Archive for March 4th, 2014

US visitor pulled from sea dies at GT hospital

| 04/03/2014 | 30 Comments

(CNS) Updated: The 62-year-old man who got into difficulties in the ocean off Coconut Bay Villas, in North West Point, West Bay yesterday has died, police have confirmed. Charles Lee from Pennsylvania, USA was snorkelling with his wife and sister at around 1:30pm yesterday. They snorkelled out near to the drop-off but as they chatted on their return to shore at around 2:06 pm, the deceased stopped talking, and his wife saw he was floating with his head out of the water and his eyes half opened and rolled back. The wife signalled for help and her husband was pulled out of the water, and a friend administered CPR until the EMT arrived.

He was taken to the George Town Hospital and admitted to the Critical Care Unit and placed on life-support. However, an RCIPS spokesperson said that at about 4:08 on Thursday morning 5 March he was pronounced dead.

Lee is the second visitor to the Cayman Islands who has died in less than one week while snorkelling. On Sunday a 46-year-old man visiting from Canada drowned when he was snorkelling in the Eden Rock area of George Town and his body was found by divers returning to shore.

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Cops face 40% crime spike

| 04/03/2014 | 82 Comments

(CNS): An increase of more than 45 percent in burglaries and break-ins, as well as four murders last year, has resulted in a spike in serious crime in Cayman, bucking the trend in recent years of a decrease in the more serious offences. The RCIPS released crime figures on Tuesday afternoon for 2013, which reveal that a whopping 731 burglaries were committed in the islands throughout 2013, 229 more crimes than those reported in 2012 and a rise of 45.62%. Robberies also increase by almost over 37%, with 59 reported cases compared to 43 last year. Four killings last year compared to just one in 2012 resulted in a 300% increase in murder.

Police said that 111 people were arrested on suspicion of burglary, the most prevalent of all serious crime in Cayman. Despite the proactive approach adopted by the RCIPS, burglary reached levels last seen in 2006.

However, while the RCIPS is constantly reviewing its patrol plans and strategies in an effort to reduce the opportunities available to criminals, a sample of burglary reports has revealed that during the last ten weeks of 2013, 30% of reported burglaries took place at premises which were insecure, with burglars gaining access through open or unlocked windows or doors.

“The rise in burglaries is a major concern,” said Commissioner David Baines, who recently received an MBE for his contribution to policing in Cayman.

“Tackling this issue and doing all that we can in terms of patrol and investigative approaches to reduce break-ins is our top priority for us. We have a dedicated burglary team in place and we are in close liaison with the DPP’s office to ensure that when suspects appear in court all possible steps are taken to oppose bail, particularly for suspects who have a history of being prevalent burglars.

“We can definitely see a drop in burglaries when specific suspects are arrested but then when they are released on bail the number of reports start to rise again. Only a few weeks ago, two of the suspects who were arrested following a burglary in Red Bay, then a subsequent police pursuit, were found to be wearing electronic monitoring tags. It’s clear that much more dialogue needs to take place by all involved in the justice system to find a satisfactory solution to this problem,” he added.

Baines also noted that there were a number of other contributing factors to the issue.

“Firstly, the economic downturn; people are looking to make a quick buck by stealing portable items like flat screen TVs, tablets, smartphones, cash and jewellery,” he warned. “These items can be quickly sold on through a variety of mediums – private ads, face to face exchanges and the use of second hand goods outlets.

“We are working closely with the second hand retailers and, as a result, have been successful in recovering some stolen property which suspects have attempted to pass to staff within the stores. But the fact is that property is much easier to identify, and recover, if serial numbers have been noted by the owners, or the property has been marked using ultraviolet pens, or in some other distinguishing way,” the top cop added.

The commissioner also urged people to be more conscious as things had changed even in Cayman.

“We all have to admit that it’s now a reality that people can no longer leave their doors and windows open without fear of opportunists entering their property and stealing their electronics, cash and other valuables,” Baines said. “We have increased our patrols, particularly in areas which have been identified as burglary hot-spots, but once again we need the community to work alongside us to combat this problem.”

If you don’t have a neighbourhood watch scheme in your area the police are asking concerned community members to contact them for assistance in creating a watch.

“Talk to our officers in your district to target-harden your homes and businesses; often simple things like cutting back bushes, installing outside lighting and locking doors and windows will make your property much less accessible and attractive to burglars. Security companies across the island also offer a wide range of security products, starting with inexpensive window locks to some very sophisticated alarm and monitoring systems,” Baines advised.

Confident that the situation will improve if the police, justice, communities and those involved in business take a collective and proactive approach, Baines said.

“We will see a reduction in opportunities, continuing arrests and as a result, crime will start tofall again.  We have seen that targeted arrests and increased patrols are having results and the spike in burglaries we saw as we entered 2014 has been reversed.”

See crime statistics below.

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Bailed burglar arrested for another GT break-in

| 04/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have arrested a 56-year-old man for breaking his bail conditions and on suspicion of burglar. An RCIPS spokesperson said the suspect was arrested early yesterday morning for “breach of curfew” by officers from the George Town Police Station, following a reported burglary at the Old Gaul Café in George Town and subsequent investigation. The man was then arrested on suspicion of burglary. Police said the suspected burglar remains in custody whilst the investigation continues, but it was expected that he would be charged and appearing before the courts later today.

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Couple charged in bank ATM heist

| 04/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 27 year old woman and a 41-year-old man have both been charged with burglary and damage to property following their efforts to make off with an entire ATM machine at the Marquee Plaza, Laurence Boulevard, George Town on Friday morning. The couple who were arrested soon after fleeing from the scene when police arrived at the Cayman National Bank cash point on 28 February. The couple appeared in court Monday 3rd March and the 42-year-old man was remanded in custody as inquiries continue while the woman was released on court bail. Police said that no cash was stolen from the ATM during the incident.

An RCIPS spokesperson had stated that when police officers arrived at the location following a report about the ATM attempted heist the group of people who were attempting to steal it all fled. The police gave chase and managed to apprehend and arrest the 41-year-old man while the 27-year-old woman was arrested later that morning.

Enquiries continue and anyone who may have information in relation to the incident should call the CID on 949-4222, or the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477(TIPS).

 

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Young CI sailors qualify for Youth Olympics in China

| 04/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CISA): Everyone in the Cayman Sailing Community can be proud of our young sailors who qualified Cayman for two Youth Olympic Games places over the weekend. The team ofFlorence Allan, Pablo Bertran, Jesse Jackson and Shane McDermott travelled to the Jensen Beach US Sailing Center Martin County, Florida to compete in the Byte CII North American Championships. This event was also the continental qualifier for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games to be held this August in Nanjing, China. 28 competitors from 14 countries were competing for four qualifying places for boys and girls.

Pablo sailed a very strong regatta taking a first and three second places in the ten race event. He finished with a convincing second place with 34 points and qualified Cayman ahead of the British Virgin Islands with 50 points, the Bahamas with 51 points and the US Virgin Islands with 54 points. Jesse was 10th with 66 points and Shane took 14th place with 92 points.

Florence Allan sailed a consistent regatta, fighting it out with arch rivals Ceci Wollmann from Bermuda and Celeste Lugtmeijer from the Dominican Republic who had qualified their countries at last year’s World Championships. Florence took the top qualifying spot ahead of Paige Clarke from USVI, Abigail Affoo from Trinidad and Paula Pelayo from Mexico.

The team has been together for over a year training hard for this event. Coach Raph Harvey has had them out on the water at every opportunity, often coming in after dark. The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee has supported their travel to three other overseas regattas. They will now be putting all their efforts into improving their competitive edge ahead of travelling to China in August.

 

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Iguanas break trotters winning streak

| 04/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CRFU): The Queensgate Pigs Trotters 3 game winning streak was brought to an abrupt end by the John Doak Architecture Iguanas who, through an improved scrum performance and a tight back line defense, limited the usually free scoring Pigs Trotters to 12 points (all from the boot of scrum half Robbie Cribb). The Iguanas front five managed to turn over a number of Pigs Trotters scrums and whilst neither team had a firm grip on their own lineouts it was still the Iguanas who managed to be more productive with their own ball. Whilst the Iguanas crossed the try line more than once (importantly in the closing stages by scrumhalf Kramer Bell to deny the Trotters an all imports losing bonus point) they will be disappointed they allowed Cribb’s kicking to keep the Trotters in contention and will look to stop the indiscipline in their own half in their upcoming fixtures.

The 10 point loss to the Iguanas sees the Trotters drop down into 2nd place on the league standings whilst the Iguanas jump into first place with a slim 1 point lead.

Whilst the Pigs/Iguanas game caused the movement in the league table it was the 2nd fixture of the day between the Fidelity Cayman Storm and the Advance Fire and Plumbing Buccaneers which raised the most eyebrows in the local rugby community.

With the Buccaneers looking to bounce back from their heavy loss to the Iguanas the week previous and the Storm looking to build on promising periods of play in all of their 3 losses so far this season it was the Buccaneers who looked to have the game under control in the early exchanges and were leading 12-0 before Claudio Sarfati marched passed Richard “Grizz” Adams for the Storms opening score of the game. The Storm scored again to level the scores 12-12 and the real battle for dominance ensued. Nerves were high as the teams exchanged kickable penalties but neither kicker could secure points as Michael Sumares hit the posts and Morgan Shelver’s long rangeattempt sailed wide.

The teams traded scores once more but Shelver secured his conversion to give his team a slender 2 point lead whilst the Storm’s kick once again missed its target. As the clock ran down it appeared that the Buccaneers had the game all but sewn up before a late yellow card to Buccaneers meant that the Storm had a numbers advantage going into final seconds and the Buccaneers, desperate to secure the ball committed a series of infringements after the clock had gone dead to put the Storm in kickable range of the posts. Trailing by 2 points the 3 point penalty kick would have given the Storm their first win of the season and all but ended the Buccaneers hopes of a run at the league trophy but once again the routine kick was sent wide of the posts and the game was over for the Storm and the Buccaneers breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

League Standings

Upcoming Fixtures

8 March 2014
John Doak Architecture Iguanas vs. Advance Fire & Plumbing Buccaneers 3:00pm KO
Fidelity Cayman Storm vs. Queensgate Pigs Trotters 4:45pm KO

Games are free to watch at the South Sound Rugby Ground or online at www.caymanrugby.com

Photos by Caroline Deegan

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Finance cops urge vigilance in face of techy crime

| 04/03/2014 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS Financial Crime Unit is warning the public to be vigilant where their computers are concerned. The finance cops said that fraudsters continue to hack into email accounts to get at personal account details and instances of Cayman banks receiving fictitious instructions to wire cash to accounts worldwide continue. Computers are being compromised by malware and the RCIPS are urging people to be cautious before clicking on any links in an email. “Always scroll your mouse over the link so that the Universal Resource Locator (“URL”) address is displayed.  If the URL address does not appear to correspond with the contents of the email, do not click on the Link,” the financial crime unit officers advised.

They also urged users who believe their computer may have been compromised when they clicked on a malicious link to update their antivirus software and run a full scan of the computer hard drive.

The FCU said people should not send any banking details via the email.  “A telephone call to your bank could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run,” the cops said.

The RCIPS FCU is always available for advice should any member of the community require it. Officers can be contacted on 949-8797.
 

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HCCI expects many patients from US and Caribbean

| 04/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The goal for the partners behind Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) is to get accreditation from the Joint Commission of the United States within the first year. “It is hard but we have done it before in India. One of our hospitals got Joint Commission accreditation in less than a year,” Dr Devi Shetty told CNS Business Video in this week's interview. Although this is not “absolutely required” by the leading medical insurance companies, he said they would be “comfortable” sending patients to an accredited facility. In addition, patients from the US – and they are expecting to have a large number eventually – are apprehensive about going abroad for treatment unless it has this accreditation. Read more on CNS Business and watch video

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1100 CI pins traded at Russia winter games

| 04/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Young Caymanian Charles Gilman was chosen by the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) to create the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games pin for the Cayman Islands Team.  Cayman pins are always a hot commodity and these were no different in Russia last month. 1,100 pins were traded by the Cayman Islands team while in Sochi and 400 remained at the CIOC for purchase. Gilman also assisted the CIOC in developing the new CIOC Logo which is currently being reviewed by the International Olympic Committee (CIOC).  Charles was able to put the ideas of the CIOC Executive into one contemporarydesign that ties the Cayman Islands culture with the Olympic movement.

Meanwhile, the pins, available for CI$5 locally or US$10 for overseas fans, were sold out within four weeks of them becoming available. The CIOC has ordered another small batch which will be available for purchase on 1 April 1st, 2014. All proceeds from the sale of pins and Cay-Fan merchandise goes directly to funding Caymanian athletes.

The CIOC presented Charles with a Cay-Fan T-shirt, 3 Sochi Pins and a personal thank you letter.
 

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Alden to escape political pressure on Sister Islands

| 04/03/2014 | 32 Comments

(CNS): As things heat up for the premier on Grand Cayman, Alden McLaughlin will be taking a short trip to the Sister Islands at the end of this week, where he can take a break from the pressure over his u-turn on the election commitment of introducing 'one man, one vote' and single member constituencies. Facing considerable controversy here after Friday’s near loss for government on the OMOV motion and taking flak over minimum wage, the support for a road through the Mastic Trail and a potential serious split in his government, officials said McLaughlin will lead a government delegation to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman on Thursday for a two-day tour with a full agenda.

A reception and public meeting will also be held at 6:15pm on Thursday at the Aston Rutty Centre. 

“I am looking forward to spending some time with our residents on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman,” said McLaughlin. “We have a full agenda with several meetings and I welcome this opportunity to talk with people about the issues they face on our other two islands,” he added.

He will be met on Cayman Brac by Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell and District Commissioner Ernie Scott. From there they travel to Little Cayman for a tour and meetings with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Fire Service and a discussion. On Thursday afternoon the premier returns to Cayman Brac, where he will meet with the Fire Service and workers at the Public Works Compound. A reception and public meeting will be held at 6:15pm at the Aston Rutty Centre.

Friday morning the premier will tour Cayman Brac Police Station followed by a meeting with the RCIPS. In the afternoon McLaughlin meets with staff at the District Administration Building, Heads of Sections and Social Services. He will also tour the Kirkconnell Community Care Centre and meet with Scott.

Travelling with the premier, who returns to Grand Cayman Saturday, will be his senior political advisor Roy Tatum, the press secretary Tammie Chisholm, the community affairs chief officer Dorine Whittaker, and the home affairs chief officer Eric Bush, as well as the district administration chief officer Stran Bodden.

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