Corruption reporting urged

| 09/12/2014

(CNS): Although facing a firestorm himself over the recruitment of a former Jamaican cop charged with murder to the RCIPS, Police Commissioner David Baines is urging the community to report any evidence they have of corruption in the Cayman Islands. Marking the United Nation’s International Anti-Corruption Day on Tuesday, Baines released a short public statement about the issue and asked people to assist the Anti-Corruption Commission, which he chairs, by speaking up. The statement was released the day after the premier said he would be discussing with the governor the “shocking” revelation over the recruitment of the officer, who was convicted of killing a suspect in Jamaica during an investigation.

The premier has not yet joined the chorus of voices calling for Baines to resign but instead urged his political colleagues Monday to exercise restraint after many of them have, both publicly and behind closed doors, called for Baines to go.

Nevertheless, Baines remains in his post as police commissioner and also as chair of the ACC.

In the statement (posted below in full) he said that Cayman, like most jurisdiction,s has been exposed to corruption in many forms and on various levels. But so far the RCIPS Anti-Corruption Unit has succeeded in just one conviction, and despite the continued widespread allegations and recent charges and suspensions in high places, securing the evidence against those accused has proved very difficult for what is one of the smallest and underfunded units in the RCIPS.

Elvis Ebanks, a former police officer, was found guilty of soliciting a bribe in exchange for not investigating a possible phone theft. But having appealed the conviction, he was immediately released on bail and has not yet served any of the three year sentence he was given earlier this year.

Although others have been arrested under the anti-corruption law and some cases are continuing, others were prosecuted under different legislation. Edlin Myles, the former deputy chair of the National Housing and Development Trust, was originally charged with corruption offences but they were not continued. He was charged and found guilty of deception and received a six month jail term, but he has also been on bail since the sentencing in June pending his appeal against the conviction.

The former premier, McKeeva Bush, was also charged under the anti-corruption law in relation to the alleged misuse of his government credit card when he drew cash in casinos to play the slots in Las Vegas, the Bahamas and Florida. However, Bush, amidst much publicity regarding the revelations at trial, was cleared on all counts by a jury in October.

“The corrupt practices and behaviours we have witnessed have affected us all,” Baines said in his statement Tuesday. “They have caused us to become angry, shameful and embarrassed; they have caused us to question some of our public officials, and they have brought unwanted attention to our islands.

“Being able to combat corruption is an important part of any jurisdiction’s quest to promote and encourage democracy. Whilst the Anti-Corruption Commission is responsible for the administration of the Anti-Corruption Law, the Commission cannot properly discharge its duties without your help. The Commission needs you to speak up, to take a stand, to report corruption. If you have sound evidence or solid information about corruption-related offences, in accordance with the Anti-Corruption Law, you have a part to play,” he said, as he urged people to break the corruption chain in line with the UN’s theme for this year.

Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon and many activists still believe and accuse Cayman and other offshore jurisdictions of facilitating corruption as a result of the secrecy laws surrounding the financial system. Cayman continues to deny that it is any more likely to harbour the ill-gotten gains of corruption than any other jurisdiction but it remains under fire.

In his own statement about the issue, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “To dismantle corruption’s high walls, I urge every nation to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Corruption. Its ground breaking measures in the areas of prevention, criminalization, international cooperation and asset recovery have made important inroads, but there is much more to do.”

The UN believes attitudes on corruption are changing and that as recently as ten years ago corruption was only whispered about. Now there are signs of growing intolerance toward corruption and more and more politicians and chief executives are being tried and convicted, the organisation stated.

According to global estimates, every year over one trillion dollars are paid in bribes, while an estimated $2.6 trillian is stolen through corruption. In developing countries, the United Nations Development Programme said that funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

The latest Transparency International report on the Corruption Perception index reveals that the top five most corrupt countries are Somalia, North Korea, Sudan, Afghanistan and South Sudan. The least corrupt countries in 2014 are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway and, ironically given its reputation for banking secrecy, Switzerland.

To report corruption in Cayman call the confidential reporting line on 928-1747.

For more information on the Anti-Corruption Commission or anti-corruption efforts visit the website at www.anticorruptioncommission.ky or call 244-3685.

See the latest local anti-corruption commission annual report here.

Category: Crime

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the best thing you could do to help alleviate the scourge of corruption would be to resign, thus opening the way for someone to take your place who will get the job done. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If you believe this will solve the problem you are mistaken. There is no real desire by government to solve the crime problem because they don't want to upset voters.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just read this morning(Friday's) Compass, and I see the Compass PR machine has been busy.

      When a Commissioner of Police gets cosy with a newspaper it raises the spectre of corruption.  

      That is one big mistake you are making Commissioner, and it is backfiring big time in the public'c perception.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If the ACC were half as good at detecting corruption as they are at writing messages once a year we’d be OK.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Baines be gone” Here’s my report on corruption 90% of the civil service including elected members, England, and 95% of the merchant class. Now get someone that's not corrupt to start arresting and bringing charges.

    Thanks in advance.

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    The one law we need in place is a law that states: Any Government Employee who uses his or her position of authority to circumvent, manipulate or causes to stop or impede  "said law" from being applied to expose unlawful activity in the public or private sector, those persons, "after a fair hearing of course "having been found negligible in their duty to uphold the law, shall immediately be removed from said office and charged with which-ever crime is applicable! No more of the wasting of the people's money, on this thing called Payed Leave.

    We also must have in place a law which states that legislators cannot [upon taking office] on a whim get rid of capable employees who have no record of having been negligent in the performance of their assigned duties. This has cost us millions of dollars having to pay people there full salaries for years, while those in the Civil Service seem not to care about ending this drain on our funds.

    Scrap and or cut the wings of the "albatross" we call a Nation Building Fund where legislators [seem not to be limited] in the amounts that are handed out to certain groups [religious and otherwise] for what seems to be the sole purpose of such generosity! "IN PREPARATION for THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION"

    These are some of the areas  we must begin with, the Civil Service,  Parliamentarian and Authorities. Once these groups are shown to have the testicular fortitude to do what is right . Then the rest of us will think long and hard before getting involved in any serious corruption.

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    Corruption in the Cayman Islands, let us begin the elimination process by supporting Mr. Miller in his stance to get rid of the commish and while he is at it let's neutralize the entire force by hiring police officers from other jurisdictions outside of Jamaica. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    And whilst we are on the Brac he can investigate civil servants not going to work and stealing government time to do personal work. And civil servants taking gifts from a certain investor. Not to mention the wining and dining of these civil servants.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:22. why should civil servants on the Brac go to work? There is nothing for them to do. The Brac is just a place where central government makes transfer payments while people pretend they are working. The District Commissioner gets paid on the same scale as a Chief Officer in Grand Cayman. Can you imagine? He has nothing like their responsibilities -the place only has about 1700 people for Heaven's sake. Pure madness and EY said nothing about it because of course the managing partner is …yes, you got it….a Bracker.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well he can start with his own police force in the Brac by not dumping the officers that Grand Cayman does not want over there. He can investigate the use of tasers by his officers in the Brac without updated certification and the list goes on and on and on.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I reported corruption and where did it get me ?

    I was sent packing to florida

    I did get back and they came after me again, missed me and went after my wife

    they got her

    but guess what

    I AM NOT DONE

    I am going to slam your asses

    you people messed with the wrong man

    I have lots of time and I am watching you

    RETIRE AND REPENT

    • Anonymous says:

      It is obvious that there is no real desire to end corruption in the Cayman Islands. It is systemic.

  9. C'mon Now! says:

    On this Island surely Democracy is the belief that people should get what they want and get it good & hard! If you look at the voting process and results you can see that this is not a priority for the electorate, in fact many people prefer the system exactly as it is.

    I think we would all appreciate if our Dear Commissioner could do one thing right and clean up the street crime that is becoming increasingly violent. This should be a priority before a quixotic attempt to change the status quo on corruption.  We all know it is a serious problem but there are more immediate concerns to be addressed, especially when anything more complex than man with gun caught holding stolen goods cannot be successfully prosecuted.

    We would need serious political leadership to deal with the island's structural goverance issues and sadly this has been lack for close to 20 years by my count.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have tried since the beginning of the year to get DOEH and NRA to work together and coordinate grass cutting with road side litter pick-up! It hasn't gotten anywhere cause nobody cares. I can't even imagine how frustrating it would be to try to report any corruption and wait for anything to happen…….The Commissoner can't be acting ignorant and oblivous and then expect everyone else to step forward. Check with those people who have tried to make a right wrong and see how far it has gotten them…………

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for that article, Dennie. This bears repeating: "In his Second Report, Sir Alastair pointed out that "responsible bodies generally feel that the public will never be convinced that Government really intends to fight corruption unless the Anti-Corruption Office is separated from the Police…". Note that this was said in the context of a British colony as Hong Kong was at the time. An independent Commission has worked very effectively there. There is no reason why it would not work here.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anti-Corruption Day…United Nations? Is this a joke? The UN is one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet.

    Please tell me this is April 1st.

    • Anonymous says:

      Haha, I got a troll. Perhaps you should speak to the 40 plus thumbs up. Who are you, troll?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hasn't he left yet?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ask Brian Tomlinson.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Ask Brian Tomlinson….what happens to whistleblowers. 

      • Anonymous says:

        …and what happens to the persons they blow the whistle on!  Nothing! (other than promotion).

         

      • Mitzie Tomlinson says:

        Lost Job, Sick and NO one Call to see if he is alive. My God is Good, If you do as they say you will have a Job, Dont Whistleblower or out the door you go. Last Govt. Happy H Days MITZIE TOMLINSON.

  15. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    "About [Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption] ("ICAC")

    Brief History

    Since its inception in 1974, the Independent Commission Against Corruption has embraced a three-pronged approach of law enforcement, prevention and community education to fight corruption. With the support of the Government and the community, Hong Kong has now become one of the cleanest places in the world.

    But how serious was the problem of corruption in Hong Kong before the ICAC came into being? What was the reason for setting up an independent body to fight corruption?

    The Birth of the ICAC

    Corruption on the rampage

    Hong Kong was in a state of rapid change in the 1960s and 70s. The massive growth in population and fast expansion of the manufacturing industry accelerated the pace of social and economic development. The Government, while maintaining social order and delivering the bare essentials in housing and other services, was unable to meet the insatiable needs of the swelling population. This provided a fertile environment for the unscrupulous. Many people had to take the "backdoor route" simply to earn a living and secure other than basic services. "Tea money", "black money", "hell money" – whatever its name – became not only familiar to many Hong Kong people, but accepted with resignation as a necessary way of life.

    The Victims

    Corruption was rampant in the public sector. Ambulance crews would demand tea money before picking up a sick person. Even hospital amahs asked for "tips" before giving patients a bedpan or a glass of water. Offering bribes to the right officials was also necessary when applying for public housing, schooling and other public services. Corruption was particularly serious in the Police Force. Corrupt police officers offered protection to vice, gambling and drug activities. Law and order was under threat. Many in the community had fallen victim to corruption. And yet, they swallowed their anger.
     

    Community Backlash

    Corruption had become a major social problem in Hong Kong, but the Government at the time seemed powerless to deal with it. The community's patience was running thin and more and more people began to vent their anger on the Government's futile attempts at tackling the problem. In the early 70s, a new and potent force of public opinion emerged. People pressed incessantly for the Government to take decisive action to fight graft. Public resentment escalated to new heights when a corrupt expatriate police officer under investigation was able to flee Hong Kong. The case proved to be the last straw.

    Last Straw

    Controlling assets of over HK$4.3 million, Peter Godber, a Chief Police Superintendent, was under investigation in 1973. It was suspected that his unearned wealth had been obtained from corrupt means. But Godber managed to slip out of the territory undetected during the week given to him by the Attorney General to explain the source of his assets. Godber's escape unleashed a public outcry. Students spearheaded a mass rally in Victoria Park, protesting and condemning the Government for failing to tackle the corruption problem. Demanding prompt government action, protesters with slogans like "Fight Corruption, Arrest Godber" insisted that Godber be extradited to stand trial.

    Answering the Call

    In response to mounting public demand, the Government was quick to take action. Following Godber's escape on June 8, 1973, Sir Alastair Blair-Kerr, a Senior Puisne Judge, was appointed to form a Commission of Inquiry into Godber's escape. He compiled two reports. The first detailed the circumstances of Godber's escape. In his Second Report, Sir Alastair pointed out that "responsible bodies generally feel that the public will never be convinced that Government really intends to fight corruption unless the Anti-Corruption Office is separated from the Police…"

    In the wake of the Blair-Kerr reports, the then Governor Sir Murray MacLehose articulated for an independent anti-corruption organisation in a speech delivered to the Legislative Council in October 1973.
     

    Decisive Action

    "I think the situation calls for an organisation, led by men of high rank and status, which can devote its whole time to the eradication of this evil." Sir Murray told legislators. "A further and conclusive argument is that public confidence is very much involved. Clearly the public would have more confidence in a unit that is entirely independent, and separated from any department of the Government, including the Police."

    Many in the community sensed the wind of change at this time. They started to see the Government setting the stage for the birth of an effective anti-corruption regime.
     

    The Birth of the ICAC

    The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was established in February 1974. Since its inception, the Commission has been committed to fighting corruption using a three-pronged approach of law enforcement, prevention and education. The ICAC's first important task was to bring Godber to justice. In early 1975, Godber was extradited from England to stand trial. The charges were a conspiracy offence and one of accepting bribes. Godber was found guilty on both counts and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. Godber's extradition and prosecution were an unmistakable statement of ICAC's determination and resolve to eradicate corruption. It was this landmark case that kicked off a new start against corruption and the beginning of a quiet revolution."

    Source: http://www.icac.org.hk/en/about_icac/bh/

  16. Tellit Lackediz says:

    Excerpts from this article:

     "The Commission needs you to speak up, to take a stand, to report corruption.”
    Why?  It’s no secret.

    "Now there are signs of growing intolerance toward corruption and more and more politicians and chief executives are being tried and convicted,”   
    Maybe so, but certainly not in the Caymans
     

  17. Anonymous says:

    To be frank, the most serious allegations of corruption i have heard recently, is the apparently orchestrated removal of the former Premier, arrested and  charged with theft (later dropped) and the way in which a maximum negative and public impact strategy was employed.

    i would report it to Baines but can Can Baines be expected to investigate this?

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Orchestrated or not, public life is better served with that man out of the Premiership.  I prefer incompetence to a premier that thinks it is morally correct to use public funds to gamble.  It is of no consequence whether it was a "loan" or not, paid back or not.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You are Right. I completely agree with your comment. Any feelings towards Mr. Bush notwithstanding – that man was given a "Trial By Headline". Welcome to 2015. 

  18. Anonymous says:



    One thing I will say, he has balls.

  19. Anonymous says:

    "Corruption reporting follow-ups in dire need of not being perfunctory" should have been the headline.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Report Corruption? Why? Nothing is ever done about it (except that the victim gets blamed).

  21. Anonymous says:

    Who is going to give Baines information about corruption? He must leave that post, its a conflict of interest.

  22. Wrath of the Self Righteous says:

    Report Who??? We all know how it goes round this place so they can cherry pick certain persons to be target while others roam around scott free and are immuned to even reproach. All Caymanians and residents are finally awaking and realizing what the Real Deal is and the price they have to pay. Once you play the Colonial game your Guardian Angel gets appointed and if you have membership in the secret handshake mafia you are virtually bullet proof and impervious to even accusations of any sort. We have all been victimize one time or the other for dong the right thing. What we have come to fully understand the right thing better no conflict with those in power the lodge or both and the rich because you are going to pay twice, one for talking the other for seeking justice or redress. For all those who have never been victimized please touch the thumbs down on this post!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, the Lodge!

      Either the press are shit-scared of the Lodge or they are in it.

      I know this is a fact for the Compass. CNS, I don't know.

      CNS: You know that CNS is owned by women, right? (Women …. Freemasonry …. do these two things go together?) The reason I delete most of your Lodge conspiracy comments is because I think it's a bunch of tosh. It's the Rotary Club with silly handshakes. Very scary. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I see the "Power Lodge" alluded to frequently in comments and kitchens. Why if it is so prevalent does someone not do an expose?  A direct, come right out and name and shame. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    There are two points to make on this –

    1. In the more than five years since he arrived here Baines apparently hasn't himself identified any corrupt activities going on around him (although the Marl Road suggests there's plenty of evidence of it amongst some of the company he keeps) so he's in no position to lecture others about not reporting it.

    2. People don't trust the police as far as they can throw them in matters like this. RCIPS is about as secure as sieve when it comes to personal information and if you do come forward what are the guarantees that within days the people involed in your complaint won't know about it?

    Trying to sort out corruption with pathetic appeals is just peeing into the proverbial wind. Get real – it's a way of life here and you won't change that with fancy speeches.  

       

    • Anonymous says:

      David Baines never made any attempt to win the trust of the Caymanian people. His aloof attitude coupled with the support of equally aloof Governors has effectively destroyed any hope of reconciliation between the powers that be and the majority of law-abiding citizens.
      The UK really needs to sort out their shit or back off. As it is, the stench is pretty damned unbearable.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Baines you’re incompetence is clearly at work & we the people are not getting our $$ worth & we don’t trust you! Gt voter

  25. laugh says:

    ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  26. Anonymous says:

    3,000 people including many senior government officials and some developers got given status 11 years ago without any clear defined reason as required by the law, and then thousands of their kin came in and stayed without any real checks. Some of the motivations seem less than pure. It may cause problems for our community and be illegal. Who do I tell?

    • Anonymous says:

      Re the poster about the 3,000 status grants, is it too late to investigate that since it might be the biggest and most damaging corruption of all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, I agree. It is never too late to investigate a major crime, if one occurred. It is just that the authorities appear not to have noticed that anything happened. How do we tell them? After all, they are asking us to report corruption… 

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes it is too late.  There was a lot of huffing and puffing at the time but no-one challenged what happened.  Status grant recipients have accrued rights to stay in Cayman now that cannot be reviewed as a matter of human rights law.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nonsense. In any event, is the lack of investigation an act of corruption in itself?

    • Anonymous says:

      My parents are from Scotland, they moved here almost 40yrs ago.

      I as born in Cayman in 1980 and have lived here my entire life. 

      I got status in 2003.

      I had my first child 2 months ago.

      And that my friends is how Generational Caymanians are made.

       

       

       

       
       
      • Anonymous says:

        But be aware 9:35, that for far too many Caymanians of a certain intelligence (ie lack thereof), you will never be considered a Caymanian. Your great grandchildren should be ok, though. But let it be stressed, by NO means all Caymanians think like this. Alas, those ones do not post on CNS.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is not about you. It is about people who seem to have been given status without having ever lived here or seemingly on the basis of their choice of real estate agent!

      • Anonymous says:

        Ahh my forefathers were from scotland came to cayman about154 years ago

        there kids eventually got on a boat about 100 years ago and went up the mississippi did some things in the states had kids who had kids

        I came back on a boat about 10 years ago

        have been raising my children here

         they know of no other place except for when they go on vacation

        Since my for fathers were here before you shouldnt i have some rights also?

         

  27. Anonymous says:

    Reporting corruption in the public service or trying to correct any breach of policy or procedure usually ends unsuccessfully. The whistleblower or the person tying to take the appropriate action becomes the victim. As long as cronyism and corruption is so embedded in the public service, supported largely by the Lodge's control, the average public servant trying to do the right thing will be the bad guy. 

  28. Anonymous says:

    And he has the audacity to be asking people to report on corruption? Is this man crazy?!

  29. Platnium shades says:

    Yet elvis Kelsey Ebanks has never serve a single day in prison what a shame and this is what is wrong with our justice system he has brought great shame to all decent and hardworking Caymanians on this island. Knowing who he is can't say I am surprised at all

  30. Anonymous says:

    Very hard to want to report it when there's so many loopholes that hardly any cases are actually sent to prosecution.  How many of the reported cases have actually been sent for prosecution????  Another ridiculous part of Cayman's judicial system