Archive for July 7th, 2011

More new money enters local circulation

| 07/07/2011 | 19 Comments

(CNS): The next two denominations of new notes to hit the streets are the $50 and $1 D series. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) will introduce the notes into circulation today (Thursday, 7 July) joining the $25 and $5 notes which were the first to be released during the initial launch in April 2011. The $100 and $10 redesigns are the last to be circulated and CIMA said a date has yet to be set before the last remaining notes are released. The newly designed $50 combines purples with hints of green and red, bearing images of stingrays on the front and a single stingray cruising through the water on the reverse.

The $1 has the colours of sea blue with violet and orange, and displays a school of Angel fish on the front and an image of the Cayman Brac Bluff, viewed from sea level, on the reverse. Each note bears an updated portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, along with the Cayman Islands crest, and all the notes now carry an outline of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

In accordance with the new constitution, the signature of the Minister of Finance now appears on each note, rather than that of the Financial Secretary as was the case with the C series of banknotes. The signature of CIMA’s Managing Director also appears on each note.

The $50 and $1 notes along with all of the other denominations in the new D series of Cayman Islands banknotes have been redesigned and include the latest security features.

“Much thought and work went into enhancing the security elements and increasing the number of different features on each denomination,” said CIMA’s MD Cindy Scotland.  “While counterfeiters will always try, the new notes will be significantly harder to forge, especially if people know what to look for and are vigilant.  I urge everyone to take time to get really familiar with the notes so they can better identify attempted counterfeits.”

For more information on the common features of each note and the security highlights of the D series, please visit the CIMA website at: www.cimoney.com.ky

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Government offers summer jobs to local students

| 07/07/2011 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Two months of paid work with government is on offer for students from Year 10 and above in the Summer Students’ Employment Program. A release from the Premier’s Office on Thursday morning said students would be placed within various government agencies for the two-month summer holiday period to provide them with paid employment. “Government is delighted to be able to assist students with employment over the summer and, in return, will receive valuable service from the future leaders of these Islands,” McKeeva Bush stated.  The initiative is available to college and university students studying locally or overseas, as well as high school students.

Anyone interested in the programme can contact the Office of the Premier (dawn.mclean-sawney@gov.ky or by phoning 244-2419) to obtain more information.

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Local law firm opens Chinese office

| 07/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Local law firm Ogier has announced the opening of an office in Shanghai. According to a release the firm said the move is part of the group’s strategy to provide “the most innovative and comprehensive multi-jurisdictional services,” with a significant presence in each of the world’s key financial centres across all time zones. Thefirm already has an office in Hong Kong which is the fastest growing office in the group. Peter Cockhill, Managing Partner, Cayman Islands said the Chinese office was a natural extension of the increase in client representations there.  “This is the next step in our strategy for growing our Asian practice and demonstrates our longer term commitment to growth in this region,” he said.

Group Chief Executive Officer Nick Kershaw said that it was critically important to establish a strong presence in mainland China to provide services responsive to local market conditions and practices.  “We are the first offshore firm to have an office in mainland China and are the only offshore law firm in Asia with lawyers qualified to offer advice on the key jurisdictions of BVI, Cayman, Guernsey and Jersey.  As a result, our business in Asia is well established and has been extremely successful,” he added.

Ogier Shanghai will be headed up by Kristy Calvert who is a native Mandarin and Shanghainese speaker and has extensive corporateand commercial law experience in the Asia Pacific and in particular China where she was previously Legal Director for Rio Tinto China / Asia.

Ogier’s Shanghai office will provide mainland Chinese clients with direct access to Ogier’s professional services through its network of global offices, the firm said.  Chinese clients will particularly benefit from Ogier’s Hong Kong office where the  40 person team will provide advice in an effective and timely manner.  Ogier Hong Kong is the fastest growing office in the group and the headcount is forecast to double over the next three years. 

James Bergstrom, Managing Partner Ogier Hong Kong said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Kristy to the Ogier Group.  Her experience and in-depth knowledge of the Chinese market is a real asset.  Our new Shanghai office will allow us to provide even better support for our clients in China and offers tremendous development potential.  We are in the great position of being able to continue to support our Chinese clients with our international experience and now with enhanced local expertise.”

 

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College to open new business block next term

| 07/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With a growing student body the International College of the Cayman Islands is currently expanding and says it expects the new business building at the Savannah-Newlands campus will be finished in time for the autumn term. The new block will have two high tech classrooms including a smart board – an interactive tool that combines the power of a computer with the whiteboard. The additional building will enable the college to offer four more classes each term.

“Over the last three years, our student body has been growing steadily and we have literally run out of classroom space so we are excited to finally get our new business building up and running by the fall quarter,” said Business Manager Kira Ebanks, who has been coordinating with the contractor Phoenix Construction on the business building.

Phoenix Construction General Manager, Barbara Anley said despite initial setbacks getting permit approval, the project is moving along at a steady pace. The crew is in the process of installing the roof and next week will see the windows and doors go in before work starts on the interior.

“The men are on schedule and the project will be completed in ample time to ramp up for the college’s fall quarter,” said  Anley. “It is encouraging to see the college enrolments growing each year, which reflects society’s interest in higher education. Whether as a high school graduate continuing on or as a mature student, ICCI has a lot to offer in continuing education, particularly as it relates to the Cayman’s business market.”

Both the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants and the Cayman Islands Fund Administrators Association have each sponsored the fitting out of a classroom, which has been a big help in constructing the building. “So many people and businesses have stood behind this project such as Cayman National Bank for financing, Phoenix Construction, CIFAA and CISPA,” added Ebanks.

The new building will be named after ICCI alum Carlyle McLaughlin and his wife Martha for their generosity and support over the years.

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Scotland Yard officers in bribe scandal

| 07/07/2011 | 1 Comment

(The Evening Standard): Corrupt Met police received more than £100,000 in unlawful payments from senior journalists and executives at the News of the World, the Evening Standard can reveal. The bribes were made to officers in "sensitive" positions in return for confidential information. Sources say several "high-profile" NoW staff and the officers concerned are likely to be arrested within days and that "serious crimes" have been committed. The new revelations about the scale of corruption inside Scotland Yard came amid other dramatic developments in the phone hacking controversy today. The Royal British Legion severed its links with the newspaper after claims that even war widows' phones have been hacked.

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Brac cops recover stolen television in raid

| 07/07/2011 | 26 Comments

(CNS): Police on Cayman Brac have arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of burglary and drugs offences. At about 11.35 am yesterday (Wednesday 6 July) RCIPS officers carried out an operation at a home in the West End Road area of Cayman Brac. As a result of that raid police recovered a 42 inch flat screen TV suspected of being stolen during a burglary as well as a small quantity of Ganja. The man whom police arrested has since been released on police bail while enquiries continue. Anyone with any information about criminal activity on Cayman Brac should contact 948-0331/ 926-0635 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477 (TIPS).

 

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Cops seize 47 guns in 1 year

| 07/07/2011 | 31 Comments

(CNS): Between the end of the last gun amnesty in June 2010 and the start of this year’s anonymous firearms collection the police have seized over five thousand rounds of ammunition and 47 guns. Speaking at a police meeting in West Bay on Wednesday evening DS Marlon Bodden explained that as a result of operations on island 30 real guns and some 2301 bullets had been seized by officers.  Meanwhile, Superintendent Kurt Walton who heads up the special task forces said interceptions at sea had led to the recovery of another 17 guns and close to 3000 rounds of ammunition that were prevented from reaching the streets of the Cayman Islands. (Photo-the latest firearm to be seized by police)

Bodden said that the increasing use of firearms was one of the most pressing concerns regarding crime on the islands and why the amnesty and public co-operation was important. He asked the people at the meeting to think seriously about whether the increase in seizures of weapons was down to much better enforcement or because there were so many more guns on the island. “So doesn’t the amnesty make sense?” he asked rhetorically.

He said it was the law abiding citizens of the community that should be shaping how the Cayman Islands looks over the next ten years not the criminals.

Bodden pointed to the growing use of firearms in just a few years because of the increasing numbers of guns coming into the country from outside. He pointed to the seven murders which occurred in 2008 where two involved guns compared to six out seven last year. Although there have been no killings so far this year, the number of armed robberies is already over fifty for 2011 and many of them involved firearms.

DS Bodden made an impassioned plea to the community to help the police get the guns out of the hands of the wrong people. He said the police were doing as much as they could and they would not tolerate people being armed on the streets but they needed the help of the public. “Carrying a gun is not going to be tolerated and we will find them,” he said. “If you have friends or family you know are involved with guns tell them to hand them in.”

Although he pointed out that there had been a great improvement in the crime situation in West Bay, in particular, with a significant reduction in burglaries and the gang related gun crime. However, the escalation of robberies and the use of firearms was a serious problem. Bodden said that the statistics meant nothing when people were threatened by escalating violence. He warned that mortality rates would increase as more guns were used in the pursuit of crime.

The senior officer also noted that beating up on the police didn’t help he said he knew they were not perfect but by only seeking out the negative this only benefitted the criminals. He asked the public to give credit where credit was due and support the police.

Kurt Walton said that there was a significant amount of work going on behind the scenes to seize weapons and drugs coming into Cayman via the canoes or at the port and as a result the police were working closely with immigration and customs, as well as overseas partners. Walton pointed out however, that such investigations took many years and the seizure of one canoe recently had been the culmination of an investigation lasting some two years.

Michael Myles who is currently heading up a new cross ministerial initiative to address the long term problem of crime also spoke at length about how hewas dealing with very young children with the goal of stopping them from becoming the gunmen of tomorrow.

The small but positive meeting was also an improvement on the gathering in George Town the night before when Bodden had expressed his disappointment with the turn out of only five members of the public. Around twenty people, as well as local political representative, Rolston Anglin attended the second amnesty road show and participated in the discussion and offered their support to the officers and the work being carried out by Myles who impressed many of the people in the audience.

One member of the public summed up the feeling of the meeting when he said, “I think this is one of the first times I’ve come to a police meeting and really feel hopeful that there is a plan.”

The Police road show will be at the Webster Memorial Hall, Bodden Town this evening at 7:30pm.

Next week the police will be at the Civic Centre in East End on Monday 11 July then on Tuesday 12 July at the Cradock Ebanks Civic Centre, North Side, before heading to the Sister Islands. Meetings will be held at Layman Scott High School Hall, Cayman Brac on Wednesday and on Thursday 14 July at the Hurricane Shelter, Little Cayman. All meetings start at 7:30.
 

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Special Olympians return as heroes

| 07/07/2011 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Cayman’s Special Olympics athletes were greeted as heroes Wednesday on their victorious return from the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Athens, Greece. The team came home with an impressive haul of eleven medals, including two gold, five silver and four bronze. Alongside the prized Olympic medals, the team also enjoyed a full complement of personal bests in their respective sports as they all rose to the challenge of competition on the world stage. Andrew Smiley won the gold medal in Special Olympics International’s first open water sea swim, while fellow competitor Mark Ebanks took gold in bocce. (Photo by Lennon Christian)

Kanza Bodden won two silver medals in aquatics, teammate Quinton Ebanks earned two silver and one bronze in aquatics, while bronze medals were won by Cindy Whittaker and Shanike Ebanks (both in 200 meter races). Eleana Ow won bronze in single bocce, and the bocce team eam of Matthew Ebanks, Cindy Whittaker, Shanike Ebanks and Andrew Hayles also placed fourth.

The team was met by relatives, teachers, the media, well-wishers and government officials at Owen Roberts International Airport on Wednesday morning as they returned from Greece.

Although off-island on official business, the minister with responsibility for sport, Mark Scotland, sent congratulations to the “national ambassadors”, as well as their coaches and supporters.

“A medal haul of two gold, five silver and four bronze is very special,” he said. “The fact that all team members achieved their personal best performances at these games speaks volumes for their dedication — and reflects a truly competitive spirit. The minister added congratulations to the families, volunteers and all who “assist in creating quality in the lives of these athletes.”

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