Archive for March 21st, 2013

Immigration board member faces corruption probe

| 21/03/2013 | 22 Comments

immigration office_2.jpg(CNS): The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has received a report of corrupt activities relating to a sitting member of the Business Staffing Plan Board. Although police have given no details about the allegations, which are believed to have been made by a senior civil servant, a spokesperson confirmed that an allegation of corrupt behaviour had been received. “As with any allegation made to the Anti-Corruption Commission referencing corrupt behaviour, the complaint is firstly registered, the details are then reviewed to determine the validity or otherwise of the accusations made and the existence of evidence as part of that process,” the RCIPS stated, adding that it was inappropriate to identify the subject or the complainant.

However, the spokesperson said the allegation was unrelated to one also made by Joey Ebanks about Ezzard Miller.

Ebanks, who was himself arrested recently in relation to financial irregularities at the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), has publicly posted on his Facebook page that he has reported long-standing allegations against Miller to the anti-corruption unit. Ebanks alleges that correspondence between Miller and the Ritz is evidence that he had acted improperly when he was chair of the work permit board in relation to the possible recruitment of Cubans for the project. The same accusations were made against Miller in the 2009 election campaign when Ebanks was running against Miller on the PPM ticket but the accusations seemed to gain little traction.

Since then Ebanks, who lost to Miller, has switched political allegiances and there had been talk that he would run in the district again in 2013, this time on theUDP ticket or at least as a supportive independent. However, since his suspension from the top job at the  ERA and his arrest it appears he is no longer considering running for office. Nevertheless his public attacks on Miller have continued.

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Cops battle with burglars

| 21/03/2013 | 54 Comments

url_4.jpg(CNS): There have been 78 burglaries so far this year and police have rounded up 31 different suspects in connection with the crime that continues to plague the local community. Although there was a more than 11% drop in the number of break-ins in 2012 compared to 2011, the problem of burglary is one the RCIPS said it wants the community to know it is tackling head on. Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton said that most of the crimes are being committed by repeat offenders breaking into property to find easy things to sell, in most cases to feed a drug habit. However, he said there were also many first time suspects emerging, as he warned residents to stay vigilant.

Speaking at a police briefing with the media Wednesday, Walton said he wanted the message to get out to the public that burglars are opportunists and by following crime prevention tips home and business, owners can cut down their risk of being targeted. He said burglars want to get in and out of a property and away from the scene as fast as possible without being detected. He noted that currently burglary is a priority as it is the most frequent serious crime and the only offence already in double figures for the year.
Walton appealed to the community for their help by reporting every crime or suspicious activity to the police, no matter how insignificant it might appear.

“You may not think anything of an incident but the information the public gives to the police could be the last piece of the puzzle we are looking for," Walton said, as he urged people to call 911. “A man knocking at your door and asking for someone who doesn’t live there may very well be a burglar targeting your property,” he added. Someone who calls and reports that immediately to the police with a description may prevent someone else being burgled, he added.

He pointed out that a recent burglar rounded up in North Side with five TV sets on the backseat of his car was as a direct result of a vigilant property manager calling in saying they had seen someone near an empty condo that they believed shouldn’t be there. He appealed for people to look around their neighbourhoods and stay alert to people checking or knocking on doors and people on the property or in a neighbourhood that aren’t usually there.

The senior cop stated that daytime burglars are using the cover of hedge rows and shrubbery in yards to gain entry, usually at the rear of the premises where they are seeking a way in to quickly grab things that are easy to sell, such as cash, jewellery and electronic items. Warning the public not to make it easy for the criminals, he directed people to the crime prevention tips on the RCIPS website.

He said that the police would continue with the crime prevention road shows and would not let up on their pressure on suspects. He said that the 31 arrests made this year for burglary had led to several charges before the court. He pointed to the burglar who was bitten by his victim and arrested shortly after the crime and charged as an example of how burglars can be brought to justice quickly. With overwhelming evidence, the burglar pleaded guilty and is now in HMP Northward awaiting his sentence.

While the police always ask the courts to remand burglary suspects, they are still released by the courts.  Walton said the electronic tagging system was helping a lot but some persistent offenders even managed to commit burglaries while wearing them.

Walton stated that the police were tackling the burglary issue from all angles and using intelligence to find out where the stolen goods were going. He said the police were also keeping an eye on the emergence of pawn and second hand shops, which are an obvious place for offenders to fence their loot. So far, no one at any of the shops has been arrested for handling stolen goods but if the police were to gather sufficient evidence they would not hesitate to bring in those who assist burglars to sell the stolen property.

While pawn shops may be where some goods end up, others are leaving the island and the police are working in partnership with customs and informing them regularly of things which have been stolen so that when they scan containers that are leaving they can look for potential stolen goods heading for Jamaica, Honduras and other destinations.

In the end, he said, the community’s vigilance and security precautions were the best ways to fight burglary, as he urged the community to help the police by not making their property attractive to offenders and by reporting everything that is even remotely suspicious.

For more on crime prevention go to www.rcips.ky.

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Anglin signs tax info exchange agreement in Brazil

| 21/03/2013 | 0 Comments

Rolly in rio.jpg(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands Government has finally signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Republic of Brazil. This is the 31st such tax greement the government has signed and the deal is expected to not only help with Cayman’s goal of increased transparency but will also help build on business relationships that are already in place. It will provide a springboard for future collaboration on areas of mutual interest that can facilitate economic growth and development in both countries, officials from the financial services ministry stated. The deal was signed in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday 19 March by Rolston Anglin, the minister responsible for the financial services sector. Read more and comment on CNS Business

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