Archive for October 19th, 2010

Board plans to enforce law over roadside vendors

| 19/10/2010 | 70 Comments

(CNS): The Trade and Business Licensing Board is warning illegal vendors it intends to enforce the law regarding licences. In a statement issued by the Department of Investment and Commerce, which now deals with Trade and Business Licensing, the board said that a number of concerns had been raised about an increase in roadside vendors not complying with the law and trading without licenses. As a result from 1 November the board said it is giving all businesses 30 days to become compliant with all the relevant laws that deal with operating a business, including having a valid Trade and Business license. Any business not compliant by 1 December will be penalized the board said.

According to the law penalties for trading without a license include a $5000 fine and up to a year in prison. The board warned that after 1 December Immigration, Planning, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) and the Police will be ensuring that businesses are in compliance with the relevant laws and codes.  
The board revealed that it had met with various stakeholders in September to discuss enforcement proceedings because of the concerns raised by the public regarding illegal vendors. The increase in roadside vendors, in particular, that were non compliant with Trade and Business Licensing laws and other Government Department requirements were cited as an area of specific concern.
As a result the board is giving its thirty day warning and said all new applications should be submitted to the relevant departments for approval.

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Mac backs troubled MLA

| 19/10/2010 | 59 Comments

(CNS): The country’s premier has offered his public support to Bodden Town representative Dwayne Seymour, who has been charged in connection with a disturbance that occurred at the Grand Cayman Beach Suites earlier this year. The UDP backbench MLA will appear in court on 9 November to face charges of attempting to obstruct, prevent, pervert or defeat the course of justice. McKeeva Bush implied that the issue related to interference in Seymour’s marriage and, as a result, the government was behind him. "On behalf of the elected government, we wish to express publicly, our moral support for our backbench colleague Mr Dwayne Seymour during this difficult time,” Bush said in an official statement. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Seymour was arrested long with two other men at the hotel in May, when Florida-based personal trainer Garrone Yap claimed he was assaulted by the MLA and one of his friends at the hotel. Yap, who was also arrested but released without any conditions, said he was not going to press charges against Seymour and his friend but accused the MLA of using his position as a politician to have him arrested.
On Tuesday afternoon the office of the premier’s press secretary issued the statement on behalf of government, which offered its moral support to Seymour, suggesting that the MLA was in the difficult position of trying to hold his family together in the face of outside interference.
“As a government and as Caymanians first and foremost, we understand the many challenges that must be faced, both internally and externally to build and to keep a family together, and as Caymanians we understand and empathize with the pain that is endured when someone, against God and against all social and ethical obligations, interferes with that sacrosanct relationship,” the statement from Bush read. “It is in the appreciation of the circumstance and of those considerations that we publicly voice today our continued support and confidence for our colleague and friend Mr Dwayne Seymour. "
Last week Seymour made a public statement saying that he was innocent and surprised by the charges He said he did not understand how what he called "baseless charges" could have been laid more than five months after the incident.
“I have no earthly idea where and how they (the charges) could have arisen over the last five and a half months. It seems that everyone knew I was being charged with some offence before I did,” he said in a prepared statement which he read on Cayman 27 on Thursday evening. “All I can say at this point is that I do not know the persons involved and the charges made. I am also completely unaware of the circumstances being described in the charges.”
He added that he was still looking forward to serving the people of Bodden Town, “who elected me for the hope I bring to them,” Seymour stated.

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Ossie arrested for assault

| 19/10/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Police have now confirmed that a 48 year old man has been arrested in connection with an alleged assault which took place in Bodden Town last Wednesday evening. Police have not named the individual but CNS has learned that former PPM representative for the district and local businessman, Osbourne Bodden was the man arrested on suspicion of ABH yesterday. Police said that Bodden has been released on police bail while enquiries continue. Bodden’s arrest is in connection with a reported incident in which Kurt Watler of Bodden Town, claims Bodden beat him with a cow cod (a bull’s penis) at around 6:30pm in a public area in front of a number of witnesses on the Bodden Town Road.

Watler told CNS that he sustained various injuries to his back and hand and intends to pursue his complaint against the former MLA. He said the public at large should not take the law into their own hands when they are victims of assault but should pursue their complaints through the proper police channels. Watler said he had every confidence the RCIPS would take his complaint seriously.
Bodden in turn stated that now the case was with the legal department the facts would be reviewed and the truth told he was confident that he would very soon be vindicated.

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Stormy weather brewing south of Cayman Islands

| 19/10/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Updated Wednesday 2pm– With six weeks still to go before the end of the hurricane season the region is not out of the woods yet when it comes to potentially dangerous storms. An area of low pressure over the northwestern Caribbean, 160 miles south west of Grand Cayman has changed little the NHC said in its Wednesday afternoon update. It still has a 70% chance of being a tropical cyclone over the next two days.The centre has warned, however, despite development or not Cayman can expect further heavy rain over the next few days.Cayman Hazard Management has warned of possible local flooding as a result of the weather system which is expected to bring up to 4 inches of rain.

The national weather service is monitoring the system for further development  as it drifts south -south east

The system is causing rainy, local weather conditions which are expected to continue over Cayman during the next 24 hours.
Skies will be cloudy and overcast skies with a 70 % chance of scattered showers and some thunder. Showers will be locally heavy at times leading the localized flooding of low lying areas. Temperatures will rise to the mid 80’s. Winds will be east to northeast 10 to 15 knots. Seas will be slight to moderate with wave heights of 2 to 4 feet.
Temperatures will fall to the mid 70’s tonight, winds will be east to southeast 10 to 15 knots and seas will be moderate with wave heights of 3 to 5 feet. Similar weather conditions are expected through Thursday morning as the low pressure system drifts northwest.

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New EU hedge fund rules introduce passport system

| 19/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(Bloomberg): Hedge-fund and private-equity regulations have been approved by European Union finance ministers after they ended a dispute over requirements for fund managers from outside the EU. Ministers agreed to give the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority powers over a so-called passport system for non-EU hedge-fund managers. The passport would give managers access to investors across the 27-nation EU with a single registration in return for signing up to transparency rules. Hedge funds and private-equity firms are under the scrutiny of lawmakers worldwide, who say they are partly to blame for the financial crisis. 

 “For the first time we can say this sector is under control,” Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said at a meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg today (Tuesday). “It’s an open solution, one where third-country funds can be part of the market.”
Belgium, which holds the rotating EU presidency, will hold talks with representatives from the European Parliament and European Commission to decide on a final version of the law.

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7MB hotel hit by gunman

| 19/10/2010 | 68 Comments

(CNS): Updated 10:30am – The Grand Cayman Beach Suites in the heart of Cayman’s main tourist zone, Seven Mile Beach, was targeted by a lone masked gunman last night. A security guard was shot at during the robbery of the hotel’s back office but was uninjured. Police said that at about 11.17pm on Monday 18 October, the guard and two other members of staff were within an office at the resort. As the guard left the room he was suddenly confronted by a masked man armed with a handgun. The would-be robber demanded cash, pushed the guard back inside the room and discharged a shot. The guard quickly slammed the door, locking the suspect outside. The suspect then made off empty handed.

The guard sustained a minor knee injury in the shooting. He did not require medical attention. No one else was injured.

Bill Powers, the hotel’s general manger expressed his concern about the incident, and pointed out that the company had stepped up its security measures over the last few months as a result of worries that something would eventually happen in the Seven Mile Beach area. “This is very troubling,” Powers told CNS. Despite the hotel’s efforts the Beach Suites has become the latest in a long line of businesses hit by masked gun men.

Speaking to CNS this morning, Powers said he was still trying to piece together the night’s events and was uncertain if the robber had escaped with any cash. The general manger said the most important thing was that all the staff were unhurt. He also said that no guests were involved in the incident, which took place behind the scenes of the hotel in the finance office.
Although the hotel has sophisticated CCTV equipment and had recently reviewed and beefed up security, Powers said there was little anyone could do about a lone masked gunman. Wondering if the hotel’s size and accessibility made it the first target of the local resorts, Powers also said it could be an indication that the robbers were begin to realise what’s available. “We knew it was just a matter of time before something like this might happen, which is why we have taken more security precautions,” he added.
Detective Inspector Collins Oremule of George Town CID said: “We are treating this as an attempted robbery. The guard was lucky to escape with such minor injuries and there is no doubt that his quick thinking prevented this incident escalating. The suspect showed no hesitation in firing off a shot – we could have so easily been dealing with a murder this morning."

The suspect is described as being in his mid-twenties. He has a dark complexion and is around 5 feet in height. He was wearing long blue jean pants, a blue short sleeved shirt and his face was covered with a ski mask.

Oremule said, “If anyone has any information about the suspect, or was in the Seven Mile Beach area last night close to the Grand Cayman Beach Suites around the relevant time, we’d be keen to talk to you. You may have information which would be relevant to the enquiry. We need to trace this individual as quickly as possible – if he uses the gun again his next victim may not be quite so lucky!”

Anyone with information should contact George Town police station on 949-4222 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477 (TIPS).


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Cydonie gets cash and car for commonwealth gold

| 19/10/2010 | 40 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands own home grown sporting hero, Cydonie Mothersill, was celebrated by the whole country on Monday evening at a special event organised by government. Premier McKeeva Bush handed over a cheque for CI$5000 to the Cayman Islands’ fastest woman, as well the keys to a new four wheel drive, as a reward for her incredible achievement at the Commonwealth Games. The crowd cheered as Bush announced Mothersill’s gifts from government and the people of Cayman, who have rallied behind the 32-year-old sprinter who made history last Monday in Delhi, India, when she blew her competition away in the finals of the 200 metres and took gold. (Photos by Dennie Warren Jr:: Below – Cydonie with Sports Minister Mark Scotland and Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn)

Some two hundred people, as well as government leaders, came out for the special celebration to cheer on the country’s golden girl and elite athlete, as she received her well deserved gifts. Mothersill was visibly delighted when she received her new Chevy Tahoe SUV – after all, even the fastest girl in the Commonwealth needs a ride sometimes.

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Injunction lifted on Howell’s assets in legal battle

| 19/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): According to reports in the Jamaican Press, the freeze order placed on the assets of Cayman based businessman Delroy Howell was lifted on Friday in the legal dispute regarding First Financial Caribbean Trust Company, formerly controlled by Howell. He and former fellow director, Kenarthur Mitchell, are accused of failing to account for millions of US dollars in assets that were under their management. However, the court has now limited the freezing order to First Financial Caribbean (Jamaica) Limited and First Financial Caribbean Limited and reduced the amount secured from the original US$13.9 million to US$1.7 million because, the judge said, the claimant had produced little evidence that the assets were likely to be disposed of.

In a bitter takeover battle, Judith Wilchcombe, who served as a senior manager of First Financial Trust Company, acquired a majority shareholding in the company and dismissed both men in August of this year. She subsequently got a court order freezing their assets, claiming that both men failed to account for US$13.9 million.
Howell told the Jamaica Observer that he was clearly pleased with the ruling. “There is much more to come on this matter but we are well prepared to address each matter through the courts and are confident that this will all continue to resolve itself favourably," Howell said.
In court documents filed in Jamaica FFC Trust had claimed that Howell and Mitchell breached their fiduciary responsibilities and caused trust funds to be transferred to accounts held by the defendants, or some of them in circumstances contrary to the interest of the claimant. But Howell, in a related case in the Turks and Caicos Islands, alleges that FFC Trust was stolen from him by Judith Wilchcombe, the company’s former vice-president for operations and business development.

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Death toll rises in the Philippines from Typhoon Megi

| 19/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNN): The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Megi has climbed to 11, as the powerful storm moved away from the country. According to civil defense officials, four people died in Pangasinan province: Three were killed by a falling tree, and the fourth by lightning. Three more died in a storm surge in Isabela province, and one person drowned while trying to cross a river in Nueva Ecija province. Additionally, the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council reported that one person drowned in the town of Cagayan, one was killed by a falling tree in Kalinga province, and one was killed by another tree in the city of Baguio.

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