SPIT marks first anniversary

| 27/03/2009

(CNS): Twelve months and over $6 million later, the people of the Cayman Islands are still no wiser when it comes to the actions and purpose of the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) than they were one year ago. Although the exact arrival date of the team remains uncertain, their presence was officially revealed on 27 March 2008 – making today the team’s first official anniversary. On that day the governor called an emergency briefing to tell the Cayman people that an undercover police team from Scotland Yard was working here, that three senior police officers including the commissioner were suspended from duty and Lyndon Martin had been arrested.

Since that day the Cayman Islands coffers are now down around $6.5million, the RCIPS morale is at an all time low, the elected government is divided from the governor, and the country’s judiciary, once considered the best in the region, has been brought into question. However, despite this the Cayman people have been given little to no information regarding the so-called corruption investigation which has cost so much. The real target, purpose or intentions of SPIT and Operation Tempura, as the investigation was named, still remains something of a mystery.

To mark the year anniversary Cayman News Service submitted questions to Acting Commissioner James Smith, Governor Stuart jack and to SIO of SPIT, Martin Bridger, asking what the team considered to be the successes and failures of the investigation, what they would do differently if they had their time over, and for some explanation to be provided about what has happened over the last year and where the Cayman tax payers money has gone. Needless to say, we continue to wait for a response.

From the arrest and search of a Grand Court Judge for an unarrestable offence with a warrant signed by a Justice of the Peace which resulted in a damages payment of $1.3 million dollars to the twelve month suspension on full pay of two senior police officers, the investigation has been plagued with controversy and expense.

Despite the expenditure and the high profile arrests, the seemingly never-ending suspensions and the dismissal of the police commissioner, the only charges brought have been against Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon for unrelated offences and Lyndon Martin for making a false allegation against a police officer.

Following the recent announcement that the lead investigator Martin Bridger would be leaving the island (a condition that was elicited by the elected members of Cabinet before they would allow the most recent request for funding to go before the Finance Committee) the governor issued a short statement lauding the work of Bridger.

Let us not forget that the original Tempura investigation has succeeded in clearing the names of people who were unjustly accused of wrongdoing.  Many of us in the Cayman Islands – including myself  – have acknowledged that some mistakes were made later on, as unfortunately sometimes happens with the best of intentions. But I feel sure that many of the people who came forward with information are glad that Martin Bridger came to the Cayman Islands,” the governor said on 11 March.

During Finance Committee on Friday, the Legislative Assembly voted on an appropriation for the investigation of over CI$4.4 million, which, added to money that was allocated in the last financial year of well over $1.6 million, takes the money spent from the public purse to well in excess of $6 million at a time when the islands’ operating budget is running at an expected deficit of almost $29 million.

With the recent postponement of Martin’s trial and no further news on the situation regarding Kernohan and Jones forthcoming, it is likely to remain a long time before the Cayman people are offered anything like an explanation. The next most likely development in this saga of intrigue and mystery will come from the Auditor General’s Office as Dan Duguay is close to finishing his first draft of a value for money study. And while this AG report is unlikely to offer any insight into the details or purpose of Operation Tempura, Duguay is trying to establish if the Cayman people have achieved value for money on their $6 million commitment.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, Gov. Stewie….We know you are on to something, fish or cut bait, already….

    • Anonymous says:

      Governor Jack you used your reserved powers to pay Mr. Henderson why not use them and force the Attorney General to respond to Mr. Scott’s attorneys and settle his claims for his false arrest or is it that we will have to foot a large legal bill along with his settlement which seems imminent?

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are many good people of these islands that will have to pay for this "investigation" for a long time and believe as I do that the Governor and the interim Commissioner of Police should do as Mr. Bridger is going and vacate the premises before they further embarrass themselves and the poor people of these islands who are suffering because of their ineptitude.  If their purpose was to clean up the corrupt RCIPS then we could have fired every one of the reported 350 individuals on the force with severance and hired a whole new batch of them for cheaper than what this is costing the Cayman people.  The reported crimes they have found don’t sound like $6.0 M worth when more serious issues seem to be evident on this island and no one has actually been convicted so we arenot done here.

    While this has nothing to do with the SPIT investigation, we were driving home at approximately 11 pm last night along West Bay road by Treasure Island when we came upon 2 police officers checking for the inspection stickers on the cars. (one in either direction)  Have they not checked every car on this island at least twice?  He did not stop us, have us speak to him to see if we had been drinking or could manage the drive home without injuring us or someone else.  Why?  I don’t know.  Someday, someone will help me understand their motivation.

    I do not hold out much hope for the future of this investigation if the past is any indication of it’s success to find the corruption in the RCIPS.  Not many people do. But the bill keeps rising like flood water, you never know when it will stop but pray that it will.

  3. Jedi Dread says:

    Tempura comes from the word "tempora," a Latin word meaning "times" or "time period".

    Take from that what you will.

    – Jedi Dread –

     

     

     

  4. Jedi Dread says:

    SPIT was and still is a destabilization exercise being carried against the People and the Country of the Cayman Islands for purposes as yet unknown.

    The technique employed is known as Problem-Reaction-Solution.

    A ‘Problem‘ was manufactured. It was neither real nor perceived, just minor infractions blown completely out of proportion.

    The ‘Reaction‘ was the Governor’s decision to bring in the SPIT, whose mission, was to pull the footing out from under RCIPS (starting at the top), with false accusations of misconduct etc.

    The sitting Govt. was unable to affect any contrary course of action regarding SPIT, so it sat with it’s tail between it’s legs (presumably following orders) and allowed the fiasco to unfold, resulting in Judges, Police, and former MLA’s being arrested, falsely and otherwise.

    All the while, the people of the Cayman Islands have and continue to lose faith and respect for it’s Govt. and it’s police force, resulting in low morale nation-wide.

    The Cayman Islands is now suffering from a feeling of hopelessness, as it questions itself whether it is capable of governing on it’s own. Also, maximising the effect, is the cost of living of which is more than over-the-top (for years) as the average person cannot seem to make their ends meet.

    The ‘Solution‘ remains to be seen as SPIT is still here, which leads me to believe that this leg of the mission hasn’t started yet or has been delayed. The solution, I think, will present itself in the form of a Turks and Caicos type of intervention from the UK.

    —–

    The timing of the entire operation has been impeccable, surrounding the Presidential Elections of the US and it’s perceived regime change, the created Global Financial Crisis (intricately linked with the various hedge fund scams originating in Cayman) that is ushering in the new Global Currency (with China at the forefront). The drafting of the constitution of the Cayman Islands, the gruesome murders of late that now have the country, especially the women, living in fear, and last but not least, the early retirement of the Chief Secretary (what gives?).

    Owners of the money and lies that are buried behind the ‘Registered’ companies and off-shore accounts are ready to pull out, now that Obama and the G20 are going to blow the whole off-shore tax haven thing wide open.

    From Obama’s speech in Indianapolis, Oct. 23rd, 2008.

    “By the way, did you know that there’s a building in the Cayman Islands that supposedly houses 18,000 corporations. That’s either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record. And I think we know which one it is.

    Cayman, this is just the beginning,

    – Jedi Dread –

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Govenor should have to have paid this out of his own pocket, not the Cayman Islands Government.

    • Hallo Gubna says:

      Ah, you refer to the Governor who wears a 1980’s calculator watch whole on official duty, something just doesn’t add up!