Archive for January 23rd, 2013

Cayman triathlon attracts international competitors

| 23/01/2013 | 1 Comment

Mercuryman Lesley Smith Bike (254x300).jpg(CNS): With sports tourism on the rise in the Cayman Islands visitors and athletes are making trips specifically to watch and participate in sporting events. The Mercuryman Triathlon which took place at the Reef Resort in East End on Sunday sponsored by CITA is  Cayman’s only official half iron distance triathlon and aquabike event. The endurance event involved a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. The event was completed as an individual or with relay teams of 2-3 members and three up and coming triathletes on the international circuit also participated in the triathlon alongside many local residents.

Justin Plenkiewicz, Johan Heath and Trevor Murphy the organizers of the event said triathlon is one of the world’s fastest growing sports with around 200 triathletes in the Cayman Islands alone. In the USA and Britain triathlon membership growth has increased on average by approximately 10 -15% per annum over the last 10 years.

Pedro Gomes a 28 year old professional triathlete from Portugal, currently training under coach Jesse Kropelnicki and preparing for Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii won the Men’s Individual race in 4:11:36, while Lesley Smith a 29 year old professional triathlete from the United States won the Women’s Individual race in 4:36:19.

Pedro and Lesley both were delighted to be in Grand Cayman to start off the year in a warm weather destination and Smith noted that it was a challenge due to the hot weather. She said “most triathletes like a challenge and this race was one of the hottest races I have participated in lately.”

In second place in the women’s division was elite athlete, Sue Aquila, who recommend the event to any triathlete preparing for early season races.

Meanwhile, Guilherme Campos who is a professional triathlete from Italy who has been training full time and racing all over the World over the last year and a half failed to finishdue to injury and illness.

Results are posted on the website.

Continue Reading

Ten years for twenty-year-old gunman

| 23/01/2013 | 19 Comments

(CNS): Suspected local gang member, Robert Aaron Crawford, was sentenced to a term of ten years imprisonment yesterday after being convicted of the possession of an unlicensed firearm subsequent to an incident that took place in November of last year. Justice Charles Quinn found Crawford guilty of throwing a Stock German Luger handgun into the bushes during an on-foot police chase after his car crashed on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. Justice Quin said in his sentencing ruling that “ten years imprisonment is a long time”. Aware of Crawford recently turning 20 years of age, he said the sentence should act as a deterrent to others contemplating such an offence.

During the judge-alone trial last year the court heard how, shortly after the on-foot chase, armed police officers had recovered the handgun containing a magazine with six rounds of shots in the area where Crawford was seen trying to dispose of the firearm.

In his conclusion, Justice Quin took into account that the mere possession of a firearm is a serious offence, and although there was no evidence to support any intent, the weapon could fall into the hands of someone with a dangerous objective. He adopted the position that a loaded firearm was far more hazardous than an unloaded one.

He stated that he was sentencing Crawford to the minimum requirement of a decade of incarceration with time spent in custody taken into consideration, given that the defendant had only one previous conviction of handling stolen goods rather than a history of violence or firearms offences.

Defense counsel Nick Hoffman had presented the judge with a range of mitigating factors in Crawford’s case.

This included the details on his childhood and adolescent years, which were not too long ago. Hoffman submitted that Crawford grew up without parental guidance and found himself in a vicious circle and inevitably became involved with the authorities. Hoffman also reported that the people who were responsible for him were also involved in the “criminal fraternity” and that he had lack of moral compass and maturity. Therefore, he had acted on impulse and the spur of the moment.

Referring to previous cases of similar offenses that were submitted by the crown counsel during the sentencing hearing, Hoffman noted that the majority of men mentioned were in excess of Crawford’s age at the time of their conviction and they had intended to commit an offence, whereas Crawford upheld his innocence and there was no evidence of any intent in his case.

In closing, Justice Quin left words of encouragement for Crawford, stating, “I hope that he will make full use of the opportunities which will be afforded to him for rehabilitation at HMPS Northward in order to equip himself with skills which he can used to lead a crime-free and productive life in the many years which will lie ahead of him after his release.”

The judge also commended the officers in their efforts throughout the case. “The court is pleased to record that another illegal firearm and as well as ammunition has been taken off the streets,” he said, especially given the increase in offences under the Firearms Law.

Continue Reading

Jobs for ex-inmates forms part of prison plan

| 23/01/2013 | 12 Comments

Compound.jpg(CNS): Without a job to go to when inmates are released from prison their chances of re-offending are extremely high but the prison is finally making more comprehensive moves to try and address the long standing issue for Cayman’s ex-offenders. The owners, managers and directors of local businesses such as Kirk Home Centre, Solomon Harris, McAlpine, Comfort Suites and Burger King, as well as The Bridge Foundation have teamed up with government officials on the Fresh Start Committee, a programme for the employment of ex-offenders that will begin as soon as a prisoner is convicted and sentenced. With recidivism rates extremely high in Cayman the need to address ex-offender unemployment is critical to crime reduction.

The Committee is already exploring means by which offenders can be re-introduced to employment and the committee’s chair, Charles Jennings, a former lawyer said the mission is to raise awareness about the benefits that are possible when employing ex-prisoners and to emphasise to employers the need for a change of mind-set among staff and customers.

“Our job will be to introduce prisoners to the world of work and all that that implies, and to reach out to businesses to see who can be placed where,” said Jennings. “We have no illusions about how successful this will be and we’re going to take it one step at a time.  We realise that in all cases it’s a matter of ‘horses for courses’. But we also maintain that if society never tries to reintegrate former inmates in a planned and structured way, these problems will continue, and indeed multiply, forever.”

The Fresh Start approach is both security-based and clinical, and will start with a pilot programme in March.  Each participating inmate will be assessed by the prison’s psychologist, who joins the staff that month, and a tailored treatment regime will then be developed for that inmate. This will include factors such as behaviour modification, assessment of educational and vocational capacities and needs, as well as determining drug abuse treatments and the inmate’s mental health.

The pilot will focus on employability and skills, from an inmate’s first day behind bars until the time he is released. Officials said that each inmate will be allocated an actual job while incarcerated alongside a relevant treatment plan. The goal is to help inmates cope with the challenges of living and working in a small community upon release.

The acting prison director said that there have already been some successes in the rehabilitation of offenders.

“To counter the very unforgiving attitudes in society, the many success stories have to be told,” Daniel Greaves said. “It’s great that we now have credible members of society to champion the cause of facilitating the employment of prisoners. At the same time, the inmates also need more discipline and purposeful activity, to keep up with the expectations of society.” 

The Committee is focusing on how to implement the recommendations of the 2012 report of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) which was commissioned by the Cayman Islands Government. Public sector officials said the inclusion of the private sector and the wider public was considered key to addressing recommendations surrounding rehabilitation.

The IPAC Report states: “As financial pressures increase on governments, opportunities for public/private partnerships are an important area to explore, particularly in areas that contribute to the goals of rehabilitation. Private stakeholders… recognize that it is a key component of the crime prevention strategy and they are committed to increased safety in their community.”

It goes on to suggest a community-employment programme that would enable the private sector to not only champion the cause, but also grow it into a broader national plan for crime prevention and rehabilitation.

Participating public sector agencies include the Governor’s Office, the Department of Community Rehabilitation, the Prison Service and the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs as well as the National Workforce Development Agency (formerly the Department of Employment Relations).

Acting Deputy Prison Director, Aduke Joseph-Caesar is also co-chair of the Fresh Start committee who emphasised the science behindthe initiative and the prisoner’s tailored plans.  “We hope to achieve positive re-entry into society using our new philosophy,” she said adding that there was a need for mutual trust in the process.


Continue Reading

CAL denies emergency on returned Cuba flight

| 23/01/2013 | 12 Comments

cropcm554x330_1022-caymanairways737-300owenrobertsintl.jpg(CNS): Officials from Cayman Airways have confirmed that flight KX 832 from Grand Cayman to Havana, Cuba, returned to Owen Roberts International airport this afternoon as a precautionary measure due to a technical issue detected during the flight but denied it was an emergency. The flight landed back in Grand Cayman 30 minutes after departure and the passengers were immediately transferred to another aircraft. CAL said that emergency first responders were at the airport for the plane's arrival, as per the operating procedure of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, after receiving notification from Havana air traffic control that the flight was returning with a potential technical problem.

After the passengers were transferred to a different aircraft, the flight to Havana then subsequently departed at 3:30pm and landed in Havana at 4:25pm.

“Cayman Airways, however, wishes to emphasize that the return was not declared an emergency by the flight crew to the Cayman Islands Airports Authority,” a spokesperson for the airline said. “At no time did the captain declare an emergency in flight as the situation did not warrant it. The captain’s decision to return to home base was a precautionary measure and one to also allow any necessary repairs to be accomplished with minimum disruption to the airlines operating schedule.”

The airline stated that as a result of the delay created, flights KX 106 from Grand Cayman to Miami and KX 107 from Miami to Grand Cayman departed approximately an hour and 40 minutes behind schedule. All other flights remain on schedule and Cayman Airways expects no further delays for the reminder of the day.

“On arrival, the technical issue was confirmed as minor by our maintenance crews but as Cayman Airways is committed to the highest levels of safety we commend Captain Grizzel and First Officer Chris Witt for their decision to return as a precautionary measure,” said Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms. “We sincerely thank our customers and the public for their continued support and understanding and apologize for any inconvenience caused from today’s delays,” he added.

Continue Reading

Swimmers cover over 200 miles in fundraiser

| 23/01/2013 | 0 Comments

(ii) CBAC Swim-a-Thon 19 January 2013_LR.JPG(CBAC): Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) swimmers, friends, family and supporters came together last Saturday to raise funds for the competitive swim club’s 2013 endeavours through the 2nd Annual Swim-a-Thon Fundraiser. The annual event raises money for the Club’s operational expenses; including pool time, swim programmes, meets and events like the Open Water Swim Series. On Saturday 19 January, 83 swimmers took part in the From Cayman to CARIFTA Swim-a-Thon at the Camana Bay Pool and set their sights on swimming the distance from Grand Cayman to Montego Bay, Jamaica – a total of 225 miles.

“We wanted to beat last year’s record of 201.75 miles,” explained Dave Bott CBAC Assistant Coach. “So we decided to challenge ourselves to ‘swim to Jamaica,’ which is where the 2013 CARIFTA Swimming Championships are set to take place in March.”
MaplesFS Select swimmers swam for an impressive three hours, while Age Group Development swam for just over two hours, Sprats Gold and Silver swimmers swam for one hour and 30 minutes and Sprats Bronze for 45 minutes.

“We worked with our swimmers to set realistic guidelines,” added Bott. “Some decided to swim and see how many laps they could do, while others set personal time and distance goals. Their determination was unbelievable – many swimmers kept swimming well beyond their age group’s designated time to accomplish their own individual goals.”

The team swam a total of 6,929 laps of the Camana Bay Pool. And while the swimmers fell only 10 miles short of their distance goal, they smashed last year’s fundraising efforts (CI$14,000.00), raising a grand total of CI$19,330.20 – an average of $250 per person and a tremendous achievement.

“The Swim-a-Thon is not only a club fundraiser, but a fun, social event for CBAC swimmers, friends and family,” said Bott. “All age groups and levels came together as one team to raise money and it was great to see the unity amongst the training groups, especially to see novice swimmers being supported by older MaplesFS and Age Group Development swimmers. The swimmers swam their hearts out to help their club, and had a lot of fun along the way.”

While swimmers stroked, CBAC parents and volunteers cheered from the side-lines, counting laps, keeping tally and preparing a post-swim Jamaican-themed breakfast, with Caribbean music and an awards ceremony.

Total Distance Completed Awards were presented to Lara Humphries (Sprats Bronze Squad), Eryn Cormick (Sprats Silver Squad), Will Geldard and Liam Sinclair (Sprats Gold Squad), Sabrina Weber (Age Group Development Squad) and Coral Tomascik (MaplesFS Squad). Top Fundraising Awards were given to Lara Humphries (Sprats Bronze Squad), Connor MacDonald (Sprats Silver Squad), Amber Barnes (Sprats Gold Squad), Jordan Crooks (Age Group Development Squad) and Flynn Hope (MaplesFS Squad). Jordan Crooks earned Top Overall Fundraiser with a total of CI$1,624.00.

“Congratulations to everyone who took part in this astounding achievement,” CBAC President, Jeffrey Wight said. “We saw some fantastic swims and had so much support from family and friends which brought a great atmosphere to the pool. Thank you to everybody who helped out on the day; the event would not have run so smoothly without you. A big thank you goes to all of our swimmers, who lead us to the impressive 215.27 mile completion, and to our coaches, who organised a fantastic event and were there to cheer on their team.”

Next on the CBAC calendar is the 2nd Annual Open Water Swim Series, a three-part series of family-friendly open water events. Starting Saturday 9 February, the Open Water Series is open to swimmers of all ages and abilities and is a great way to learn a vital life skill, get wet and havefun. From a 200m Lollipop Dash designed for swimmers 10 and under who are new to open water swimming, to sea swims and water walks – there is an event for everyone.
For more information on the Open Water Swim Series and upcoming CBAC meets and events, visit or email To stay up to date with the latest Club happenings, like Camana Bay Aquatic Club on Facebook.

Continue Reading

Sandals coughs-up $12M in TCI corruption probe

| 23/01/2013 | 9 Comments

(CNS): The Turks and Caicos Islands Government has managed to recover US$12 million for the public purse as part of a settlement in the on-going corruption probe. A spokesperson for the governor’s office in the UK overseas territory said that the Special Investigation Prosecution Team (SIPT) and the TCI government have reached an agreement with Sandals Resort and its directors in connection with the on-going investigations there regarding government corruption and the sale of crown land  to developers. The officials said the agreement was without any admission of liability but it did not prevent the prosecution of anyone connected to the special probe.

The agreement of US$12 million to TCIG is due in part to the cooperation of the company with the United States authorities to a degree that has been acknowledged to be both extraordinary and unique. The governor’s office did not elaborate on the circumstances but merely added that it included the early and voluntary release of valuable evidence that has been shared with the SIPT which has materially assisted SIPT's investigations.

The on-going three year investigation has already netted  several million dollars, along with the arrest of a number of politicians and individuals from the private sector.

The former premier of Turks and Caicos, Michael Misick, who has been wanted for questioning for several years, is currently in a Brazilian jail following his arrest in Rio. Although he has not been arrested in TCI or charged with any crime, Misick is in a high security unit awaiting extradition to his native island, despite have publicly declared his willingness to return to TCI without the need for the international legal process.

Continue Reading

CIMA consults over lifting veil on fund business

| 23/01/2013 | 0 Comments

hedge_funds.jpg(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has begun a consultation process with local industry stakeholders in the financial sector to enhance corporate governance in the jurisdiction that could see considerably more transparency in the offshore and funds industry. Despite widespread coverage in the international media suggesting Cayman has plans to ‘expose all in a new database’, CIMA’s director said this is a discussion process and not an agreed regulatory reform. Cindy Scotland said the names of Cayman Islands regulated funds are already all available on CIMA’s website and the proposed funds database would be an extension of that. Read more and comment on CNS Business

Continue Reading

Cops recover 300lbs of ganja

| 23/01/2013 | 53 Comments

drugs boat 22 January 2013.jpg(CNS): Three Jamaican nationals have been arrested and are currently in police custody after a police operation in East End on Tuesday night. Officers from the Marine Unit intercepted a boat carrying both drugs and ammunition at about 9:40pm on 22 January.  Officers on patrol aboard Niven D in the waters off the coast of East End spotted a canoe inside the reef and immediately initiated a land, air and sea operation involving officers from the Eastern Districts, the Uniform Support Group and the RCIPS Air Operations Unit. As the drugs boat landed, officers chased and arrested the three Jamaican nationals who had been on board the canoe.

Several rounds of ammunition and approximately three hundred pounds of ganja was recovered and the three men were arrested on suspicion of illegal entry and importation of drugs.

Acting Superintendent Richard Barrow described the operation as effective in keeping the local streets safe.

“This operation clearly demonstrates how a well-coordinated air, land and sea response can be successful in stopping drugs and ammunition reaching the streets of the Cayman Islands and causing devastation in our communities. We would continue to urge anyone who has information concerning the importation of drugs, ammunition or firearms to contact us via the confidential tip-lines available.”

With a street price for ganja of around $100 per ounce, the latest drugs haul could have been worth as much as a half million dollars.

Information on this or any other crime can be passed via the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

Continue Reading

Man wounded at beach bar

| 23/01/2013 | 4 Comments

tiki.jpg(CNS): A 65-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a serious wounding of a 27-year-old man outside a popular tourist bar on the West Bay road yesterday evening. A police spokesperson said that the victim is currently in hospital being treated for his injuries as a result of an altercation in front of the Tiki Beach bar at around 8:30pm on Tuesday. Police received a report of a disturbance at the vehicle pull-in area at the front of the bar, where a man had received a wound to his neck. The local man was taken to the hospital in George Town and admitted for surgery. His condition is described as critical but stable. The suspect arrested in connection with the incident remains in police custody while enquiries continue.

Anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Dave Morrison of West Bay CID on 949-3999. Information can also be passed via the RCIPS tip-line on 949-7777 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477(TIPS).

Continue Reading

Voters grow during extension

| 23/01/2013 | 11 Comments

election reg 2 (222x300).jpg(CNS): The additional three week extension to the voters register in view of the general election in May is believed to have boosted the list of voters by several hundred names. Although the numbers for yesterday’s last minute surge are not yet available that combined with a steady stream since the register re-opened for the election and some 90 new voters on Monday alone is expected to see the list reach close to 19,000 names for the May election. Cayman will see the greatest percentage of the adult population being entitled to vote for many years at this forth coming general election after a successful nationwide campaign last year attracted thousands of new voters.

Cayman traditionally has a high turnout at general elections and with 18 seats up for grabs at the 2013 poll at a time of intense political turmoil, economic hardship and significant problems with public finance and public debt the need for more democratic participation is greater than ever.

There are growing expectations too of a record number of candidates likely to be running in the districts of George Town, Bodden Town and West Bay where this election will be focused. With few expectations of change in the representation for the Sister Islands, East End and North Side the would-be future politicians will be focusing on the remaining three districts which is where the greatest number of the more than three thousand new voters who have joined  the list since the last election are living.

Check back to CNS later today for more on the new voter’s list figure

Continue Reading