have long to live and as a result of two appearances of Douglas in her yard. The teen stated that the last time Douglas came was on the morning that they decided to go to the police. She said her friend had broken down and said they had to go to the police as she couldn’t stand it any longer and they had to go together to say what they had seen.
During the two days of evidence the teen was cross examined by each of the defence Queen’s Counsel representing the three defendants. Each raised the question of the teen witness’ former boyfriend whom they suggested had been present at the scene that night which was the real reason why she was there and it was him that had told her to testify against the three defendants.
Trevor Burke QC representing Patrick McField implied that it was odd that a fifteen year old girl would be visiting the mother of four very young children after midnight without calling and then end up hanging around the porch with Samuels a man who was several years older than her.
He asked a number of times about a man called Martin Trench whose palm print, the attorney said, was found on a car parked at the scene of the crime. He said the police had been looking for him but he had left the country for Jamaica soon after the shooting.
The teen witness confirmed that she had gone out with the 24 year old Trench before the shooting but they were not together by that time, she knew nothing about him going to Jamaica and she said she was not with him that night.
Burke put it to her that she had not seen McField there that night and even she may not have been there, but that she had made her testimony up, which the teen witness denied.
Alastair Malcolm QC, representing Douglas, queried how she could be certain who she had seen with the gun. He suggested that she had not seen the men who had come to the yard for very long. He asked as she had admitted in her evidence that the man she said was Douglas was wearing a scarf over his face how she knew it was him. The attorney noted she had claimed to hear him say only a fewwords and asked how she could say it was Douglas.
"I recognized his voice" and “it rang a bell in my head,” she said, when he spoke. The teen also testified that she could still see his eyes, and later when he passed her as she was hiding by the Laundromat, he was not wearing the scarf.
Malcolm also asked about the times that she claimed Douglas came to her yard after the date of the shooting. She said the first time was around a week and a half later and when the defence counsel asked if that was around the 15 July 2009 she agreed it was. “If I was to suggest on that day he was in Jamaica would you be surprised, would you still say he was in your yard?” the attorney asked the teen who replied, “Yes sir.”
Counsel for Ebanks, Nicholas Rhodes QC, also queried why she was in the neighbourhood so late at night attempting to see a mother with young children. He said that gambling and drug dealing was known to go on at the porch where she says she went after finding her friend wasn’t home and not somewhere she could expect to feel safe. However, the teen said she was used to the area. She also revealed in her testimony that she lived only a minute or so away.
Rhodes also suggested that someone had put her up to blaming the three defendants which she denied. He suggested that she had not seen Ebanks on the night of the shooting but the teen witness said she did.
She told the court that she had no reason to lie and she had nothing against the defendants. “I did see them there that night,” the teen said.

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