Archive for September 23rd, 2008

Man charged in connection with drive-by shooting

| 23/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): According to a statement from the police a 25-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder last week has now been charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm with intent to commit an offence. Fabian Powell was arrested following a report of a drive by shooting which occurred on School Road on Friday, 12 September.

 A woman who was arrested at the same time on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact of attempted murder, obstruction and disorderly conduct has been released on police bail. Powell, who resides in George Town was due to appear in court on the afternoon of Tuesday, 23 September and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS declined to comment on why he was not facing attempted murder charges.

Powell and the women were arrested by the Uniform Support Group (USG) on Crewe Road at lunchtime on Tuesday 16 September during an investigation by George Town Criminal Investigation Department. The investigation had started after police received an unconfirmed report of shots being fired in the Rock Hole area from a car at around 11:50 am on Friday 12 September. Officers responded to the scene, and officers were told a car had passed and fired shots. Police later confirmed that evidence had been found to confirm the shooting had occurred.

 Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Support for parents of multiples

| 23/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Multiples Support Group will be holding a meeting this Sunday, 28 September, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm at Motions Unlimited Gym on Sparky Drive. According to organizer Tim Dailey, the meeting will be a casual get together for parents and children to play together and discuss the unique challenges associated with raising twins, triplets and higher order multiples.

"Multiples parents often find themselves overwhelmed by the challenges of raising more than one child at a time," said Dailey. "Personally, we have twins, and we have been coming to the meetings since before they were born. We found it a great comfort to chat with similar parents and get ideas and tips for dealing with twins." According to Dailey there are a significant number of twins on island, probably over 25 pairs, and at least one set of triplets.

"We have been getting together as a group for over two years," he said, acknowledging that recently meetings have been scarce but interest has grown. Finding a suitable venue to let the kids run around in a controlled way that allows the parents the opportunity to chat has been challenging," said Dailey. "However, when we approached Motions they were extremely receptive, offering us full use of the facilities at a very reasonable cost."

Motions Unlimited is a fully equipped gymnastics facility with over 11,500 square feet of equipment designed to promote fun and fitness in kids of all ages. Classes are offered in all age groups from 15 months to the teen years.

"We have been taking our kids to the ‘Me and My Shadow’ classes for 15 to 36 month olds and they love it," said Dailey. "It is a great diversion for the kids and gives us time together with them out of the house and in a safe and fun environment." The classes are very informal, he noted, adding that they are tailored to the abilities and needs of each age group.

"The instructors work with the kids to encourage them to try new activities," he says. "And if the kids just want to run about and play, they are free to do that too." Additional information about Motions can be found on their website or by calling 749-8365.

"We are hoping that this meeting will lead to a long term relationship with the gym and we are currently planning to increase meetings to be held on a monthly basis," said Dailey.

Noting that there are a large number of multiples on the island he went on to add that the sharing of information is invaluable. "Not only is it two or three of everything, it is also all about scheduling, working routines and staying sane!" he said. Parents of multiples or those expecting multiples are encouraged to attend and share their experiences.

"As mentioned, there are at least one set of triplets on island, and recently one of our parents of twin boys welcomed their second set of twins," he said. "Now that is a challenge not many parents can say they have had to face!"

"We are hoping to build a strong network of parents to share information of topics that are unique to multiples, or more prevelant in multiple births." Noting that most twin parents experience challenges in the course of their pregnancy and child rearing, Dailey said it is great to know that you are not alone and that others have gone through it and are there to offer support.

"Many of us have formed close friendships with other parents, and we hope to welcome more multiples into our group," he said.

For more information, contact Tim Dailey at 916-8005 or e-mail him at or

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Walkers creates new post

| 23/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Locally based offshore law firm Walkers has created a new position of Chief Marketing Officer to build on what the firm described as its continued global growth and international recognition. The new post has gone to David Byrne (left), formerly of Clifford Chance, where he was global head of business development for the group’s finance and capital markets divisions.

"The establishment of the Chief Marketing Officer position and securing David’s services is an important development for Walkers as we look to build on an already successful marketing and business development platform," said Mark Lewis, Walkers partner with responsibility for marketing and business development. "By combining our business development activities and communication strategy into one global structured operation, we will add a new dimension to our business development effort, resulting in improved levels of responsiveness, to the ultimate benefit of our clients."

Walkers said Byrne comes to the firm with a wealth of business development experience.Head of marketing for the UK finance team at Linklaters for three years before joining Clifford Chance , Byrne also has a strong finance background, having initially worked for ten years with the Barclays Group, for both the investment banking arm Barclays Capital and its international wealth management division.

"I am delighted to be joining Walkers at such an exciting time, with the inherent strength of the practice across multiple business lines, prospects for further international development and the imminent move to our new global headquarters," he said.

Byrne is already familiar with the Cayman Islands and the wider Caribbean as he managed Barclays’ offshore marketing in the region for three years, prior to the creation of FirstCaribbean International Bank, based in Barbados.


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Complaints Commissioner announces end of term

| 23/09/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Complaints Commissioner Dr John Epp announced today that he will not accept reappointment as Complaints Commissioner when his five-year term expires in mid-2009. Epp has assisted the Governor’s Office to complete a job description for the post and expects that in due course the job will be advertised. As the first person to hold the position of an ombudsman in the Cayman Islands, Epp established the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC).

He was also responsible for interpreting and applying the Complaints Commissioner Law and relevant laws of the Cayman Islands, and assisted in writing Regulations made to clarify certain matters under the Complaints Commissioner Law (2006 Revision), a release from the OCC says.

As Commissioner, he successfully negotiated a solution with HE the Governor on the question of the OCC’s jurisdiction in police oversight. Epp has also lent his expertise in many special projects, including written submissions on topics of interest for the Attorney General. In establishing the office, he set the tone of professionalism, fairness and independence, thereby gaining the respect of the civil service and the public. He selected, trained and managed staff of the OCC, which has performed difficult tasks toa very high standard.

Over the past four years, the OCC team has completed ten Own Motion investigations (which are instigated by the Commissioner in the public interest), seven Special Reports and 150 investigations arising from suitable written complaints from residents of the Cayman Islands. Moreover, the OCC financial statements and output records are produced and audited in a timely fashion.

“Our goal of establishing a fully functioning office with appropriate systems was met, but this office constantly strives for improvement. In order to better equip our team, we participated in several training programmes, such as the one provided by the Canada’s leading Ombudsman, the Ombudsman of Ontario,” said Epp.

As a result of its performance, the OCC was recognised as important and effective by the press, and in the Cayman Observer 2006 “Review of the Year” the OCC was cited as number 3 in a list of “10 people and organizations that enjoyed a particularly successful year”.

Recently the government of the day wrote in the booklet "The Cayman Islands Constitution: A Reflection of Who We Are: Explanatory Notes": “It is good practice in a democracy to provide independent checks on the efficiency, fairness and integrity of all our institutions. Caymanians have seen that the creation of the office of the Complaints Commissioner has had a profound effect in investigating government agencies whose practices contravene the principles of fairness, efficiency and good administration.”

Epp, who is not stating his future plans at this time, said, “Reflecting on these early years of operation of the OCC brings a feeling of optimism for the perpetual success of this institution locally. Our efforts to establish credibility within the community continued to show positive results.” He also stated, “ I am very satisfied with the result of my tenure as Commissioner.”

The OCC team is made up of Susan Duguay, Scott Swing, Barrie Quappe, Bridgette von Gerhardt and Claudine Williams-Simons.

The OCC is located on the 2nd floor, 202 Piccadilly Centre, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, phone number (345) 943 2220. The website is

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Hedge Funds to sue FSA

| 23/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(Telegraph UK): A group of the world’s biggest hedge funds are planning to sue the UK Financial Services Authority for millions of pounds of losses incurred as a result of the regulator’s ban on short-selling last week. Lawyers are being galvanised on behalf of a raft of hedge funds which claim the financial watchdog has illegitimately extended its powers and caused "wide-spread capital destruction." Go to article. Go to article.

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Ancient reef reveals life

| 23/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(ABC Science): The Discovery of an ancient reef in Australia may push back the evolution of the earliest animals by 80 million years. Researchers say they have uncovered complex organisms that in some ways resemble multicellular life in a large reef located in the Northern Flinders Ranges, 700 kilometres north of Adelaide in South Australia.  Go to article

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FOI unit lets in some light

| 23/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With just over three months to go before the Freedom of Information Law (FOI) takes effect the FOI Unit is hosting its annual Sunshine Week from 29 September to 4 October. According to the unit coordinator Carole Excell the aim is to raise public awareness about the FOI Law and its importance and is hoping that the public will come out to some of the events.

The law was passed in 2007. However, it has taken government more than eighteen months to prepare for the impact of the law and train staff. The law, it is hoped, will change the long held culture of secrecy within the civil service and create an open and transparent form of government which will see everyone in the Cayman Islands gaining access to information about their government.

Kicking off the week is the ‘Government Open Day’, which will take place on the Glass House lawn on Monday from 9:00 am, where the unit will be launching Cayman’s own ‘User Guide to the FOI Law’. Government departments will be showing people what they do and there will be free user guides and random giveaways.  

On Tuesday between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm, the open day moves to the District Administration Building on Cayman Brac, where Sister Islands residents will get the chance to pick up their free copy of the FOI’s User Guide and meet people from government departments.

On Wednesday, 1 October, from 6:00 pm the public will have a chance to meet those people who will be responsible for divulging the information asked for. A Meet and Greet of Information Managers on the Glass House lawn, this is an opportunity to learn all about using the FOI Law. The Unit will be explaining the “how-to’s” of the FOI Law to ensure familiarity, and there will be more guides being given away.

A fun run is also planned for Saturday 4 October and students aged 11 to 16 are invited to submit essays in a competition on the Topic: “How will the Freedom of Information Law benefit the Cayman Islands?”

For more details log on to


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UDP and PPM agree to meet

| 23/09/2008 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The war of words between opposition and government over constitutional talks escalated yesterday, when the United Democratic Party (UDP) released a statement accusing the People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) of not showing up to a meeting. However, an eleventh-hour public meeting was proposed by government for Thursday in Bodden Town, literally days before the arrival of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office team from London.

While UDP spokesperson Rolston Anglin, West Bay MLA, said that the opposition had not been officially informed of the proposed meeting, he confirmed that the Leader of the Opposition and the UDP members were still happy to go along. “It would have been nice for the government to send the invitation to the meeting to us and wait for our response but we are happy to attend,” said Anglin after the proposed meeting times were sent in a written statement to the press.

The wrangling over meetings started on Friday (19 September) when Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said he had received a letter from  Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush proposing a public meeting between the government, the NGOs and the opposition in the Legislative Assembly building on Monday, 22 September, to begin discussions on the party’s differences over the proposals.

Tibbetts wrote to Bush on the same day, stating that that the government would not be attending for a number of reasons, including that it had no prior knowledge of the date, and the government was still waiting to see a document laying out the opposition’s position on the constitutional proposals.

“You cannot seriously be expecting us to convene a meeting,” he wrote. “Even if you had established a basis for such a meeting by providing us with your position on our Revised Proposals or published proposals of your own, we would require more than a half day’s notice.” He accused Bush of disingenuousness and said it was time to stop playing games.

However, on Monday Bush and his team turned up at the LA with their published proposals, waiting for government representatives who did not show.  “After all the letters and the stated plans by the Government to meet, it is hard to understand why they have not shown up and extremely disappointing,” said Bush who added that the UDP had received a letter from the government at the last minute, stating that they would not attend without first having seen the opposition’s position.

“They wanted to meet with us!  Why are they not here?” asked Mr Bush. “Had they shown up we could at least start the process of planning our discussions and they would have been given copies of our positions and discussion on every single issue laid out in the proposed revisions. Their behaviour in this regard is extremely petty and it really begs the question of whether they fully understand that they are here to represent the people of the Cayman Islands on this major initiative and to put petty politics aside.”

The UDP said it had sent the position paper to the Constitutional Secretariat for forwarding on to the Government as a courtesy. “We have also sent copies to the various NGOs involved and of course we have also presented our paper today to the media for dissemination to the wider public,” Bush added.

On Monday afternoon government confirmed it had received the opposition’s proposals and said although it was disappointing and unfortunate that the opposition had left it to virtually the eleventh hour, the government intended to carefully consider the opposition’s paper with a view to narrowing the differences between the two parties. It proposed a new meeting public meeting date for 10:00 am on Thursday, 25 September, at the Bodden Town Civic Centre.

“I remain optimistic that even at this late state some degree of unity will be achieved by the Cayman delegation in advance of the start of the talks with the UK on Monday,” said the LoGB.

Containing no real suprises,the UDP’s position paper is available on the Constitutional Secretariat website . It summarises the points raised in the UDP’s original discussion document, broadly agreeing with a number of governemnt proposals but disagreeing with some of the major points. The paper opposes changing the balance of power between the Governor and elected members, increasing the number of elected officials and placing the Attorney General outside the house. It also states that the bill of rights should be dealt with in separate domestic legislation and should not form part of the constituional document. The opposition is  sticking with its idea of introducing a second chamber in the form of a senate, and also warns the people that a preamble statement has considerably less importnance than people are being led to believe.



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Nine more gamblers arrested

| 23/09/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The Police Commissioner’s commitment to enforcing the gambling law is becoming increasingly apparent after nine more people were arrested at the weekend in connection with illegal gambling offences. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) said they had arrested a number of people over the weekend on suspicion of various violations including illegal gambling and drugs offences.

On Friday, 18 September, George Town neighbourhood police officers, along with officers from the Immigration Department, arrested four people for being involved in illegal gambling. Three were arrested for selling lottery tickets related to the numbers game, and one was arrested for buying lottery tickets. At the same time a fifth person was arrested for carrying a restricted weapon. Then on Sunday, 21 September, officers arrested another five people for being involved in illegal gambling, four for selling lottery tickets and another for buying.

Last week David George, Acting Commissioner of Police, told CNS that he believed illegal gambling was often linked to other forms of crime and that enforcing the gambling law was part of a holistic approach to crime prevention.

Meanwhile, even before the weekend started officers arrested two men in the early hours of 18 September for possessing an offensive weapon and the other for breaching bail conditions. Officers said that investigations are ongoing to see if the men are linked to other offences, including recent George Town burglaries. On Friday night / Saturday morning (19/20 September), officers arrested two people for drugs offences. A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine with intent to supply and consuming a controlled drug, and a 44-year-old man on suspicion of possession of cocaine, possession of ganja and consumption of a controlled drug.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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