Archive for June 10th, 2009

CAL lauds pilots in recent flight incident

| 10/06/2009 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Airways confirmed today that a standard internal investigation into the incident on 3 June aboard flight KX107 bound for Grand Cayman from Miami, found the abnormality was caused by a pressurization malfunction while at a cruising altitude of 33,000 feet.  The airline said that due to the numerous redundant systems in place on all Cayman Airways aircrafts, at no time was flight 107 in danger. 

CEO Designate of the airline, Olson Anderson applauded the pilots for their professional behavior.

CAL said the crew followed standard procedures for this particular situation and the captain chose to descend slowly to a lower altitude of approximately 10,000 feet as a precautionary measure for the remainder of the flight. “The descent took about 20 minutes to reach 10,000 feet so it was not a rapid occurrence, but it would have been noticeable by passengers in the cabin,” explained Acting VP Flight Operations Captain Rex Miller. “Maintaining control of the cabin is the priority for the flight crew in cases like these, after which time the captain offers passengers an update on the occurrence.” 

Miller noted that at no time was it necessary for an emergency to be declared in this instance, and the aircraft landed normally at Owen Roberts International Airport. CAL’s VP of Maintenance and Engineering, Fabian Whorms, said the abnormality was subsequently rectified and the aircraft was returned to service. 

Anderson said Cayman Airways pilots receive mandatory simulator training every six months on how to handle such situations.

“Cayman Airways applauds the captain and crew of this flight for managing the situation swiftly and professionally while following procedures to ensure the safety of passengers, and regrets any anxiety that may have been caused to passengers,” headded. 

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CIMA admitted into key organisation

| 10/06/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Updated 9:00 am Thursday – The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has been formally admitted as a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). The move is expected to be welcomed by the private sector owing to potential commercial advantage as well as affirming Cayman’s commitment to cross border information exchange. CIMA was admitted as the 189th today (10 June) during the meeting of the Presidents’ Committee at IOSCO’s 34th Annual Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel.

As a full member CIMA also officially becomes a party to the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation, Cooperation and the Exchange of Information. CIMA signed the MMOU, which is the benchmark for international cooperation among securities regulators earlier this year on 24 March.

Speaking to the IOSCO President’s Committee CIMA Managing Director CindyScotland said the admission marked the culmination of a period of mutual engagement, dialogue and action by the two bodies.” It serves as a testament to the good faith of both sides in seeing the process through, and is an example of what can be accomplished when international standard setters engage jurisdictions as equal partners with a common objective, ” she added stating that the move was also a validation of Cayman’s willingness to engage other regulators to facilitate cross-border information exchange and assistance.


On hearing the news the Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush who is travelling in the US said it gave a boost to the jurisdiction’s reputation “This is yet another example of the Cayman Islands continued commitment to meeting and exceeding international standards,” he said. “As a major player in the hedge funds industry worldwide, it is fitting that the leading hedge funds domicile is now a full member of the international standards setting body for securities markets.  It is proof that not only does the Cayman Islands exceed commercially in this important area of the global financial services industry, but that we are also recognized as meeting the highest international regulatory standards.”

Following the admission Scotland said in a statement that the granting of membership was an accomplishment not just for CIMA but for the jurisdiction as a whole as the membership screening and jurisdictional assessment process had been rigorous.

CIMA’s Deputy Managing Director – General Counsel, Langston Sibblies who is also in Israel attending the conference, which ends on Thursday, explained that in addition to being an acknowledgement of the Cayman Islands regulatory system and international cooperation regime, IOSCO membership had significant commercial benefits.  “Some countries either do not allow investment vehicles from non-IOSCO member countries to be sold in their jurisdictions or will require greatly enhanced due diligence which makes it more difficult to do business with those jurisdictions,” he added.

“IOSCO membership will remove these impediments and open up these markets for Cayman-domiciled securities providers. This is a development our private sector has looked forward to for a long time. It will be welcomed by the private sector.”

IOSCO is the principal global standard setting body for the regulation of securities markets. Its objectives encompass cooperation and information exchange, standard setting and surveillance, and mutual assistance.

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Police rescue 500lb turtle

| 10/06/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A Logger Head Turtle, estimated to be 30-years-old and 500 pounds in weight, was helped back into the sea last night after police officers found it in a distressed condition on the beach in East End. Officers from the Uniformed Support Group appear to have disturbed a poacher while on routine patrol in the district when they spotted the turtle near the new sea wall. The officers were alerted to a man who was seen running onto the road and a pursuitensued. Unfortunately, the man, who was described as tall, of slim build, with a dark complexion and who was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, was not located.

The animal was found to be turned over onto its back with its fins stabbed, threaded with string and tied up and police sought assistance from the Department of Environment and Officer Carl Edwards attended the scene.  

“This turtle is one of twelve reproducing Logger Heads who come ashore to lay eggs,” said Edwards. “During the examination the bleeding stopped and the turtle appeared to settle a little so we decided to release her back into the ocean. Due to the stress and injuries inflicted through the cruelty of the poacher – it is likely that she will dispose of her 3 to 4 hundred eggs at sea.”

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) and the Department of Environment remind the public that no-one may disturb or take turtles in Cayman waters without a license from the Marine Conservation Board. Possession of turtle eggs is also prohibited and even for licensed fishermen the season is closed between 1 April and 30 November. The loggerhead turtle is an endangered species and despite being one of the earth’s oldest survigin species, its numbers have dramatically decline in recent decades.

Anyone with information about this incident or any other incidents involving turtle poaching should contact the Department of Environment on 949-8469, their local police station or Crime Stoppers. 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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Teenagers arrested after jeep joy ride

| 10/06/2009 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Police said today that three teenagers have been arrested after the theft of a jeep from outside a home in George Town. At around 11am yesterday (9 June) the owner of the jeep called the 911 Emergency Communications Centre reporting that his Geo Tracker had been stolen from outside his home in Templeton Street. The caller stated he had seen it travelling towards Smith Road. Police carried out checks in the area and found that the vehicle had flipped onto its roof in the vicinity of Lincoln Drive.

Police said that the young offenders had decamped from the vehicle and that a short foot pursuit ensued which resulted in the three teenagers being arrested. Each was arrested on suspicion of taking and driving away a vehicle without the owners consent. They remain in police custody at this time.

Residents are reminded to never leave valuables on display in vehicles and under no circumstances should the keys be left in the car. More crime reduction advice can be found at

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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Tax havens lobby hard

| 10/06/2009 | 0 Comments

( The Cayman Islands Financial Services Association, Malta and the Isle of Man among others have reportedly spent over $800,000 on lobbyists at firms to campaign against Senator Carl Levin’s Stop Tax Haven Abuse Bill and the potential sanctions that may come with it. The lobbyists have said Levin’s list is out of date because their clients have negotiated, or are negotiating, agreements with the United States that require cooperation and transparency on tax issues.


Go to article.


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Ball hockey players head to World Championships

| 10/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Ball Hockey Association’s select World Cup team is off to the 8th World Senior Ball Hockey Championships to be held on June 13th – 20th in Pilsen, Czech Republic. The team, lead by General Manager Mark Thompson and Head Coach Bassel Durzi are excited about Team Cayman’s 3rd appearance in the World Championships. The team has been training hard over the past six months dedicating themselves to training as a team three times a week along with various personal training regiments. “This is the best team we have ever entered into a World Cup competition and as such we are looking to improve on our 6th place B-Pool finish,” Thompson said.

Team Cayman’s task won’t come easy as they are expecting the toughest competition in the history of the championships in Pilsen. Cayman is in the C-pool along with Pakistan, Gold medal B-Pool finalist in 2007; Bermuda, Caribbean Cup defending champions; and Finland, an unknown as they are competing for the first time in the World Senior Ball Hockey Championships. “We know the competition will be tough but our guys have been working hard to raise their fitness levels and feel confident that we can compete at this level” says team captain Darryl Hather.

Team Cayman will face-off on Friday night against Team Canada, four time defending world champions, for an exhibition match to ready both teams for the tournament. This is the first time Team Cayman has played an exhibition game prior to the tournament and team officials are hoping it will give their players the added motivation they need to be successful against Team Pakistan, their first game opponents.

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Forged Cayman Islands notes resurface

| 10/06/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Over the last few weeks a number of counterfeit CI$50 notes among others have appeared in circulation and have been turned over to the RCIPS’ Financial Crime Unit. AS a result of the continuing emergence of counterfeit Cayman Islands currency notes the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) are urging the public to remain vigilant. Detective Sergeant Michael Montaque of the Financial Crimes Unit (FCUS) said people should not let there guard down and keep looking out for them.

“I’m particularly asking the business community to pay close attention to notes they receive,” Sgt. Montaque added noting that successful detection and prosecution in counterfeitcurrency cases is largely due to the public’s vigilance. The FCU urges business owners not to rely on the counterfeit detection pen for Cayman Islands banknotes. One quick and discreet way to check if a note is genuine is to keep a wet sponge handy and discreetly rub your wet fingers on the note.  If the ink smudges then the note is a counterfeit.

 “If you receive a counterfeit note, or suspect one to be counterfeit, we ask that you observe and note the appearance of the person passing the note, as well as that of any companions. Do not return the note to the passer. Instead, tag the note with a copy of the transaction receipt and call the police. If you have counterfeit report forms issued by the Financial Crime Unit, obtain as much information as possible from the person passing the note and write it on the form.”  

He emphasizes that the public should not try to apprehend or hold persons presenting these notes. By taking the measures listed above, the FCU will have the best chance at catching these persons.

“Sometimes people who are unsure whether a note is counterfeit or not go ahead and deposit the note with the bank,” Montaque added. “Unfortunately, once it has been mixed with other notes it loses its evidential quality. We therefore ask that any suspect notes be tagged with the transaction receipt, placed in a protective covering such as an envelope and set aside for verification by the Financial Crime Unit.”

CIMA said genuine Cayman Islands currency notes bear a watermark in the form of a turtle, which can be seen when the note is held up to the light. The watermark on the C series notes also includes the letters ‘CIMA’ above the turtle. However it’s important to note that some counterfeit notes also have the watermark so you should not rely solely on this feature to determine if the bill is genuine.

Each C series banknote has a metallic thread running through the note from top to bottom. The thread is imprinted with the words ‘Cayman Islands.’ In counterfeit notes the thread, if it appears, usually looks transparent or white instead of metallic, and sometimes has a grey shadow alongside it.

Each $50 C series note has a silver foil imprint of a stingray on the edge of the note, to the right of the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. On counterfeit notes, the imprint usually loses the silver colour and appears a flat grey.

Genuine $100 notes carry a shimmery, silver-coloured mark (called a hologram) in the shape of a Cayman schooner. This mark changes colour when the note is tilted. On most counterfeit notes, this feature appears a flat bluish-grey.

The serial number on each banknote is different. When receiving notes, you should therefore examine the serial number for any signs of tampering. You should also pay attention to the feel of the paper on which notes are printed. Genuine notes are printed on special paper that has a rough texture. Counterfeit notes have a smooth texture and will smudge when exposed to water.

Pay attention to notes of all denominations – from one-dollar bills upwards. 

The Monetary Authority advises the public that it is not able to compensate people who come in possession of counterfeit notes. This makes it even more important for the public to be vigilant when handling currency notes. The RCIPS form for reporting counterfeit money can be found on the CIMA website, under “Currency.”

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NGOs fight EIB loans to tax haven based firms

| 10/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A coalition of international non-government organisations it going all out to campaign against the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) move to give loans to firms which the NGOs say are tax haven based multinationals. The Counter Balance coalition together with Eurodad, Tax Justice Network and Friends of the Earth said it will rally in front of the Council of the in Brussels in a symbolic action and has published a study on the EIB and its shadowy relationship with Tax Haven- based companies.


In a pres release yesterday the group said that the research reveals that there is a long list of EIB clients and projects in developing countries which use tax havens and similar secrecy jurisdictions. “One of the most used tax havens in the African region is Mauritius. This is particularly contradictory to the development purposes the EIB claims to have in poor countries because secrecy jurisdictions foster tax competition, allow bank secrecy and therefore corruption, and facilitate tax evasion and tax avoidance,” the NGOs stated.

The coalition said that the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance, as facilitated by tax havens, has been put at the forefront of the political agenda in Europe in the aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis. European leaders have increased the public pressure on tax havens and offshore financial centres. French Prime minister François Fillon has said that tax havens are “black holes that should no longer exist”. Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg has said “tax parasites” must be seriously dealt with. The release noted that the principles of transparency have been ratified by the European Parliament’s report on tax fraud saying that Europe should take the lead and make the elimination of tax havens worldwide a priority.

 The coalition said that the EIB should comply with these commitments and implement clear
regulations in order to prevent tax evasion and foster good governance in tax matters.Yet the study shows that many projects and beneficiaries funded by EIB money involve tax havens and
transnational companies that use them for tax purposes.

“Despite the strong statements from some EU leaders and commitments from EU institutions, action on tax havens is moving much more slowly than the political rhetoric would imply,” the NGOs said adding that the EIB remains an obscure institution little known to parliamentarians, NGOs and others who track development spending.

The coalition noted that the EIB as a public bank should not facilitate private tax avoidance and ensure that recipients of its loans do not avail themselves of tax havens or use other practices such as abusive transfer pricing which may lead to tax evasion or avoidance.

“Yet in the last five years the EIB has loaned EUR 5.66 billion to the top tax haven users from the UK, France and the Netherlands, while EUR 210 million has gone to African funds using tax havens in their strategies. Furthermore, some of the major infrastructure projects financed by the EIB in the name of development happen to have close links with tax havens, which is also the case with financial intermediaries benefiting via the EIB’s Global loans,” it said.

Combined with the dramatic lack of transparency in the EIB which prevents concerned citizens’ groups checking up on the due diligence procedures or the evidence that is used, the EIB fails to make a convincing case that its money is all well-used according to its policy on fraud and corruption the NGOs added.

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Masterclass for playwrites

| 10/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Those with an interest in the craft of playwriting are being given an opportunity to develop their potential talent in a workshop organized by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF). Aimed at those who have some degree of playwriting skill it will offer aspiring wordsmiths the chance to explore the subject with one of the most respected theatre educators and directors in the Caribbean, Eugene Williams. (Left).

Director of the School of Drama at Edna Manley College of the Arts in Jamaica, Williams will host the five day workshop from 29 June which will focus on the essential elements of a script free of charge at the Harquail Studio Theatre from 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm. 

Williams has assisted CNCF with the playwriting workshop since 1992 and his academic credentials include a Master of Fine Arts inTheatre from Brooklyn College and a Master of Arts in Performance Studies from New York University. He has worked with the Caribbean’s leading playwrights including Trevor Rhone the writer of “Smile Orange” and “The Harder They Come”. 

When registering, workshop applicants must submit eithera completed script, a scene, a story they would like to turn into a play, or a concept and outline of their developing play so as to fully benefit from the workshop. All scripts must be the original work of the person submitting the script. Only 12 people are selected for the workshop. Registration is at CNCF’s office at the Harquail Cultural Centre. The final day to register is 24 June. The workshop is also a  requirement to enter the upcoming CNCF National Playwriting Competition. The competition is open to anyone resident in the Cayman Islands. Details of which will be released in due course. 
For more information contact CNCF Artistic Director Henry Muttoo at 949-5477 or by email at 

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Challenge needed says Catron

| 10/06/2009 | 133 Comments

(CNS): The anticipated challenge over the qualification for election of two Bodden Town candidates will be filed today (10 June) by a collective of Bodden Town voters, including well known artist Gordon Solomon and independent election candidate Sandra Catron. Although the group was unable to comment on the details of the petition itself, Solomon confirmed that it would be made before today’s deadline. “This will not go unchallenged,” he said. Catron told CNS that the challenge was needed in order to clear up the questions surrounding these representatives and uphold the Constitution.

“If this challenge is not made, the Caymanian people will forever question this election result and its legality,” she said. Catron noted that this was not a personal issue nor was it sour grapes, and she confirmed that she would not be running if the challenge, as is anticipated, results in a by-election. The challenge concerns the potential disqualification from office of the two United Democratic Party candidates, Dwayne Seymour and Mark Scotland. Scotland has been appointed as Minister for Health by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush and was returned as first elected member with more than 50% of the voter turnout.

However, both men failed to gazette the details of their business contracts with government in accordance with section 19 (1) g of the Constitution as they missed the 30 day deadline. Both candidates have insisted it was an oversight and their public contracts were already well known, so there was no intent to deceive. However, with numerous questions surrounding the consequences of this potential disqualification, neither the governor nor the attorney general (AG) has been moved to act either before or after the election. The opposition PPM members have chosen not to challenge the issue either, as they say it is should come from the AG or the governor.

Catron said that because there has been so much misinformation, misunderstanding and debate regarding the question, a legal challenge is required to push a definitive ruling on this issue once and for all. “People may criticise me and others for this but it is necessary for the Caymanian people and the Constitution, whether that is ever recognised or not,” shesaid. “This is a fight for right. We need to set the precedent and the people of Bodden Town deserve to know once and for all if their representatives are legal or not.”

Catron also said there were concerns that not only had Seymour and Scotland failed to comply with the requirements of the Cconstitution, they had continued to make erroneous statements that other candidates had also broken the law.

“They continue to perpetuate the lie that other candidates failed to comply. This is not true; it was a completely different issue,” Catron noted, adding that the candidates who declared their wider interest in the LA’s register of interests late fell under an entirely different law, the penalty for which is a fine. Not only is there no disqualification sanction, it is not in the Constitution. She also noted that despite comments to the contrary by Samuel Bulgin and Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez, the two had insisted that the AG and Gomez had both said they were qualified to stand.

Catron, however, said that above all she was really disappointed that those with the real responsibility had abdicated that and forced regular people who can ill afford this to question the legality of the representatives. “People cannot decide on a whim about what is legal and what is not,” she added.

When contacted by CNS, other candidates that had taken part in the General Election in Bodden Town agreed that the challenge was needed. Gilbert McLean, who said it was very unlikely that he would stand in any by-election that may come as a result of the challenge, still said it was important. “I am glad that this is going forward. Even if the two candidates are returned with 10 times the vote, we need to allow the law to take its course,” said Gilbert, noting that it is right to uphold the Constitution.

Osbourne Bodden, the PPM candidate who came in fourth — a few votes behind Seymour, said that it was still early days to make a decision about whether he would contest any by-election or not, but he felt the principle is what’s important and that the Constitution should be upheld by one and all. Although the PPM candidates and the wider party have been criticised for not challenging the qualification, former Tourism Minister Charles Clifford said it was not for them or for voters to uphold the constitution, but the governor.

“It is unfortunate that Governor Jack had once again exercised very poor judgement and allowed this matter to get to this point. He has failed in his primary responsibilities as the guardian of the Cayman Islands Constitution and ensuring good governance,” he said. “The governor’s claim that this was a matter for the attorney general and not for him is illogical and reckless. It is clear from the governor’s public statements that he was aware of the possibility that Messers Scotland and Seymour were both disqualified from holding office as MLAs by virtue of their own admissions.”

Clifford noted that it was the governor’s responsibility to ensure that the AG dealt with the issue before it got to the point where potentially it could cost the taxpayer money. He also added that he had not made a decision on whether he would make a second bid to regain his seat if the challenge resulted in a by-election.

It is understood that Dwayne Seymour and Mark Scotland will stand again if there is a by-election and it is ruled that they are qualified to contest the seat. Scotland told CNS that he and his colleague are prepared for the challenge and have the necessary legal support in place. He believes once it is over he will be back at his new desk in the ministry. He said that they never were disqualified and as far as he is concerned the issue was a "minor technical thing".

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