Loan supplied by jet owner

| 24/08/2011

(CNS):Another critical report of government’s procurement process, which will be officially released by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) on Wednesday morning, also sheds light on a connection between the private jet on which the Cayman premier travelled in style last New Year’s Eve and a government loan. The leaked report reveals that one of the interim financing loans arranged by Cohen & Co came from Banque Havilland, which is owned by the Rowland family, which also owns the company that in turn owns the Gulfstream registered as M-ABCT on which McKeeva Bush, his family, friends and members of government flew from the Bahamas to Grand Cayman on 31 December 2010.(Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The trip caused considerable public attention and generated more than 160 comments on the CNS website. However, it was never made clear if the premier had paid for the jet from government funds, his own money or if he was offered the trip courtesy of the owner. At the time the press secretary responded to CNS enquiries stating that the premier had no financial interest in the aircraft. “The premier has no financial or ownership interest in the privatejet to which you refer. The premier was on a personal trip and returned on a privately owned aircraft,” his office said about the flight, which was reportedly a one way trip from the Bahamas back home.

However, the connection to Banque Havilland, which has done business with the Cayman Islands, now raises questions about whether or not the premier should have declared the trip in the Register of Interests. According to the Register of Interests law, if any member of the Legislative Assembly receives a gift or hospitality valued at more than $175 from a person or entity doing business with government or with them as a result of their position as an MLA then it should be declared.

The OAG’s report reveals that an interim financing agreement was signed between the Cayman Islands government and Banque Havilland for US$36 million on 14 December 2010, on which government paid $75,911 in interest and an arrangement fee of $76,000 for the emergency stop gap loan which was for some 37 days.

The Banque Havilland was opened in September 2009 and generally offers financial services to high net worth individuals. The Rowland family owns a number of other companies, one of which is Pillar Securisation, which is the registered owner of the jet.

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin said that if the plane is owned by the same people who own the Banque Havilland that provided the financing and the premier travelled on this jet free of charge, it would be something he should have revealed in the Register of Interests.

“Any benefit that a representative from government receives from anyone connected to the financing arrangements should have been declared in the register of interests,” McLaughlin said.

The PPM leader told CNS that this is an issue that the Committee for Standards in Public Life should be examining. He noted that there does not need to have been anything criminal to have occurred for the committee charged with overseeing the ethics of public servants and politicians to take a look. He said, however, that if there was anything that could be considered against the law then that would be a matter for the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The information regarding Banque Havilland’s loan to government is contained inside the second part of the auditor general’s report on government procurement, which reveals a litany of problems associated with government’s decision to circumvent the central tendering process and go with a firm recommended by UDP members.

Check back to CNS Wednesday to see the full details of the AG’s report

See CNS report of private jet trip along with comments here.

Category: Politics

Comments (81)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is not a problem, what is the matter? in my opinion, in terms of, as far as, with respect to, at the end of the day if the AG has a question about this just blame it on the PPM.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don't blame the governor…give him proof

  3. The lone Haranguer says:

    That free trip for them cost us $450,000 dollars, ouch.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pretty much as posted on CNS at the time.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yeah your 16 year old could do a better job just like Elio right up until the good Ole' Boys should him hows it's done

  6. Anonymous says:

    and i have to save so hard to buy a plane ticket to Miami

  7. Sick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    Tim Ridley has an interesting point regarding the Rowland family. Some years ago, Rachel Stevenson, in an article in "The Independent "newspaper of London, said – "On paper, Jonathan Rowland is the ultimate spiv.". Definition of "spiv" :- a disreputable, flashy male, typically one who lives by shady dealing, rather than by orthiodox work. (Source: is the same Jonathan Rowland (son of David "Spotty" Rowland) who took over Banque Havilland from it's previous owners, following the Icelandic banking crisis. What Due Diligence was carried out on ANY of the parties involved in the LOAN transaction – what Know Your Customer procedures were applied to ensure that these were people with whom the Cayman Government should be doing business. Or was the old Nelsonian "blind eye" principle applied for the sake of expediency or, perhaps, even more sinister reasons.


    • Anonymous says:

      Same thing with the Chinese deal, was any due diligence done on CHEC?  Did Govt not care that these people were involved in a bribery scandal with a Bangladesh minister's son over a port project?  It seems this Govt is hell-bent on finding the shadiest companies worldwide to deal with.  Show me the company you keep, and I will tell you who you are, as my mom always said.  Mr. AG please look into this one next.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Big Mac…can I get fries and a McGriddle on a plane ride with you?

  9. Anonymous says:

    How does this man call himself a "Christian"? Unbelievable, the whole UDP need to go and so do the PPM – I wish some of these young, intelligent Caymanians who really care about the Cayman Islands would get up and run, damn my 16 year old could do a better job of running this country!

  10. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Not a bad investment for Banque Havilland with an annualized return on a 37 day investment of 4.24% is good in these times surely beats getting a mere 0.15% from the big banks.


  11. Anonymous says:

    Worth repeating;


    Ex-MP jailed for fiddling expenses

    Former Labour MP David Chaytor has been jailed for 18 months for making false Parliamentary expenses claims.

    Chaytor, 61, became the first politician to be convicted and sentenced over the expenses scandal which has rocked Westminster.

    He submitted bogus invoices to support claims totalling £22,650 for IT services and renting homes in London and his Bury North constituency.

    This is the result of the MP expenses scandal  investigation that's been ongoing in Britain over the last year or so.

    Having similar laws on the books in Cayman changes nothing if the system isn't applied and the moral code adhered to.

    The FOI laws in Britain is what exposed this scandal originally andthe proof's been shown that crimes were committed for which the first British MP has been jailed; there could be a few to follow and it sends a warning to the current crew; dishonesty with public privilege and funds will end you up in jail.

    The motion to hold these FOI review meetings of Cayman's LA should be seen in this light and resisted by all concerned parties in Cayman.

    If it smells like a fish, it probably is a fish.




  12. Anonymous says:

    But how did they get to where they were coming from? Just because his pressman said in January that "The premier was on a personal trip and returned on a privately owned aircraft" duh mean that he mighten have went to where he was on a privately owned aircraft too.

    Jus wondering. . .

  13. Lime. E. says:

    Does this mean we can finally get a decent chip shop around here? I can smell the kebabs and curry houses already. Praise the lord!

  14. Rollin G. Calfe says:

    For all those loyal defenders out there in zombieland, please consider the Premier's own musings on the presumption of innocence:

    “When you go to court you have to have someone talk for you, yes, but you should not go to court in the first place. You should not shoot people or burn people up.”
    (Mac sees red on legal aid – Posted on Fri, 03/05/2010 – 08:01 in Headline News)

    As the old peopleused to say about the May Cow, I wish he would just make off as fast as dry lightning over Cuba and never come back!


  15. Anonymous says:


    Wake up Cayman and make sure the no-confidence motion against the Premier is allowed to be voted on. 


  16. Anonymous says:

    To the powers that be in this country, get off your backsides and stop this man.  He is single handedly ruining the reputation of the Cayman Islands.  He needs to be removed as Minister of Finance and he clearly has no idea aboutr finance or simply chooses to ignore the rules and lawsof this country.  To those in power, you have a duty to do what is right for the people of your country, not what is easier for you.  Under the Money Laundering laws and regulations, you are guilty if you turn a blind eye to what you know is wrong.  Does the law not apply to you.  Someone somewhere must have the power to stop this madness. Cayman is on the road to destruction.  Suspsend the Premier's powers until a full investigation has been carried out.  Now that offshore alert has run an article on the Premier, the rest of the world will follow.  Whatever it takes – whether a march to the Governor's house, the LA, or the new government building by the people to demand that something be done NOW – not later – NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. 

    • truth says:

      Yes Mon!  jus keep tellen um to do the job you pay them for.  After all of this never ending crap  and never seeing anything of value done because of it who in their right mined  would still have faith? The Caymanian people.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I would love to see the day our government and it's employees found the balls to stand up to this man and make him accountable for his actions.  

    CNS thanks for reporting and having brass balls! 

  18. Anonymous says:

    Will the opposition add this to the list of no confidence points for debate or will they finaly do something like organising some type of protest in front of the Governor's office and/or residence?

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Caymanian people paid more than $400,000 dollars in excess fees just so the Premier, family members and assorted cronies could have a ride on a private jet? It might have been worthi it if it was a one way trip taking them out of the country, but that price is about half a billion too much to pay for bringing them back to Cayman.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If the governor and the FCO had any actual interest in ensuring good governance in the Cayman Islands they would dissolve the LA and call new elections.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Always, always, always…follow da money!

  22. Inside Job says:

    Follow the bling Inspector. Follow the bling. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    How did they get there and who paid for the airfare and the hotel???



  24. Anonymous says:

    Cayman tolerates an abnormal amount of ethical misconduct from its businessmen and politicians.  Just to put things in perspective: Japanese DPJ member, Mr. Seiji Maehara (and future PM candidate), felt compelled to resign the post of Foreign Minister in considerable dishonor when it was reported that he had accepted a campaign contribution from a "foreign national" during his tenure in office.  The sum of money was the paltry equiv of $3000 and was made by an elderly S. Korean national who owned a small restaurant in Maehara's hometown of Kyoto.  Dare to compare how we enbrace the many conflicted relationships in Cayman and reward them with a free pass to deepen their misconduct.  

  25. tim ridley says:

    The Rowland family has a very interesting, and rather opaque, history. One past endeavour in the USA seems to have been particularly unsavoury.


    Tim Ridley

  26. Anonymous says:

    Here I sat thinking that he was robbing Peter to pay Paul,  but all that time he was robbing us to pay Peter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Know something, una need hush,  because half of una unly tring to stir up problems for the premier.   But we want him, so please stay out of our business.

      • Anonymous says:

        McKeeva's reign of incompetence and unethical dealings is everybody's business, not just the business of those who have drunk the Kool Aid. 

      • Anonymous says:

        You want him.  You can have him.  But please get him out of here.

      • Anonymous says:

        I guess you might be one of those benefiting from a " nice little something"  too, why you might want to keep him?

    • Anonymous says:

      Peter wait! Peter wait!

      See McKeeva and CMA at the gate….

  27. Peeping Tom says:

    Accepting freebie flights from government contractors – it is what Jesus would do.

  28. Dred says:

    Let's say something….

    It's not IF he did something wrong here. This comes down to commonsense which I may have given him more credit for than obviously he has. This is about appearance of something wrong.

    Sensible politicians stay away from things that appear to be bad. But then again we are talking about Big Mac. XXXX

  29. Anonymous says:

    What is happening, where is the accountability from our leaders? my heart hurts for my country and people if what is being reported is true.  Please His Excellency, please do something about the rampant abuse of power in this country. 

    This country needs intervention, we do not want to become another islands plagued by wrong doings by our leaders. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sorry to tell you, you are too late, it is already plagued and has been for a long, long, long time.   Things are only coming to light now, thanks to FOI and a vigilant Auditor General, which is why we are now hearing about it.  The only thing to do now is to reverse what is going on and restore good governance before the final nail in the coffin is struck.

  30. Right ya so says:

    1 comment:: what a surprise!

    1 question – would those people that vote for McKeeva please give me 10 (logical) reasons 

    a)  why you voted for him in the last election and  b) why you would vote for him in the next election.

    I honestly don't understand why people continue to support him – it just makes no sense whatsosever and I would really like someone who supports McK to explain to me why they continue to do so despite everything..

  31. Anonymous says:

    Negative Observation:


    A number of years ago I sat with an expat business person who, at the time, was running a fairly major business.


    He said something to the effect of, "I love doing business in Cayman because it is corrupt".




    Positive Observation:


    There is hope. I have met young Caymanian professionals who:

    – are well educated

    – have a good work ethic

    – work hard

    – work smart

    – have a strong desire to serve

    – are emotionally mature

    – and above all, are ethical


    The future lies with these young people. I just hope they have the courage to give a decade of their lives to public service.


    "Service above self"

    • Anonymous says:

      Sad.. but VERY true!!! I see it every day where I am.

    • Natalia says:

      If this is true please name the person and the 'major' business? If you are not prepared to do this, then please refrain from making these type of comments. They are not helpful at all and have no credibility whatsoever. 

      CNS: If the person or the business were named the comment would not have been published.

  32. Anonymous says:

    We need a second Auditor General to search the backgrounds of people wishing to run for office in the next election. It would be better to weed out the bad apples before they are elected than to have to go thru all of this. All people seeking public office should have to pass rigorous psychological testing, literacy testing and criminal background check before being allowed to run.


    Many large corporations hold their employess to this standard, shouldn't we hold those who lead us and make decisions that affect the health of the economy and country to a similar standard?


    The biggest problem would be very boring news stories.


    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention they must at least have a relevant degree or some tertiary education that is relevant to the post and be able to represent country well internationally.   A high school experience and school yard politics, aint' gonna cut it.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if the Freedom of Information act (FOI) applies to the MLA's personal finances, business holdings and campaign contributions?

  34. Anonymous says:

    unfortunatly i feel this will all be old news within a couple of weeks…..because we have a governor who will say or do nothing and we have the caymanian public who have memories of goldfish…….

    • Anonymous says:

      That is what Mac is hoping for. But things are changing. We must keep the pressure on him to root out this despicable and unethical activity.

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      It is time that "We the People" of the Cayman Islands make a FORMAL complaint to the FCO and Her Majesty that the Governor that represents the crown is NOT fulfilling his duties!

      "… be a matter for the Anti-Corruption Commission?"  No, we have a Governor who is suppose to insure that the letter of the law is followed.

      I would have thought the Governor would have been on top of this private jet abuse, the land transaction disaster XXXX and the complete abuse of power with the Nation Building Fund, just to name a few should have had the crown removing this unfit politician….when can we depend on our Queen?

      Sorry, "Guv" but [gossip deleted by moderator] but that does NOT mean you can shirk your responsibilities to your key role here.

      Are you just waiting so you can step in like T&C?  If so….Shame on you H.E. Duncan Taylor!



  35. Bush-Whacked... says:

    Well, truth be known, we gave 'im de rope – an'a fac a come tru – de Bush jussa bout hang himself…

    Giv im anudda week…


  36. Polly Tricks says:

    When the photos of the "inner circle" coming off a private jet looking smug and untouchable appeared on CNS I decided it was time to warn those I do business with that Cayman was on the edge of becoming another TCI.  The arrogantand dismissive way the legitimate questioning of this journey was handled by the Premier only compounded my grave concerns.  

    It may have taken time by the stories coming out ever day are a disgrace to the Cayman Islands.  The failure of the Premier to stand up and answer questions on the Thomas payment, the revelations about the improper procurement of the Cohen deal and now this clearly unacceptable behaviour eventually coming to light.  How much more do we not know about?

    I am not a devil worshipper.  I am not a peeping tom.  I am not a PPM.  I am not a foreign agent.  I am disgusted by the current government and the Premier. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Polly, we love you. 

    • Anonymous says:

       In Wall St. affairs, there is always a predator, and the prey. The Premier fails to recognize which role he fulfills. If he does, then it is quite sinister, that he, himself, would turn around and make the people of Cayman the prey.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately, this may just be the beginning of what else might come out.  

  37. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    There is an outside chance that the Premier hasn't done any of this with ill intent. The same could be said for his unfortunate choices in the Nation Building Fund. Numerous other deals and plans the Premier has been involved in may not have had any evil pruposes as well.. But given that scenario two other options make themselves available. And they have been mentioned often

    One is that lacking any sophistication or discernment when it comes to decision making he is leaving himself open to manipulation by parties that may not have the best interests of the Cayman Islands in mind.

    And two is that if he can't see the horrendous optics created by some of his actions he is badly ill-equipped to be in his position of authority.

    Unfortuantely, if either is pointed out to him, instead of assessing it's accuracy and perhaps asking himself some peritnent questions, he immediately goes on the defensive.

    Amongst all this it may be more important for the Premier to remember that in behind it all are people pleading for thier country to be lead properly. And if he can't do it rather than being stubborn and guilty or not of purposeful wrongdoing he should seriously consider stepping down.


    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you dreadlock. Careful though, Mac could start charging you taxes on those locks. And remember, if you smoke you could be forever condemned as a devil worshipper, especially since you're not exactly supporting his holiness.

    • Anonymous says:

      You make an excellent point there.  Mr. Governor and Mr. Auditor General, can you start looking very closely at the persons "advising" the Premier and their dealings in all of this?   His close consorts, whether they be UDP or otherwise, whether they be government officials or private businessmen, pastors, etc. – anyone who is known to be in his inner circle who may not be giving him proper advice, who may be leading him down the wrong path, and who are looking out for their own personal interests above country's.   Many times these "shadowy" persons are not in the limelight, but they are the key to what's going on.  One private businessman/ individual was just identified by the AG as having pointed him to the Cohen deal, when this individual had no right to do so as he was not a government employee or person in public office who has to be governed by established regulations.  Who else is pointing the Premier to the other deals or projects gone wrong, and what is their interest in it?  Look closely at the private interests and follow the money….

  38. nauticalone says:

    Another glaring example of the lack or Ethics and/or will to follow the law and/or rules.


  39. Anonymous says:

    Ahaaaaa   …and ''the plot thckens''   tune in tomorrow for the next exciting instalment……..



  40. Anonymous says:

    LOL This gets worse day by day and the Caymanian people are sitting there with their thumbs up their bums looking like deer caught in a headlight. I have to run in the next election – its like shooting fish in a bucket over here. 


    • Anonymous says:

      Wherever you're from, I have to agree with you, hell we STILL have Caymanians here that will bite you on the ass if you so much as LOOK at McKeeva in a way they believe is wrong. Can't figure it out my friend.  

      • Anonymous says:

        See what I mean? There's two right there.

      • anon says:

        Let me enlighten you as to why, they have been bought or gifted or both, they went to the same school or church or both, they left school at the same time or earlier, probably the latter.

      • Anonymous says:

        23:20 I will however agree with you, because yes we will bite you on the ass ifyou look at MacKeva in a hard way.  It just goes to show that we love him, he is our premier and we are going to keep him, to stayout of our business.  We know what we have but we do not knoow what we will get.  So we are keeping what we have. 

    • Anonymous says:

      deer don't got thumbs

  41. Bush-Whacked... says:

    What the hell is it going to take for the people, the governor and the AG to rise up in full protest against this man and overthrow him before he destroys us???

    Maybe if he was taking out of your own personal bank accounts?  It is a hair's bredth from that…  He is already STEALING the duty and fees you pay to give to the causes he thinks are most deserving (read: supportive of him).  

    Get him OUT before you wake up to new banking regulations and taxes to support his wayward schemes!!!  The people of West Bay should hide in shame for putting him where he is.  Better yet, declare yourselves an independant republic, dredge a canal across the peninsular around the Fire Station, and then you can keep him as your leader while the rest of us return to proper, true good governance.

    If the Bayer's won't whack the Bush, let's send the Bayers on their way!!!!


    • Anonymous says:

      While we may feel that the Govenor is sitting by doing nothing, allowing all of this "stuff" to go on, I believe they (Gov/FCO) is just letting these clowns hang themselves. and, when the moment is right, they will step in and take control.

      I for one don't want that to happen, but if things continue in the fashion they are going we can look for it to happen.

      the UK watched TCI carry on with their crap for years, and the leader of TCI thought he could get away with it. Not so.

      If we can make it to the next election without UK intervention, those of us who can vote better not be blinded by maytags and 5/8 to dust gravel. Put the country first, elected people who dont promise you the moon, but offer a realistic vision for us all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Grow up and look at it from the Governor’s point of view. Cayman elected Bush in free and fair elections, for a four year term. Just because he hasn’t lived up to expectations, in fact has behaved in a way that most right-thinking people regard as outrageous, does not give the Governor reason to topple him except in the very limited manner set out in the Constitution. To act otherwise would be undemocratic.

      In other words, you made this bed so you can lie in it. Don’t go whining to the Governor when it starts to get uncomfortable.

      • Anonymous says:

        Utimately the Governor is responsible for the good governance of these Islands. If the Premier's govt. is consistently failing in that respect he has every right to step in. When the First Cayman Bank affair broke the then Governor relieved Mr. Bush of his duties as an Exco Member and he was forced by his colleagues in ExCo to resign from ExCo. 

      • Puh-lease says:

        From Wiki (so consider the source) :

        The Governor is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the British government. The role of the Governor is to act as the de facto head of state, and he or she is responsible for appointing the Premier, who is the leader of the party with a majority of seats in the Legislature.

        The 1999 White Paper Partnership for Progress and Prosperitysets out the UK’s policy on the Overseas Territories.  The White Paper in 2006 expanded the set of strategic international priorities of the UK . The Overseas Territories Directorate (OTD), the governor and the governor’s office are responsible for the security and good governance of the Overseas Territories.

        Aims that form part of this priority are to:

        • Improve the environment of the Overseas Territories.

        • Encourage more economic diversity.

        • Maintain a balance in the constitutional relationship, which reflects the rights and responsibilities of both the UK and the Overseas Territories.

        • Manage the effect of new international obligations on the Overseas Territories.

        • Minimise the vulnerability of the Territories to climate change, economic changes, international crime, natural disasters and other developments.

        • Work closely with other government departments to fulfill the UK government's collective responsibility for the Territories.

  42. Come on people says:

    This is more than enough curtain for us to swing from – let's get this man out!  Thanks CNS, keep it coming!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t that mean that if the jet was used for potentially corrupt purpose it could be forfeited to the crown. Just imagine, Ezzard would have his own Airforce One.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Yes – because he squashes dissent and my home and my livelihood are more important than seeking to rely on an inept system to protect me – particularly when there are obvious examples of significant repercussions to others in the past.

  45. Village Vicar says:

    Well what a surprise. I wait with bated breath to see the AGs report and read about all the indisgressions that McMisick has made.Cayman never really learnt from the First Cayman debacle. I think I now know why it is taking the fuzz so long to look into the Stan Thomas XXXXX. Watch this space as they say.

  46. Anonymous says:

    It's sad. Mac and Julianna with their disgraceful attitude to pomp and circumstance and the spending on their own and their supporters behalf of public funds will lose them the next election – rightly so. And we have nothing to replace them with. PPM? yeah, right!

    • Anonymous says:

      You people that keep critizing Pollitcal parties rather than the individals in the parties need to face realityj Political parties are here to stay. Join one and make a difference if you do not like how they are run or the people in them. Stop hating everyone and everything and start being positive about the future! And stop the solemn Whiningr!

    • Anonymous says:

      There you go, comparing apples with oranges again. You NEVER saw PPM MLA's going to casino land on private jets owned by people connected to dodgy deals that we all paid for.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Well  why would anyone be the least bit surprised at this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Read up on the TCI debacle.  McKeeva is driving us down the same old rocky road of the TCI.  Michael Misick gave away thier land, had jet rides to distant places, wild parties in the pool, had grandiose schemes, entered politics poor and ended up a millionaire, lived life to the highest, bucked his foot and plummeted.  Watch and see if our Prem Prem doesn't fall flat his face.  For all the injustices he has committed and rained down on the good people of these Islands, the devil could never leave his chief angel flying so high.

      Time is mans best friend and somethimes his worse enemy.  Meekly wait and murmer not.