Archive for July 20th, 2011

Cops clear up BBM over suspect car-invasion

| 20/07/2011 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Updated Thursday 11am – Police have now said the driver who circulated a BlackBerry Message that a man had tried to open her car door at an intersection in George Town has come forward. The woman told police that soon after sending the BBM she realized that the man was known to her and it was not a criminal trying to get into her car. Police had been concerned as the incident was not reported to them but it had raised fear and anxiety in the community. "We would like to thank the lady for contacting us,” Acting Superintendent Angelique Howell said. The senior officer said police did not know if the message had been intended to create fear or if it was a genuine incident that should have been reported to them.

She confirmed that when the man approached her car she did not recognise him and became concerned. That’s why she sent out the BBM message as an advisory to others on the island. A short time later it became clear that the man was indeed known to her, but she had not recognised him at the time," Howell added.

“The woman had immediately sent out another BBM message to clarify the situation but that was not circulated or passed on as widely as the first.

Howell explained that the circulation of the original message had fuelled anxiety and came on the heels of malicious message sent just to generate fear.

“Yesterday’s BBM message was causing a considerable amount of fear and concern within the community. People will be aware that recently BBM messages have been circulated suggesting multiple rapes that people who are missing have been found dead or that body parts have been found. That’s why we made the public appeal to try and establish who the author was and why it had not been reported to us,” the officer said.

She said the RCIPS was grateful that the situation has been cleared and she reassured the public that no such incidents have been reported. Nevertheless she noted that it was a reminder for the public to always be vigilant.

“People should however continue to take reasonable personal safety precautions and report any suspicious activity to us,” Howell added.
 

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71% of PA sites fail on FOI

| 20/07/2011 | 22 Comments

(CNS): A special report conducted by the information commissioner’s office has revealed that 71 percent of government authorities have failed to do anything with the websites provided to them by computer services almost three years ago, if they have one at all. Five PA’s including the ministry of finance don’t even have a website the report found. During its investigation the ICO discovered most public authorities were failing to take advantage of the internet to publish information about themselves and promote Freedom of Information. The FOI presence on the majority of websites is poor or non-existent, the report revealed, and appears to remain a low priority.

“Public authorities can increase their overall efficiency and better inform the public of their policies, procedures and services through the use of a website” Jan Liebaers the deputy information commissioner said. The report was conducted to find out how websites were being used and to assess their effectiveness in the FOI process.

The report revealed that out of the 90 public authorities only nine have a website which the information commissioner’s office was able to award a top class rating of  ‘1’ which means they contain the majority of required information about FOI, have a publication scheme and a disclosure log which are all up to date.

This included Emergency services, the Cabinet Office, the Office of the Complaints Commissioner, Lands and Survey and the Governor’s office among others.

There were five websites rated as ‘2’ which were considered to contain relevant information but they were not completely up to date. CIMA, planning and the UCCI were among the five that fell short of the top rating.

There were 13 websites ranked three in the report which means these sites had basic information about FOI but key information such as publication schemes and disclosure logs were out of date. These sites included the RCIPS and the Tax Information Authority, which the report said were quite good, but they fell down because of outdated disclosure logs which is a key component of the FOI process.

Most websites were ranked at 4 which means they had little more than basic information on them. The report said it was disappointing to find that as many thirty eight public authorities had done nothing at all to the sites created for them. However there were also 26 authorities given the worst rank of five which means they did not have a website at all or the websites contained nothing about freedom of information. “It is astonishing to find that 26 (29%) of the 90 authorities fall into this lowest category,” the report said.

The Cayman Islands Government Office in the United Kingdom; Education Services Department; Ministry of Financial Services, Tourism & Development (Public Finance) Ministry of Financial Services, Tourism & Development (Tourism & Development) and the prison service do not have websites at all. The Cayman Islands Cadet Corps’ website contains such poor information, the report stated, rendering it useless when it came to finding out anything about the authority.

The remaining 20 authorities do have websites and in the case of some of these authorities such as the Tourism Attraction Board they contain useful information about the organization, but nothing at all about the public’s right to access government’s records.
“It seems that some public authorities which have spent money developing a website, could have expended a little more effort and a marginal amount of additional money to expand the website to include information on FOI. It is disappointing to note that FOI does not seem to feature at all on these public authorities’ list of priorities,” the report said.

As well as ranking each of the PAs the report sets out a number of recommendationson how public authorities can improve the functionality of their websites in relation to FOI requirements.  The Deputy Commissioner also highlighted the fact that more useable and effective websites would allow the public to readily access more information, thereby lessening the need for formal requests for records under the FOI Law.  Although public authorities are not obligated by law to have websites given the importance of the internet in the freedom of information process he said they can reduce the number of requests made to authorities.

The investigation confirmed that vast improvements are required to the majority of government websites in order to make them meaningful tools for communication with the public on FOI, the FOI office stated. “Public authorities should take better advantage of the power of the internet to promote access to the records they hold, and educate the public about their rights under the FOI Law,” the report said.

The information commissioner has made a number of recommendations which she has said should be implanted by the year-end. The office will then be conducting another review to ensure they have been carried out. If not she warned that she would use the law to take the necessary steps to see the improvements have been made.

See report and rankings of all government authorities below

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Russian Frigate photo competition underway

| 20/07/2011 | 1 Comment

(CNS): With the 15th anniversary of the M.V. Capt. K.P. Tibbetts coming this September, the Sister Islands Tourism Association (SITA) has launched a photography competition for photos of the deliberately sunken frigate. The competition is open to non-professional photographers who are not residents of the Cayman Islands and runs to 30 August. The M.V. Capt. K.P. Tibbetts was built in the Soviet Union in 1984 for the Cuban Navy. It was purchased and sunk by the Cayman Islands Government in September 1996 and rechristened M.V. Capt. K.P. Tibbetts, after a Cayman Brac politician. The frigate has now become a major dive site on Cayman Brac and has become popular with divers that visit the island.

The grand prize winner of the photo contest will receive free airfare from Cayman Airways, a 7-night stay at Brac Reef Beach Resort with daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, six days of 2-tank diving at Reef Divers and airport ground transfers. The grand prize winner will also receive free admission into the Brac Bash cook-off and become an official judge for the event. 

The annual celebration of the sinking, the Brac Bash, first started in 1996 and is spearheaded by SITA. Marketing and Promotions Manager for Cayman Brac District Administration, Chevala Burke, said that the final details for this year's Bash, scheduled for 30 September to 2 October, have not yet been finalised.

There is no format specified for the photos submitted. Entries for the competition should be sent to sita@candw.ky.

See the flyer for the competition below.

Joshua Dilbert is a CNS summer intern.

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Uncertainty remains over 2012 TCI elections

| 20/07/2011 | 19 Comments

(CNS): During his visit to the TCI last week the UK’s overseas territories’ minister Henry Bellingham did not set a date for next year’s elections. According to the local media Bellingham said he wasn’t prepared to fix the day as he could not say with certainty if all of the milestones which the UK has set in connection with its view of good governance would be met. “If the milestones are met, there’s a very, very good chance of elections, but it’s in the hands of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Bellingham said. “They’ve got to work together on this process so we can have elections and you will then have a democratically elected government back in place.”

The FCO minister stated that progress had been made but he was not prepared to commit to elections in 2012as he said events were beyond his control. “I can’t say categorically that all of the work will be completed but I am very confident that the work will be completed and we will have elections.

Clayton Greene, the leader of PNP in TCI released a statement in the wake of Bellingham’s comments expressing his disappointed that the minister’s visit brought neither a constitution nor a date for next year’s hope for national vote.

“Equally disconcerting is thefact that the minister and the entire administration continue to be vague concerning the extent to which the milestones that the Minister has laid down are being met,” Greene said in his statement.

He added that Bellingham’s visit had given the minister a greater appreciation of the frustration with the process and the administration’s failure to keep people informed he didn’t provide details concerning exactly where things were on the milestones but agreed the governor would provide updates on them.

“We look forward to this and expect that the Governor would be forthright in identifying the key deliverables attached to each milestone and whether in each case they have been met, and where they have not been met give an indication as to when we can expect that they will be met,” Greene said.

The leader of the PNP urged the people of TCI  to continue agitating for the return of representative government and press the administration to be transparent about the progress.

Listing his various concerns about TCI status, the situation in the civil service, mapping out of the constituencies and accusations by the minister that billions of dollars had been stolen from the Treasury by elected officials, Greene said he had asked for the details regarding this accusation.

“Absent an ability to justify his figures the statement should be completely retracted,” Greene stated “Our party has, and continues to be vilified by this Interim administration. In doing so, this administration has taken on all of the trappings of a political party and that is to be regretted.

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Passport is success re youth unemployment

| 20/07/2011 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Around three quarters of the young people that have passed through the government’s work training initiative have found work or are in some form of formal training officials revealed this week. As the employment ministry opens applications for the fifth passport2success programme it revealed that 76 percent of the 21 students which graduated in April, from the third programme are employed, engaged in internships or are involved in some sort of formal training.  Six months post-completion, half of the 24 graduates from group two have secured either full- or part-time employment, while 16 percent are pursuing further education.

The , twelve-month report for the pilot group shows that 68 percent of graduates have secured either full or part-time work and 32 percent are pursuing further education, ministry officials said. The fourth group are currently still going through the course andwill graduate Monday 25 July.

Government is now looking for school leavers for the next programme and officials are urging interested people to submit applications as soon as possible as spaces are limited on the free public-private funded initiative. To qualify applicants must be Caymanians aged 17-20 years, who are recent high school graduates and who have not yet found suitable employment. Candidates do not need high school qualifications or work experience to participate but they do need to be committed and willing to attend every day and have a desire to improve their skills.

The Passport2Success Programme is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Training and Employment, CML Offshore Recruitment, Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd. and LIME Communications and was launched in April last year. The twelve-week course provides training to help young Caymanians succeed in the workplace. The programme is more than a skills training initiative as it focuses not on how to do things but how to behave in the workplace and the expectations of employers from young employees.

Participants receive ‘passports,’ to which stamps are added as they successfully complete programme and personal goals.  Each stamp confirms to potential employers that the holder is skilled in a particular area. The more stamps collected, the more employable the individual becomes.

Participants are required to attend classes each day of the twelve-week programme; participate in all activities including daily lessons, group projects and community industry site visits;  undertake in a two-week job placement with organisations where business relates to the participant’s chosen areas of interest and engage in a weeklong community-service project. Candidates earn a weekly stipend, but it is not guaranteed and must be merited by meeting certain programme criteria.

The programme emphasises adult literacy, adopts a practical hands-on approach, and uses adult-based group learning instruction methods. Participants may also customise the programme to suit their areas of interest, but must participate in group activities.

Apply by visiting www.passport2success.ky/apply and either fill in or download an application form. Alternatively, paper forms are available from The Wellness Centre located in Unit D5 at Cayman Business Park on Thomas Russell Way. Completed online forms may be submitted via email to info@wellnesscentre.ky or printed and mailed to: Passport2Success, The Wellness Centre, P.O. Box 10462, Grand Cayman, KY1-1004, Cayman Islands. For more information, visit www.passport2success.ky, email The Wellness Centre on info@wellnesscentre.ky or call Shannon Seymour on 949-9355.

 

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Cops early morning arrest may have foiled robbery

| 20/07/2011 | 8 Comments

(CNS): Police were able to arrest two men who were behaving suspiciously at a local business centre in the early hours of Wednesday morning because they had ganja on them but the cops may well have had prevented a more serious crime from occurring. The suspects who were on bicycles were said to be acting suspiciously at the Mirco Centre in George town at around 12:50 and one was described as having his face covered. Two men are currently in police custody and are said to be helping police with their enquiries.

Police said that after receiving the report from a member of the public RCIPSofficers immediately attended the location and saw the men on bicycles leaving the Centre. One of the men was wearing a hoodie and officers instructed the men to stop but one cycled off. He was then stopped by the officers a short distance away. Both men, aged 21 and 24 years were searched and a quantity of ganja was found. They were subsequently arrested on suspicion of both possession and consumption of ganja.

Anyone who who has any informaiton on a crime should call George Town police station on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

 

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A new category of Permanent Residency

| 20/07/2011 | 139 Comments

I wish to outline a new framework for the Term Limit and Roll-over policy regime which I think will be equitable to Caymanians and non-Caymanians and which may also encourage economic growth and build investor confidence. My proposal is for a new system of Permanent Residence, particularly a new Permanent Residency (Restricted) category, while also building upon and fine-tuning the existing provisions of the Immigration Law & Regulations, and effectively rationalizing the “Caymanian Status” eligibility (for only a specific category of people).

I will admit that the following ideas of a new category of Permanent Residency is not exclusively mine, as although I publicly wrote about this 5 years ago it has also been generally discussed in some quarters for at least a decade. The concept has however enjoyed much more “traction” in recent times, due to the mid-stream impact of the rollover policy and by extension its implications on the economic resilience of these Islands.

Vision 2008 (the 10-year National Strategic Plan which was launched in 1998) provides in Strategy 16 (pages 111 to 116) the over-arching objective of “establishing a comprehensive immigration policy, which protects Caymanians and gives security to long-term residents”. I have been a strong advocate for some form of “rollover policy” for at least 2 decades, and from the early 1980’s, when I was overseas at university, I even wrote letters to the newspaper back home advocating such a policy – in the interest of providing a career path for qualified and able Caymanians, while at the same time ensuring a Caymanian population advantage in the interest of future generations. Sadly, such a policy only came formally into effect on 1 January 2004, against the back-drop of potentially different motives and with a somewhat rushed legislative package and timeline.

On the subject of security of tenure for long-term residents, there has been resistance in embracing the changes brought about by the “rollover policy” because of the delays in implementing the policy and the then robust economic climate (in Cayman and elsewhere), which made recruiting a challenge in some areas. To further aggravate the prevailing feeble change management efforts leading up to the passage and enactment of the law, the introduction of this new policy framework (enshrined in the Immigration Law 2004) was further compromised by the impact of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, as this made it even more difficult to implement both the immigration and the human capital development objectives of the law. After the completion of the general elections in May 2005 (delayed from November 2004 as a result of Ivan), the new government decided to continue the implementation of the Immigration Law 2004 and its term limit provision, rather than to delay, amend or repeal such clause(s). Respective immigration boards, including the Business Staffing Plan Board (of which I was deputy chairman from August 2005 to June 2009) undertook valiant efforts to accommodate the law and to serve is various constituents, albeit under difficult conditions.

However, in view of the fact that the immigration statistics seem to indicate that the average length of stay of expatriate workers is 4 to 5 years and the often stated claim by many expatriates that they do not necessarily want Caymanian status or citizenship but only some security of working tenure, we may therefore have a perfect recipe for a solution. If the foregoing assumptions are indeed correct, where some expatriates (whom their employers may have difficulty replacing in the short term) only desire to become “Key” is to enable them to qualify to apply for Permanent Residence in order to have some security of employment tenure, then another option for them may be more suitable. This new option would achieve their and their employers’ objectives, while keeping them under immigration control and monitoring their training of Caymanians, conduct etc., but preventing them from ever achieving Caymanian Status.

In substitution of the current system of a 7-year term limit or “Roll-over” for everyone, except those who are designated as “Key Employees”, I suggest that certain categories of specified non-Caymanian workers could begin the application for a new Permanent Residency (Restricted) category after they have been legally and ordinarily resident in these Islands for a at least three (3) years. In order to create equity and to avoid abuse, obviously the ImmigrationLaw and Regulations would have to stipulate the category or job level of eligible employees, specific expectations and rules for the employee to fulfil, and similarly for the employer (perhaps following a similar standard as was proposed 3 to 4 years ago known as the “Immigration Accreditation System”). Those employees who choose not to pursue this new option of Permanent Residency (Restricted), would continue to be subjected to the 7-year “Roll-over” and the rigours of the Key Employee application process (where merited).

The “mechanics” of my proposal for a new option of Permanent Residency (Restricted) category is therefore outlined in a 7-point plan, as follows:

  1. Establish a new category of Permanent Residency(PR), with Restrictions in regard to the type of work/industry the holder can be engaged and also preventing them from ownership in certain categories of businesses as well as from voting in General Elections;
  2. Carry out an exhaustive analysis of this proposal, particularly with regard to any human rights objections or hurdles, and obtain opinions from relevant international legal luminaries, including queen counsels, and internationally recognized human rights scholars;
  3. If the two foregoing points are confirmed, then amend the Immigration Law and Regulations accordingly;
  4. Those individuals who meet the criteria of being critical to their employers, but who do not wish to obtain the existing Permanent Residency, (and thereafter Status), can apply for this new category of Permanent Residency (Restricted). Other employees would be able to continue to seek to be “Key” so as to qualify to apply for Permanent Residency, however they would continue to run the risk of being unsuccessful in being classified as Key Employee and/or gaining Permanent Residency, i.e. they would then be “rolled over” after 7 years and not be able to reach their 8th year to apply for PR;
  5. Those employees who exercise the option of this new (Restricted) category of Permanent Residence, would do so voluntarily and would also voluntarily waive their right (by a certified and Notarized legal instrument) to apply for Permanent Residency or Status in the future;
  6. This new Permanent Residency (Restricted) would be awarded for 3 to 5 years each time, with annual reports (police clearance, Caymanian training or availability etc., marital status, dependents etc.) being required each year with the payment of the fee;
  7. At a confirmation every 2 years, the employee would have to renew their waiver to apply for the other Permanent Residency or Caymanian Status, i.e. they would remain on the Restricted “license” with no claim to PR or Caymanian Status.

As I see it, if the following option becomes a reality, the Immigration “landscape” would be materially but not adversely altered, and would include following options:

  • Residency & Employment Rights Certificate – Reserved for persons who are married to Caymanians, or those with Caymanian connections due to descent, etc.
  • Permanent Residency with Right to Work – For people who may be successful in obtaining PR after they have become a Key Employee and are successful with the PR exam etc (if they choose to go that route)
  • Permanent Residency (Restricted) NEW – As outlined above
  • Permanent Residency without the Right to Work – Reserved for wealthy retires, investors, or other eligible long-term residents of property/home owners, whose resources are sufficient to take care of them without their need to work.
  • Caymanian Status — This would normally be for a Grant due to birth, marriage to a Caymanian, or on the basis of Residency under the existing Immigration Law.

There may be some who may argue that this new system may givesome expatriates access to more power quicker than they can now achieve it. However, this is not necessarily the case if we examine the current economic situation and the other proposals and sentiments which are circulating. Additionally, if the proper monitoring and enforcement is done, preferably by a new authority, then the damage to Caymanians can be effectively mitigated, and the prospects for Caymanians' upward career mobility will be enhanced.

Others may say that there is a risk that children born to families who possess this new Permanent Residency (Restricted) category may themselves have a Right to Caymanian Status. Again, this is a matter for the legal luminaries to examine, as suggested in #2 of the 7-point plan above.

Third, some may say that this establishes a risky precedent. Well, that objection is also not without its weakness, because the present government has already amended the Immigration Law and have exempted certain categories of caregivers (of the elderly, physically handicapped/afflicted etc), from the provisions of the term limit. I am not sure what protective and control mechanisms are in place to prevent abuse of this new exemption for caregivers; however, with the Permanent Residency (Restricted) category which I am proposing there would be proper rules and monitoring.

Finally, some may suggest that those people who agree to the waiver and sign a “renewal” every 2 years may (say after 10-15 years) eventually renege on their commitment and then try to claim their right to Caymanian status. However, this would be subject to a court order, as the government would defend its position and appeal any unfavourable outcome, with the assistance of a credible queen's counsel. It is understood that a similar crown dependency, Bermuda, has also introduced a similar system, with favourable results.

Conclusion

The foregoing appears, in my mind, to be a fair compromise, which upholds the spirit of Strategy 16 of Vision 2008. However, for this to be truly effective, it ought to be done under the aegis of a long-range development plan (a renewed Vision?), as well as having a National Training Initiative imbedded in that bulwark. As I have also said repeatedly in the past, Action Plan 7 of Strategy 16 (to establish a Human Resources Authority) is a critical link in the chain of hope, in the new frontier of tranquility and prosperity for Caymanians, long-term residents, and our economy. In my next commentary, I will address this matter, as I have always maintained that the best home for the effective implementation of labour and human capital policies is not with the immigration department or the various work permit boards.

I commend the foregoing ideas, once again, for discussion and analysis on the agenda at the highest levels in the private sector and the political directorate. I stand ready to assist with, and engage in, a genuine discussion on a comprehensive and equitable solution in relation to the protection and development of Caymanian human capital as well as the equitable integration of non-Caymanian talent, as a recipe for sustainable development of our beloved Cayman Islands.

It is my considered opinion that the adoption of this policy, in a sincere and holistic fashion, will preserve the core of Caymanians values and aspirations, while at the same time rewarding and embracing needed and compatible non-Caymanian human capital. In my opinion, this new economic environment will result in a paradigm shift which will stimulate progress, promote workplace tranquility and productivity, and encourage investor confidence and sustainable development. In a service economy, where labour is a key input, such a combination would be the catalyst for dynamic economic recovery and propel the Cayman Islands from “Good to Great”.

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Scot heartbroken over Jamaican runaway bride

| 20/07/2011 | 4 Comments

(Daily Mail): A charity worker who spent £5,000 bringing his new Jamaican bride to the UK was left heartbroken after she abandoned him within 20 minutes of walking through his front door. Johnny Gannon spent thousands arranging a visa for 24-year-old Patrice Chambers so they could live in marital bliss in his council flat in Perth, Scotland. But as soon as Patrice arrived in Perth, she sent trusting Mr Gannon, 57, out to buy Pot Noodles. When he returned she grabbed her bags and told him she was going. Within 20 minutes of arriving through his front door she had flagged down a car and caught a train. He found out she had also run up a £500 bill on his mobile phone.

Heartbroken Mr Gannon, who married Patrice in Jamaica early this year, believes his new wife fled to Bristol to meet a Jamaican boyfriend with whom she had organised the scheme.

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Mystery letter found Feb’10

| 20/07/2011 | 77 Comments

(CNS): The mystery letter about which the independent member for North Side has asked the governor  to open a commission of enquiry has been in the hands of the authorities for more than 18 months. The letter, which appears to have been sent by the premier when he was leader of government business in 2004 to developer Stan Thomas was discovered in the course of a civil action in February 2010 and handed over to the governor’s office. However, no explanation for the letter has been forthcoming from the authorities, nor have they confirmed if it is the document at the heart of an investigation into alleged “financial irregularities” which is reportedly currently underway. Ezzard Miller said he first became aware of the existence of the document in June this year.

During the press briefing on Friday, when Miller announced that he had called on the governor to launch a commission of enquiry, he explained that as soon as he was aware of the letter, because of the content, he had written to Police CommissionerDavid Baines in his capacity as chair of the Anti-Corruption Commission and asked him to act immediately on the contents of the correspondence, which appeared to be a genuine letter from McKeeva Bush on Windsor Development Letter head to Stan Thomas, the owner at the time of a considerable amount of land around the West Bay Road area. 

Miller told commission chair that he expected the authorities to take immediate action and if nothing was done he would be using the Legislative Assembly Standing Orders to request a commission of enquiry.  Speaking to the press on Friday, Miller explained that Baines had responded five days later asking the independent member to “consider awaiting the commission’s deliberations” before the “premature release” of information, which he said could prejudice its function.

As a result Miller said he held off making a public announce or, as had been his intention, directly asking the premier about the letter in the Legislative Assembly. However, Miller noted that more than a month had passed since then and he had heard nothing further from the commissioner, and given that the letter had been given to the authorities eighteen months ago, he saw no reason not to make his request for the enquiry public.

Since the authorities were aware of the existence of the letter for so long, both Miller and Alden McLaughlin, the leader of the opposition, have questioned why nothing has been said about the situation regarding this letter.

“Given the evidence I have put before the governor, I believe it will make it very difficult for him not to respond to the request for an enquiry,” Miller said, adding that he was very concerned that the authorities appear to have known about the document for so long but on the face of it do not appear to have acted. “In the absence of any action by the Anti-Corruption Commission I have now called for this enquiry,” he said.

Both of the political representatives said that everyone may be assuming that the investigation which the governor’s office and the police commissioner have alluded to may well be about this document but there has been no confirmation at all that this correspondence is part of any enquiry or investigation.

“We need a public response from the authorities about this letter or an explanation from the premier,” McLaughlin added.  He also noted that the community should be pressing for a response as it was dangerous to allow something like this to simply remain a mystery, leading to increasing speculation. “We are not going to walk away from this. We intend to keep it in the public eye until there is a serious explanation,” McLaughlin added.

As the governor’s office and the Anti-Corruption Commission have not acknowledged whether or not this letter is the source of the so-called investigation into financial irregularities, it is not possible for the public to know if the letter, which has been in the hands of both the governor and the commissioner for a year and a half, has been, is being, or will be investigated.

So far the premier has said on a number of occasions that he intends to make a statement regarding the speculation about the letter. He has not yet stated if the letter was written by him but made reference to “a real estate bill” being twisted by the opposition at a recent rally for jobs on public beach. On Friday the premier described the request by Miller for an enquiry as a “red herring” stirred up by the opposition to detract attention away from various government projects which were about to come on line.

See letter from police commissioner to Miller below

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Reflections robbed again

| 20/07/2011 | 57 Comments

(CNS): Police are now investigating the latest armed robbery at oneof the islands’ most robbed stores after it was hit again last night. Two masked gunmen shot and smashed their way through the glass door at Reflections in George Town and stole the cash drawer. Police reported that at about 10.55pm sales and security staff were working inside the shop just off Godfrey Nixon Way when the perpetrators began throwing rocks at the door, which was closed and locked. One of the robbers also fired a shot into the door frame before they managed to shatter the glass panel with the rocks and one of the suspects was able to climb into the store. (Photo Dennie Warren JR)

The staff members ran to safety at the rear of the store and the suspect then grabbed the cash register and made his escaped on foot in the direction of the swamp area. Despite the shots fired no one was injured in the incident, the police said.

Armed officers, K-9 and Air Operations Units arrived on scene and searched the surrounding area but no arrests have been made and enquiries continue.

The suspect who entered the store is described as being of stocky build, wearing a black long sleeved shirt & pants, white sneakers and black gloves.  His face was masked. No description is available for the second suspect.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the robbery, heard shots being fired or saw the suspects run from the scene should call George Town police station on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

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