Archive for July 21st, 2011

Top cop urges people to help

| 21/07/2011 | 43 Comments

(CNS): Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis has urged people across the community to come forward and help the police catch the men involved in the most recent robberies, where innocent members of the public were shot indiscriminately. Ennis said that the people cannot be paralysed by fear and must tell the RCIPS what they know to ensure the perpetrators are caught. He said that it was time to shake of the fear and mistrust and work with the police to help find the criminals, whom he referred to as “pure evil”. He said officers were pursuing lines of enquiry but they needed evidence to catch and charge the criminals involved.

“We cannot allow our fear to paralyse us into doing nothing,” Ennis said Thursday afternoon, speaking at a press briefing at the scene of the latest shooting in Bodden Town. “We have to do something.”

He also spoke about issues of mistrust and said there must be someone in the RCIPS that people felt confident to speak to and if they really could not find an officer they want to talk to then they should speak with their pastor. “It is our community that is at risk and if we all remain silent we will all suffer,” he said, as he urged people to come forward.

He said the community could not allow a grandmother and much loved member of the community who had worked at Lorna’s for fifteen years to be shot indiscriminately on her way home and then sit back and say nothing because people say they don’t trust the police. “What if it is going to be your grandmother tomorrow?” Ennis asked.

The deputy commissioner was joined by Osbourne Bodden, the owner of Lorna’s Gas Station, where the latest victim, Medsadie Connor, works. The 57-year-old woman was shot by robbers, who had grabbed her bag as she approached her car after leaving the gas station around 10pm on Wednesday, 13 July.

The police had put up a $20,000 reward and Bodden, in partnership with Bob Watler of Watler’s Metal Products, announced that he was doubling the reward with another $20,000 contribution, providing a bounty of US$40K on the robbers.

Acknowledging that there were no guarantees that increasing the reward would make a difference, Bodden said he hoped it was enough to tempt someone to say something. The business owner and Ennis both spoke of the importance of the community coming forward with information as it would be the only way that the country could address the escalating violence.

“These people are not living in a vacuum, they are not living in a cave, they are friends and relatives of someone,” Bodden said, adding there was a need to break the grip of fear. He expressed his real concern about what was happening to the country and how people were afraid to come forward but were also afraid to come out.

He said business owners were facing a double problem as at the same time as having to increase their spending on security measures their takings were down because people were more and more afraid to go anywhere and spend money. Bodden said that local business owners in the eastern districts had met on Thursday afternoon to discuss what they could all do to work together and with the police to help address the problem.

Ennis added that the RCIPS was increasing patrols and businesses would see more of their officers but he added there were lots of businesses on the island and that it was not possible to be at every business premises but they were focusing on gas stations and eateries. He said he understood the collective fears but they were doing everything they could to get the crime, which he said had an element in some cases of organisation, under control.

Although Ennis said he could not go into the specifics of the investigations regarding the recent robberies, he said police were working under certain assumptions about the recent shootings and that there could be connections.

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Probe on Mac, admits Taylor

| 21/07/2011 | 97 Comments

(CNS): Following a request by the North Side MLA for a commission of enquiry into a letter that is believed to be between the premier, McKeeva Bush, and developer Stan Thomas, the governor has now admitted that a police investigation into the correspondence is already on going. Duncan Taylor told Ezzard Miller, “In answer to your request I can confirm that this matter is already the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS). In light of this, I do not see the case for considering a Commission of Enquiry.” Miller made the request last Friday and announced the details at a press conference.

Meanwhile, the governor has also told the premier that there will be no commission of enquiry regarding the procurement, planning and capital spend for the John Gray, Clifton Hunter and Beulah Smith High Schools and the proposed new George Town Primary School as the auditor general already plans to carry out performance audits of the John Gray and Clifton Hunter High Schools this financial year.

“In the course of a programme of work this year he will also be reviewing the transactions around the Beulah Smith High School and the new George Town Primary School projects,” the governor said in a statement released by his office. Taylor said, however, that he would be prepared to consider the matter again after the auditor general has submitted his reports to the Legislative Assembly should there be a need.

The letter at the heart of the 18 month police investigation is posted below.

Check back to CNS later for more on these stories also see related articles:

Mystery letter found Feb 2010

Mac Must Explain

PPM Bush being Investigated

Bush letter over land zoning

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Crown dependencies spin blacklist removal

| 21/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(Daily Telegraph): John Christensen, a Jersey economic advisor for 11 years, has accused Guernsey and Jersey of spinning a tax story in order to appear more transparent. A story about Jersey and Guernsey being "removed" from a US blacklist of tax havens was released by both jurisdictions earlier this week. In the Guernsey press release, the island's chief minister Lyndon Trott was said to be "delighted that Guernsey would no longer be unfairly blacklisted" and cited "continued dialogue" with Washington as being "instrumental in changing the legislation."

Jersey's release quoted its treasury minister Philip Ozouf as saying: “We have regular meetings and good contacts in Washington, which have helped to develop recognition of Jersey as a responsible and transparent jurisdiction.”

Christensen, who left Jersey and his economic advisory role in 1998 to voice his concerns about how the island was being used as a tax haven, has now criticised both islands for inferring that they were removed after being recognised as open and transparent regimes when in fact the blacklist was abolished altogether by the Americans in favour of a new bill to stop tax haven abuse.

On his Tax Justice Network blog, Mr Christensen wrote: "One important feature of the new Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which aims to beef up the US's protections against abusive offshore behaviour, is the abolition of a 'blacklist' of secrecy jurisdictions that was in previous versions.

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The Global Warming myth unraveling

| 21/07/2011 | 6 Comments

The global warming argument continues to unravel even as some of its more rabid proponents grasp at straws.  Phil Jones, the former head of the embattled Climate Research Unit in the United Kingdom who resigned in disgrace amidst the Climategate scandal, has now made a startling admission.  Jones conceded to the BBC that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

Furthermore, he admitted that it is quite possible that the world was warmer during medieval times than it is now, a position long held by global warming skeptics and long denied by the global warming fear-mongers.

Jones’ concession on both issues points to a sea change in the entire global warming debate.  If our world was warmer during the Medieval Warm Period then it’s highly unlikely that any warming over the last century has anything to do with us.  And keep in mind that this “warming” they point to is 0.7 degrees.  What the global warming folks don’t tell you is we were coming off the Little Ice Age which followed the Medieval Warm Period. The Little Ice Age ran from about 1300 to 1850.  It stands to reason that we would be warming a bit after coming off a 550-year cold snap.  Many experts tell us we’d have to warm significantly more to match European temperatures during medieval times when vineyardswere abundant in the London area.

Professor Jones’ backtracking is coupled with all sorts of holes that, of late, have been blown in the much-ballyhooed 2007 UN IPCC report.  That report is riddled with outlandish claims that have now been corrected and dubious sources for important parts of the research.  One claim of temperature and ice change came from casual observations taken from a hiking magazine.  Their claim that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 had to be revised when it was discovered someone had transposed the numbers.  It was supposed to be 2350.

Okay, so they only missed it by 300 years.  But who can realistically claim that they have any idea what the climate will be doing in 300 years?

Other mistakes in the report include a claim that up to 40 percent of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in rainfall.  Instead of coming from a peer-reviewed paper, that claim came from the radical World Wildlife Fund.

We now know that temperature data the IPCC has relied on since its inception is suspect given the manner in which this data has been collected.  A staple of previous IPCC reports, the Michael Mann hockey stick graph, which showed little temperature change over a thousand years then a sudden spike, like the blade of a hockey stick, in the last 50 years, has been widely discredited.  The IPCC quietly dropped the hockey stick data in its last report.

Also, the claim of a consensus by Al Gore and others is laughable.  The IPCC used 150 scientists to compile the report, notthe thousands Gore has claimed.  Other scientists involved simply reviewed the material and a good number of them disagreed with the findings.  Hardly unanimous, as Gore has claimed.

The most laughable is the claim that the recent snowstorms in the Northeast corridor were caused by global warming.  They actually said that.  It would seem if that’s the case then the planet has already solved the global warming problem.

The IPCC, along with Al Gore, won a Nobel Peace Prize for their work.  Of course, global warming has nothing to do with peace but that’s okay.

Apparently, the IPCC and Al Gore have nothing to do with real science

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Cops find loaded gun in bush

| 21/07/2011 | 49 Comments

(CNS): A police K-9 team recovered a loaded Heckler and Koch pistol which was hidden in bushes in the Red Bay area. The gun was found as the handler and his dog carried out routine patrol at around 4:10pm on Wednesday afternoon in the Admiral’s Landing area. Police said that the firearm (left) was hidden in some bushes and was loaded with a full magazine. The police dog that found the gun was Boris, a German Shepherd who recently arrived in the Cayman Islands with the team of Belgian Malinois. “This was a significant recovery by the K-9 team,” said Superintendent Kurt Walton. “The public can expect to see our K-9 officers and their dogs out on foot patrol in their neighbourhoods and in particular in bushy areas. On this occasion we saw the positive result of one of those patrols."

Walton also noted that the automatic pistol had one bullet in the chamber and another eight in the magazine. He said that now the gun is in the hands of the authorities it is no longer available for use by gunmen.

“Recent events have shown that the criminals who carry guns are using them indiscriminately to injure people. We’re lucky that no-one has been killed so far. The recovery of this gun means that there is one less dangerous weapon on the streets for the criminals to use to destroy innocent lives.”

The police will also be in a position to find out of the weapon reveals any forensic clues to its owner or if it has been used in the commission of any of the recent crimes.

Walton, who is one of the lead officers for this year’s gun amnesty, confirmed that 31 rounds of live ammunition had been surrendered at Bodden Town police station yesterday.

“We have got off to a slow start with this year’s amnesty,” he said. “But one round fired from a gun is all it takes to kill someone. We now have 41 rounds off the streets as a direct result of the amnesty. There are still a few days left until the end of the month for people to do the right thing and drop their unwanted, illegal and unlicensed weapons or ammunition to us,” the senior cop added.

He said that many people have criticised the police for holding the amnesty this year against the backdrop of gun crime. “But for every critic we have many supporters in the community who recognise that the amnesty is just one strand of our overall strategy to reduce the number of guns on the Island and cut gun related crime. Yesterday’s proactive patrolling shows that, despite those critics, we do get results,” Walton added.

The window of opportunity for the community to hand in firearms and ammunition during the no questions asked anonymous gun amnesty will close on Sunday 31 July. Last year the police recovered 27 weapons and many rounds of ammunition. This year, however, with the escalation of gun violence on the streets, so far no firearms have been dropped off at any the police stations.

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Grandmother dies following pool accident

| 21/07/2011 | 17 Comments

(CNS): Police have now confirmed that the 68-year-old woman who was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital on Monday evening after her efforts to rescue her grandson who drown in the condo complex pool has also died. The grandmother died in the early hours of Thursday morning as a result of the accident. According to a police spokesperson the family had requested that the RCIPS does not release the names of the child who died Monday or his grandmother. The incident took place at the Town and Country Townhouses, George Town when both the two year old boy and his grandmother were found in the pool by a family member. (Photo courtesy Cayman27)

Police believe the toddler had fallen in the pool and the grandmother had attempted to rescue him they were both then discovered by a family member. Police received a report at around 5:20pm and when the emergency services arrived at the complex both the grandmother and the child both were unconscious and unresponsive.  Paramedics carried out CPR and both were taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town but the little boy was pronounced dead on arrival and his grandmother was admitted to intensive care.

The family liaison officer is currently with the family and enquiries have revealed that what took place was a tragic accident with no suspicious circumstances.
 

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Bloomberg puts Cayman finance court in cyber space

| 21/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Bloomberg Law has created the first electronic database of petitions filed in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, Financial Services Division. Subscribers now get unlimited access to court filings which are only accessible through manual retrieval at the courthouse in George Town. The firm announced the new service in a press release on Wednesday stating that the service was a significant resource for its clients. “Court dockets are essential for managing legal cases and are also an important tool for staying competitive," said Lou Andreozzi, chairman of Bloomberg Law.

The Financial Services Division of the Grand Court, which began operations in November 2009, was established to handle complex and high profile commercial disputes more efficiently.

Bloomberg Law Dockets’ unrestricted search engine gives subscribers access to an extensive database of federal, state and selected international dockets. The Cayman Islands joins Bloomberg Law's expanding range of international docket coverage, which includes courts in the United Kingdom, European Union and Asia, as well as a database of complaints filed with the International Trade Commission, the firm revealed.

Bloomberg Law is a real-time legal research system offering comprehensive legal content, company and client information, and news all in one place. It collects dockets from the U.S. federal court system as well as many state and international courts. In-court researchers post new complaints from strategically selected courts in real-time.


For more information visit www.bloomberglaw.com

 

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Businessmen double price on gunmen’s heads

| 21/07/2011 | 9 Comments

(CNS): There is now a total of $40,000 on the heads of the gunmen responsible for shooting 57 year old Medsadie Connor who was shot twice during the course of a robbery as she was leaving her job at a Bodden Town gas station last week. The owner of Lorna’s Texaco, the gas station where Connor works, Osborne Bodden said he has written to the police commissioner and offered to double the reward for “the arrest and conviction of these evil criminals that shot and robbed my worker last week.” Bodden explained that the reward has been put up between himself and Bob Watler of Watler’s Metal Products.

“We wish to also appeal to anyone else willing to join in and make it up to the highest possible amount,” he stated. The Police Commissioner, David Baines, announced a $20K reward for the robbers Friday in the wake of the second shooting in which an innocent victim was senselessly shot during the crime.

“I’m asking for anyone who knows who these people are to come forward,” the commissioner stated. “They may be your friends, brothers or cousins, but can you stand by and condone what they have done by keeping silent? It is absolutely imperative that we get the men responsible for this heinous crime off the streets before someone is killed. That’s why today we are issuing the reward in the hope that it may just persuade anyone who has information, but for whatever reason has not yet come forward, to do the right thing.”

Connor is currently recovering in hospital but she may require further treatment in Miami as a result of the wound to her leg. Connor was also shot in the shoulder by one of the gunmen after he had already grabbed the grandmother’s bag.

This robbery occurred two weeks after CIB brewer Kemar Golding was shot in the head by masked gunmen in Red Bay. Golding lost an eye and he is currently being treated in hospital in Miami there is also a reward of $10K for the arrest and conviction of Golding’s shooters who police suspect may be the same suspects.

Although rewards have been posed by several business, crimestoppers, the Chamber of commerce and the police on a number of crimes recently none of these rewards have resulted in any arrests.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and has any information which could assist the investigation should contact Bodden Town police station on 947-2220 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477 (TIPS).
 

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Bank cuts wealth services for Americans outside US

| 21/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(Reuters): The private banking arm of HSBC will stop offering services to U.S. residents outside the United States as a crackdown on offshore tax evasion makes the regulatory burden of banking around the world increasingly onerous. "After a review of services that can be provided to U.S. clients from locations outside of the U.S., we believe that U.S. clients will be better served by our private banking teams in the United States," the bank said in a statement on Wednesday. A team of advisers will help affected clients through the transition, HSBC said. A source at the bank said the decision was voluntary and not in response to action against it by U.S. authorities.

Last week the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said it would give foreign financial institutions another six months to start complying with a new law to prevent offshore tax evasion by Americans under a phased-in schedule of compliance.

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Drunken bomb hoax gets thirty days jail time

| 21/07/2011 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Thirty-five year old Arnold Lee was sentenced to 30 days in prison and deportation back to Trinidad by Justice Alex Henderson last week for giving false information to the police in a false bomb hoax. On 14 March of this year, Lee called the Emergency Operator (911) a number of times requesting a psychotherapist and claiming he’d called the “wrong number”. The operator referred him to the George Town Hospital realizing that he was obviously intoxicated. A short time after, Lee called once again. This time he was insisting on speaking to the inspector and the operator suggested he call the RCIPS number. Lee said, “This is a bomb threat,” just before hanging up.

During the incident the operator called him back and Lee gave her a false name, claimed to be Muslim and that he had planted C-4 explosives on the island. He gave the operator his address and told her that he needed assistance. Police arrived at his residence and gave him a warning then left. They later returned to arrest him on the mentioned charges.

Lee has attended Alcoholics Anonymous and counselling for his alcohol problem and has been sober since the event occurred.

As he handed down the month long sentence, Justice Henderson told Lee that a bomb hoax was a serious offence and always attracted a period of imprisonment but given the circumstances the judge limited the sentence.
 

16-year-old Ashleigh Hydes is a summer intern with CNS

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