Archive for April 2nd, 2014

Missing man found safe

| 02/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS) Update Thursday 2:36pm: Police have said that Chully Chambers, who had been reported as missing, has been located by officers of the RCIPS in the Eastern Avenue area and is in good health. The RCIPS thanked members of the public who assisted in the search for Chambers. Police went public yesterday about a missing persons case they have been working on since Monday, stating they were seeking information on the whereabouts of Chambers from Bodden Town, who had last been seen on Sunday and did not return to his home after being treated at the George Town hospital. 

The statement from the police did not express any urgency or concern but officers said they wanted to confirm that he was in good health.

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Hear No Evil, See No Evil

| 02/04/2014 | 33 Comments

Well I would probably be termed a “conspiracy” theorist or just one of the “crazy ones”; but it is high time people begin to wake up and smell the defilement that is taking place in ourearthly air. We in the Cayman Islands supposedly pride ourselves by being a “God-fearing” country and we have made gambling illegal (because this is apparently against righteousness?) and of course there are no adult toy shops, strip joints and anything else that in some way would defile our “God-fearingness”…

It is with this context in mind that I dare to challenge the music that is played on our radio stations (and of course, around the world); with all songs now in some way encouraging the young people to “dance, party, drink and smoke” like they just don’t care, or better yet as if they are going to “die young” as so affectionately stated in the song by famous singer “Ke$ha”; it begs to question, what’s the point of the gambling ban? And as parents trying to establish values and morals into our children, how can having our children hear and sing these songs be responsible parenting?

One can clearly see that the music of our times has absolutely NOTHING to do with we, the peoples’, entertainment. The Bible (and I am in no way a Bible-thumper, but it is truly a wonderful book with many common sense principles) mentions over 1100 times the importance of dance and song. For pete’s sake, John the Baptist was beheaded because a woman danced the king into great delight in order to ‘win’ John’s head! That must have been some great dancing!

Dance has been a HUGE part of every society since humans grew legs, it has also been associated with invoking demons or giving praise, depending of course on the dancer’s preference in worship.

As for song (the influencer of dance), music has been said to “calm the angry beast” or, a song stained with negativity can quite easily do the opposite. Music has been used for everything from assisting in child and adult therapy, calming a fussy infant and in various tests on violent criminals, mind control, satanic rituals, historic witchery and so on – it all of course depends on the music’s message and rhythm and the writers’/singers’/listeners’ purpose for the song.

Love songs are played at romantic dinners to “set the mood”, dance music is played to make people dance and slow, sad music is played at funerals, etc, etc, etc. So if music is a tool to advance and pass on a message to a large crowd, and if it is a tool that has been proven to have the capability of instilling a message, then why is todays music packaged and marketed towards young people with contents containing over-sexuality, suicide, murder, drugs, alcohol, youthful death, Satanism, mind control, demonic possession and the list of negative musical structure goes, on and on and on!

And then of course, repetition of certain lines can invoke particular “power” to what is being said because of how our brains process information. We repeat things to ourselves when we want to remember them, we always seem to remember the chorus of a song but not the rest of it and so on. Religions use music as a way to get a “message” across and a way to bring new followers into their religion – so why would music not be a good way to detract followers AWAY from a religion or spirituality as a whole by putting emphasis on materialism?

Today’s music and music videos are laden with God-defiling messages, with everything from upside down crosses to 8 person orgies in a church complete with a stain glass window of Jesus. The music awards these days take it upon themselves to have whole choirs singing corrupted versions of classical hymns and dressing people for mass while performing on-stage sacrifices to … God? I don’t think so. I know atheists with more respect for religion than what is being shown publicly to millions.

Whether a person is spiritual or religious, we are all taught (or used to be taught) to respect each other, each other’s beliefs and other’s opinions, but I am shocked that any public television station, or worst yet a body of thousands of producers and participants would allow such satanic dramatization to take place on an open stage broadcast to millions around the world. Of course the music industry isn’t the only place, but even the Super Bowl has been turned into a great big tribute to darkness of whatever kind they attempt to portray.

If any of us sat long enough to compare a 1999 music video to a 2013 music video it would be clear as day that the happy, sunny, bright side of publicly broadcast entertainment has become a thing of the past, but what has it been replaced by? Is it necessary for all music these days to be so “dark” and negative? Where are the people who would normally cry out against such sexually explicit scenes on their TV? And what exactly is happening to the young people who are exposed to this stuff?

The moral of the story is, do not make your busy technology-filled lives leave you too occupied to know what your children are hearing, do not be too distracted in traffic to not realize that the song being played on the radio is blazing dangerous messages to your child in the back seat, do NOT be so naïve as to think that music is “just a song, just a beat, just a rhythm” music has been a POWERFUL tool since humans could sing and tap their feet, it has been used for many, many important things, songs are written and chosen ALWAYS with a purpose and ALWAYS to contain meaning…

Just sayin’…

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HSA offers free health screenings

| 02/04/2014 | 0 Comments
health screening, cayman islands(CNS): The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) is observing World Health Day on April 7 by offering free health screenings for blood pressure and blood sugar at all District Health Centres: George Town General Practice, Faith Hospital, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The free screenings will be offered between 9am and 1pm from April 7 through April 11. Dr. Kiran Kumar, Medical Officer of Health, says the free health screenings are part of the key strategies of the Public Health Department to emphasise the benefits of healthy lifestyles and early detection of health issues such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes, which will enable appropriate treatment in preventing the complications.
 

No appointment is necessary during this week.  Persons seeking testing need to indicate to the registration clerks that they would like to register for free blood pressure and blood glucose screening. The results are available right away and counselling and referral will be offered as deemed necessary.
 
Further information can be obtained by contacting Therese Prehay at the Public Health Department on 244-2632.

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‘Lies’ but ‘no evidence’

| 02/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The defence attorney representing Raziel Jeffers in the murder trial for the killing of Damion Ming pointed out to the jury that there was no forensic evidence and no witnesses that say his client was guilty. He said that the crown’s key witness had lied and the alleged confession that she said he made ‘lay in the gutter’ with the crown’s case, as there was nothing to corroborate her lies. Michael Wolkind, QC, pressed home the position that the witness had made up the damning allegations as a campaign of revenge against Jeffers because he had rejected her and because she had profited from the witness protection programme.

He told the jury that the crown’s telephone evidence proved nothing and merely demonstrated that on the night of the killing Jeffers was in the district at places that were in no way unusual. He described a catalogue of conflicting evidence as well as the fact that Ming was a marked man as a result of his gang and criminal affiliations.

Wolkind dismissed the evidence that Jeffers was the only person to call one of the men present at the crime scene in the immediate wake of the killing after another witness had overheard that same individual say that the killer had just called to see if Ming was dead.

The defence attorney also made much of the conflicting evidence of a witness who said there were two men who ran past a nearby property before and after the shooting and sped away in a light coloured car. He pointed to the possibility of two guns being fired and that although the idea of two men had persisted throughout the enquiry, the police had conducted a very poor investigation and failed to follow up on various witnesses who had also claimed to see two gunmen. He said Earl Ebanks, who had seen the bicycle, whom he discredited as a drug user, had seen the gunmen and he had lied about their identity and made up the story of the bicycle.

Wolkind saved his worst criticisms, however, for the crown's key witness. He said her alleged confession was nothing more than rumour and speculation and what details she had related to the police about the circumstances of Ming’s demise were well known and she could easily have picked it up on the marl road.

Much of what she said, Wolkind told the jury, was not corroborated in any way, as he said her claims that Jeffers had spoken with someone inside HMP Northward to get permission to use the gun to kill Ming, that the weapon had been hidden in the yard of his friends, Jordan and Justin Manderson, or that he wore a “ninja suit”, were among the many lies she told for which the crown could not find support.

He said she was bent on a campaign of revenge as a result of the accumulation of anger and resentment she felt and, as the old saying goes, the lawyer told the jury, “no campaign, no gain”.

Wolkind impressed upon the jury the need for his client to have a fair trial and that he could not be convicted on past crimes. He also said that Jeffers had an absolute right to protest his innocence regarding his previous murder conviction, as Wolkind stated miscarriages of justice were very common. He accused the crown of focusing on that conviction to undermine Jeffers’ hopes of a fair trial.

Wolkind said the crown’s case against his client was built on the word of an angry ex that constantly changed her story and made lies up on the spot. He described her as an “easy, quick and natural liar,” out for what she could get.

He said the jury had to decide the verdict but there could be no guilty verdict on that witness's evidence as her confession “lay in the gutter with the crown’s case”. Wolkind said there was no magic dust to sprinkle over the case to revive it to make the jury sure.

He told the jury not to buy the lies of the witness in a case where there was no proper evidence. He emphasised what he said was the issue that had demonstrated that the witness was lying, as there was no telephone record that matched the sequence of calls that she claimed had taken place between herself, Jeffers and his aunt before the couple met at Ocean Club and where the alleged confession was made.

“To convict, you will have to forget about her story being disproved,” he said, adding that they would also have to dismiss the other evidence, such as the car and the two men, and follow the establishment’s way of dealing with evidence to find that which it can mould to its perceived case and ignore all the rest.

“Can you forgive the prosecution for avoiding evidence?" he asked, before he finished his closing speech defending his client’s innocence.

The case adjourned Tuesday afternoon and will resume Wednesday morning, when Justice Malcolm Swift will sum up the evidence and direct the jury on the law before they are released to begin their deliberations. The five women and seven men will be required to deliver a unanimous verdict.

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Gun connects gang killings

| 02/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A list of admitted evidence presented to the court in the trial of Raziel Jeffers has revealed that the gun used to kill Damion Ming in West Bay in March 2010 had previously been used to kill 24-year-old Fabian Reid in Newlands in October 2009. With a considerable number of facts agreed by both the defence and the crown in the murder case, some 40 admissions were made to the jury relating to the case that were not in dispute. The list includes background on Ming, his criminal record and his gang associations. The court heard that Reid, whose killers have never been apprehended, was associated with the Birch Tree Hill gang.

Reid,whose murder is still unsolved, was gunned down by as many as three armed men in a killing in which police believe several weapons were fired. One of those guns was the same weapon used to kill Ming, as seven of the shell casings found at that murder scene match the eight casings found at the scene where Ming was killed some five months later.

Reid was a victim of the gang related killings just one month after Carlos Webster, a member of the opposing West Bay gang, the Logwoods, was shot and killed in the Next Level nightclub on West Bay Road. Devon Anglin, who is also associated with the Birch Tree Hill gang, was later convicted of that killing.

The admissions also note further gang related killings and connections surrounding the Ming case. The day before Ming was gunned down as he worked on a boat in a yard in Birch Tree Hill, Alrick Peddie (a.k.a. "Bling") was shot dead at a yard in Willie Farrington Drive in West Bay. Peddie, who worked as a security guard at Next Level, was found to have let Anglin into the club with a firearm on the night Webster was killed inside the club. Aaron Crawford, Roger Bush and Jose Sanchez, all associated with the Logwoods gang, and Ming, were tried and acquitted of his murder.

Just days before Peddie was killed, according to evidence from the crown’s key witness, which she gave to the police, Ming had sent a text to Peddie stating that there was “only room for one Bling in Cayman”.

The court heard that Ming was also a known associate of Sheldon Brown, a man currently serving 22 years for the attempted murder of Fernando Martin in 2003 – a man who was at the time a witness in another murder case relating to the death of Joe Williams in West Bay that same year. Martin was shot multiple times while supposedly under witness protection but having survived the shooting he gave evidence against Brown.

Although Brown has since turned to writing thrillers and has denounced his previous gang associations, he was associated with the gang violence and a friend of Ming’s. However, according to the admissions, police received information regarding threats by Sheldon Brown to the safety of Damion Ming and his family while he was in prison in 2007.

At the time of his death Damion Ming had several convictions, including importation and possession of cocaine and accessory and conspiracy to commit robbery regarding two armed heists in West Bay at Fosters and Cayman National Bank (CNB). Ming had provided information to the police against his co-defendants, Bjorn Ebanks, Royce Cornwall and Damian Seymour in respect of armed robberies of CNB and Fosters in West Bay in 2006.

The defence seized on Ming’s gang associations, his connections to the Peddie murder and the fact that he had given information to the police about his criminal friends that he was a marked man. During his closing speech to the jury, Malcolm Wolkind, QC, on behalf of Jeffers, pointed out that many people in the Cayman Islands may have had reason to want Ming dead but his client was not one of them.

The final irony for Ming was that he was gunned down onthe eve of his return to prison. At the time he was shot and killed he had been on bail in connection with a drugs charge which had gone to the Privy Council. However, that appeal was denied and Ming had learned that fact the day he was shot, and he would have been required to answer his bail the following day and return to Northward to continue serving his sentence.

As a result of his imminent incarceration, one of the crown’s witnesses who gave evidence early in the case had revealed that he was working with Ming on the boat when he was shot. Earl Ebanks had admitted that Ming was paying him with cocaine to help repair the boat and they were working at night as Ming was planning to use it to make his escape from Cayman and avoid not only a return to jail but those who may have wished him ill.

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Rock iguana joins Cayman Turtle Farm menagerie

| 02/04/2014 | 16 Comments

(CNS): An endangered Cayman rock iguana from the Sister Islands has joined the eclectic collection of animals at the Cayman Turtle Farm as it awaits its potential return to the wild. The Cyclura nubila caymanensis was found, officials said, in Grand Cayman by the Department of Environment in April 2013 and was transferred to the care of the CTF in late May last year due to concerns over its failing health and the lack of appropriate resources at the DoE to rehabilitate the animal. Nursed back to health, the iguana, which is endemic to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, is a cousin to the blue iguana.

Also an endangered species, it is highly threatened on Cayman Brac but more abundant on Little Cayman, though the smaller island's population is still vulnerable and continuously threatened by development, road kills, and free-roaming cats and dogs. The species is both internationally and locally protected.

On loan to the Cayman Turtle Farm, the female is currently housed in the iguana enclosure located just outside of the park’s Caribbean free-flight Aviary. Since taking up residence at the farm she has been nursed back to primehealth and has also undergone DNA analysis to confirm her identity and island origin. This is part of a DNA analysis study carried out by a student at the Mississippi State University under the supervision of Dr Mark Welch, a specialist in Cyclura species genetics.

Although the student’s results indicated that the iguana is a Sister Islands rock iguana, a larger DNA analysis is currently underway to see if each island has its own unique population. The DoE recommended that the iguana remains with the Cayman Turtle Farm pending the imminent results of the larger genetic analysis and then a final health screening, prior to release.

In the meantime, this particular iguana offers an educational opportunity and the Cayman Turtle Farm’s curator of terrestrial exhibits and education programmes, Geddes Hislop, is working closely with the DoE to ensure that the iguana is appropriately cared for and part of an education programme centered on the species.

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Four new members of Human Rights Commission

| 02/04/2014 | 8 Comments

(CNS): As the country’s still relatively new Bill of Rights begins to make more of an impression on life in Cayman, the governor has appointed four new people to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) along with Alistair Walters, the remaining member who has been appointed as chair until his term on the commission expires next January. James Austin-Smith (left), a lawyer and former Human Rights Committee member, will take over the chair next year. The other new members are Chelsea Frazier Rivers, a well-known activist on behalf of the disabled; Lisa Hurlston-McKenzie, an environmental expert and advocate; and Rev Donovan Myers, known for his community work with drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, violent crimes and homelessness.

Established under Section 116 of the 2009 Constitution, the Human Rights Commission seeks to promote, protect and preserve human rights in the Cayman Islands.

Walter, who takes up the chairmanship from Richard Coles,  offers continuity from the last commission. An attorney for over 20 years, he is the managing partner of Campbells and is also a member of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman.

James Austin-Smith is a lawyer specializing in commercial litigation and dispute resolution. He is a former member of the Cayman Islands Human Rights Committee and has been appointed as a member until 1 January 2015, when he will assume the role as chairman for a three year period.

Chelsea Frazier Rivers raised the issue of abuse of disabled parking with the Blue Spot campaign, “calling out” the able bodied who use designated disabled parking spots. She has served as chairperson, member and advisor to several committees and associations in her quest to make a difference in the lives of Cayman's children and those less fortunate. Rivers has been appointed as a member for a period of two years.

Lisa-Ann Hurlston-McKenzie is an environmental and sustainability consultant in the private sector who previously worked for the Department of Environment. She has worked on a number of publications and facilitated numerous national and regional meetings related to climate change impacts, vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation in small island states. Hurlston-McKenzie has been appointed as a member for a period of four years.

Reverend Donovan Myers is the minister at the Savannah United Church. He has a personal interest in human rights and justice and is a former member of the Human Rights Committee and the current chair of the National Youth Commission. Reverend Myers has been appointed for a period of three years.

The governor said she was very pleased to make the appointments to what she described as an important body. “I have no doubt that the backgrounds of each of these members will go a long way towards enhancing the work of the HRC,” she added.

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Governor seeks nominations for 2015 royal gongs

| 02/04/2014 | 26 Comments

(CNS): The public is being invited to submit the names of people they believe should be recognized in the 2015 New Year’s honours list. Governor Helen Kilpatrick is asking for noinations to be submitted  by Friday 16th May 2014. Those considering putting people forward are however reminded that a royal award requires more than long service. “It is stressed that for any Award, long service is not, in itself, enough,” officials said. “Nominations must be supported by a persuasive account of the outstanding, innovative or self-sacrificing services and achievements of the nominee, whether paid or unpaid, in one field or several, and what has raised them above those of others performing similar services.”

Final recommendations for honours in HM The Queen’s list are considered in the United Kingdom. Recommendations for the Certificate and Badge of Honour are considered locally.

Details of how to prepare honours nominations, and the necessary forms, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/honours.  Please make every effort to fully complete all the relevant sections.  Once completed, the forms should be submitted to the Governor’s Office.  The Governor will review all nominations before recommending candidates to the Royal, Ceremonial and Honours Unit in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Whilst all recommendations will be acknowledged, the Governor’s Office cannot enter into correspondence about the action taken on them.

For any further information please contact the Governor’s Office at staffoff@candw.ky
 

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New appeal court judge takes his seat on bench

| 02/04/2014 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Islands Court of Appeal Judge, Justice John Martin, QC, took his oaths of allegiance and judicial office Monday, ahead of the opening of the current appeal court session. Justice Martin, who is also a judge of the Courts of Appeal in Guernsey and Jersey, was appointed as one of three new Court of Appeal judges following an open recruitment process conducted by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) last year. At the opening of the current session, Court of Appeal President, Sir John Chadwick, welcomed Justice Martin on his first appearance and noted his past experience of appearing before Courts in the Cayman Islands.

Justice Martin joins sitting judges Justice Elliott Mottley and Justice Sir Anthony Campbell in what is a packed schedule for the appeal court judges. The panel will hear criminal appeals against convictions and sentences for murder, rape, firearms cases and robbery, as well as a number of high profile civil cases including the Bernie Madoff cases as well as the multi-billion dollar court room fight regarding Saad Investments and AHAB among others.

Before the judges began their work Monday Sir John Chadwick led a moment of silence in memory of Sir Richard Ground, a Court of Appeal judge who passed away on 22 February 2014.  He emphasised that the absence of Sir Richard (a former Attorney General in the Cayman Islands and former Chief Justice of Bermuda) was a great loss to the working of the Court. “He was and would have continued to be an enormous source of strength,” he added.  

Attending the oath-taking before Governor Helen Kilpatrick were President, Sir John Chadwick, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, QC and the registrar, Audrey Bodden.

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Payoff aids Tempura cover-up

| 02/04/2014 | 22 Comments

(CNS): The decision by Stuart Kernohan to settle his wrongful dismissal claim without a court hearing will aid the cover-up of the truth regarding Operation Tempura, the former senior officer on the ill-fated probe has said. Following news yesterday that the former police commissioner had accepted a secret payoff from the Cayman government, paid for from the public purse, the details of which have been sealed, Martin Bridger said Kernohan was still pursuing his now separate legal action against him. But the former Tempura boss added that he was surprised the ex-commissioner had settled when he had previously been so keen to ensure the truth was revealed and those responsible held to account. 

“I am very surprised that Mr Kernohan has felt it necessary to go against his stance of ‘individuals responsible for this fiasco will not walk away without being held rightfully accountable for what they have done',” Bridger told CNS Tuesday.

Following news about Kernohan's pay-off, Bridger was asked whether he and Kernohan had settled too, as Bridger was also included in the wrongful dismissal suit and damages claim.    

“I can confirm that the settlement between Mr Kernohan and the Cayman Islands government does not involve me,” he said in a statement sent by email. “I was not party to any discussions. I was not expecting Mr Kernohan to reach a settlement with the Cayman Islands government.  I had no knowledge of the settlement until I read it in the Cayman press on Monday 31st March. As far as I know Kernohan is still pursuing the claim against me.”

Bridger said that on Monday he had sent documents, which he would be relying upon in his defence of the Kernohan action, to his solicitor, Shaun McCann, at Campbells.

Although Kernohan had included Bridger in his legal action against the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) authorities because of his part in the Tempura probe, in recent times Kernohan and Bridger had been moving closer together on their position regarding the investigation. Kernohan and John Jones, a former RCIPS senior officer who also fell victim to the probe, had both accepted that Bridger was never told that the covert entry into the offices of local newspaper Cayman Net News, which triggered the investigation, was authorised by the governor, the attorney general and the overseas territories security advisor.

Bridger said that Kernohan had given a statement to the Metropolitan Police in London stating that both Attorney General Samuel Bulgin and the then governor, Stuart Jack, had authorized the entry into the Net News offices. This was a position Kernohan had revealed during the 2009 trial of Lyndon Martin for burglary in connection with the alleged break-in to Net News, when Martin and his co-worker were hunting for evidence of police corruption.

Kernohan and Jones had always taken the position that they had met and discussed this option with the governor and the attorney general and the OT advisor, Larry Covington. The senior officers said their Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) bosses had authorised the decision to use staff to uncover any evidence, if it existed, pointing to a corrupt relationship between the paper and police management before taking further action.

However, despite the position of the ex-police commissioner and the now retired ex-chief superintendent that they had approval from the attorney general and the former governor, they have denied giving the top cops the nod, implying that the senior officers were lying, even though Jones was reinstatedbefore his retirement.

Bridger also states that he was led to believe by Bulgin and Jack that the senior cops were on a frolic of their own and he considered that the entry into Net News was a burglary. Bridger said Kernohan knew his investigation was conducted on the basis that he had ordered the entry without authority.

“Had I known such authority had been given then Operation Tempura would not have proceeded on the basis that it did and the events involving Judge Henderson and others would not, in all probability, have occurred," Bridger said, referring to the arrest of the high court judge which resulted in a more than $1.2 million dollar damages award to Henderson.

"Furthermore, the legal advice I received and the reviews undertaken by Assistant Commissioner John Yates were also provided on the basis that no authority had been given for the entry,” Bridger told CNS.

“I find it very difficult to see how Mr Kernohan is going to pursue his intention to hold people to account now that he has reached a settlement with the very people he was accusing,” Bridger added, as he raised concerns that any investigation into who lied to him that led to the costly probe was now even further from being revealed.

The Tempura investigator has filed a complaint with the FCO as he now believes that not only could the authorities in Cayman have deceived him, but the UK Metropolitan police force as well. That complaint was passed by the FCO to the current police commissioner, David Baines, and Bridger said that Baines “continues to assess my allegation of crime but has still not yet made a decision as to whether the matter warrants investigation.”

With continuing legal action against him, Bridger said he was still restricted in saying much more about the investigation.

It is now almost seven years since Bridger arrived in Cayman to conduct a covert operation posing as a real estate agent. The investigation remains a mystery to the wider public while the public purse continues to pick up the growing tab for the bungled enquiry, which is now believed to be in the region of $20 million.

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