Archive for June 25th, 2009

Fake money still in circulation says FCU

| 25/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Counterfeit money continues to plague Cayman and Police from the Financial Crimes Unit are warning the public to be vigilant over cash exchanges as they continue to received reports of fake notes being in circulation.  “Most recently we have seen an increase in fake 100 dollar bills being used, however emphasis should be place on all denominations” said Detective Constable Adrian Neblett from FCU. “We have seen a steady increase in both CI notes and US counterfeit notes, so people should be on the constant look out.”

The RCIPS is asking anyone who receives a counterfeit note to observe the appearance of the person passing the note, as well as that of any companions. DC Neblett also advises that the note should be tagged with a copy of the transaction receipt and bagged separately from other notes. “This will help with our investigations,” he explained. The RCIPS form which should be used for reporting counterfeit money can be found on the CIMA website at, under “Currency.”

CIMA said all 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.

The Authority noted that 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 and when receiving notes residents are advised to examine the serial number for any signs of tampering.

Genuine notes are printed on special paper that has a rough texture but counterfeit cash has a smooth texture and will smudge when exposed to water.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station, Financial Crime Unit (949-8797) 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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CI agrees deal with Dutch

| 25/06/2009 | 12 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands government said today that it had finalized the details of another Tax Information Exchange Agreement, this time with the Netherlands. A technical team from the European state was in Cayman this week to agree the terms and protocol for the exchange of information. The proposed agreement was drafted during two days of meetings in George Town on Wednesday and Thursday, 24 and 25 June, and the text has been initialled by both parties.

According to a press release from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, the draft agreement covers many of the standard provisions in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) model agreement for the exchange of information on tax matters but details of the content were not disclosed.

The negotiations with the Dutch technical team had started under the previous administration and former minister Alden McLaughlin told CNS that talks with the Netherlands had progressed well before the election and he hoped the current team had been briefed with regard to the details which had already been negotiated.

He explained that Deputy Financial Secretary Deborah Drummond had been a key member of the negotiating team along with Chris Rose, and they were the ones that had established the technical grounds on which the two countries could enter into an agreement. However, neither of the former financial experts and were named as being present during this week’s meetings.

Now that the technical teams have initialled the documents, the agreement will be submitted for formal approval by  teh cabinet and parliament of both jurisdictions. Attorney General Samuel Bulgin led the Cayman Islands delegation, while Rob van Kuik, International Tax Counsellor for the Netherlands Ministry of Finance, led his country’s delegation.

CIMA stated that Cayman and Holland have agreed to conclude this TIEA in a timely manner and once signed it will add to Cayman’s growing list of tax deals with OECD countries. Cayman needs to have at least 12 deals in place and it currently has ten plus a number of unilateral deals signed under a specialist mechanism legislated last year which has not yet been recognised by the OECD.

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Little Cayman iguanas slaughtered by careless drivers

| 25/06/2009 | 4 Comments

(CNS): The deaths of three large iguanas on Little Cayman are thought to have been caused by vehicles, and drivers are being warned to slow down or be issued with a speeding ticket. “We understand that some areas of the Island are dark and drivers may not always see the animals in the road but if you are travelling at the set limit of 25mph you have a greater chance of spotting them,” said Area Commander for the Sister Islands, Chief Inspector Malcolm Kay.

“Anyone caught exceeding the Island-wide 25mph limit will be issued with a ticket,” said Kay, who will be visiting Little Cayman this weekend (Friday 25 – Saturday 26). Residents in Little Cayman who would like to speak to the Chief Inspector on any subject during his visit can reach him on 526 0759 or

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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Billionaire Stanford in court

| 25/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(Times Online): The billionaire Allen Stanford arrived at court today wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, handcuffs and leg chains to face charges of swindling investors out of $7 billion. Mr Stanford, who once landed a helicopter at Lord’s cricket ground, was the last inmate to step off the shuttle bus from Montgomery County Jail. Last week a grand jury returned a 21-count indictment against him and three executives from his now defunct Stanford Financial Group. He was arrested in Virginia last Friday and was returned to Texas two days ago. Dick de Guerin, his lawyer, said that it had been a rough few days for Mr Stanford.

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Wallabies get stoned, make crop circles

| 25/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(BBC): Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as highas a kite", a government official has said. Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine. She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops. Australia supplies about 50% of the world’s legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers. "The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Lara Giddings told the hearing.

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Cayman community assists African medical crisis.

| 25/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Prep and High School recently raised over $2,000 to aid child sufferers of a devastating flesh-eating disease, thanks to the initiative of Year 2 student, Tiggi Kohl. The school’s fundraising effort followed a detailed presentation about the infection, which seven-year-old Tiggi delivered to the Primary School site at a morning assembly in May. During her presentation, Tiggi explained how the condition, known as Noma, causes deformities of the face and mainly affects children under the age of 6 who live in extreme poverty and suffer from chronic malnutrition. She also told her fellow students how the disease is at its most prevalent in parts of Africa.

A month later, the Primary School Principal, Brian Wilson, presented Tiggi with a sizable donation from the school to Facing Africa, the UK- based charity dedicated to helping Noma sufferers.

“We asked all the students to donate at least two dollars, a toy or some clothing. In return, we all got to wear our own clothes instead of our uniform for the day” Tiggi explained, adding “We also gave away t-shirts to help promote the cause”. Tiggi continued, “We received lots of donations from the children. Thank you to everyone for giving so generously.”

Wilson said, “Cayman Prep & High School always encourages its students to be community-minded and to become involved in supporting charitable causes.” He continued, “We wereall particularly impressed with Tiggi’s presentation. Many of the students could identify with the impact of Noma because of the similarity in ages between them and the children who are affected by the disease. The school is proud to have been part of such a successful fundraiser and commends Tiggi for her efforts.”

Tiggi was assisted by her mother, Jane Wareham, who helped create ‘Smile Africa’, a Cayman Islands- based project intended to raise funds for Facing Africa and for the Pediatric Ward at George Town Hospital. Wareham also helped Smile Africa garner local support from some big name corporate sponsors, such as Stuarts Walker Hersant, RBC Wealth Management, Krys & Associates, Tower Marketing and D.M.S. Management.

Kenneth Krys, Managing Director of Cayman-based Corporate Recovery and Insolvency firm, Krys & Associates, was recently in the news for completing the grueling Marathon Des Sables in April; a 6 day, 151 mile endurance race across the Sahara desert in aid of Facing Africa.

Stuarts Walker Hersant and RBC Wealth Management will also be raising awareness about the charity at their jointly hosted investment seminar in New York at the end of this month.

Ms. Wareham said, “We are delighted with the results of our efforts and deeply grateful to our corporate supporters for their generous donations.” She continued, “We have engaged in an initiative with the children’s ward at George Town Hospital in which local children will also share in the proceeds of our fundraising activities. We have some exciting plans for the future, which include a road race and special hospitality events.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 100,000 children are affected by Noma each year in many sub-Saharan countries from Senegal to Ethiopia, a region now dubbed “the Noma belt”. The WHO currently estimates that ninety percent of Noma sufferers will die as a result of the infection, which is on the increase due to poor economic and social conditions in areas where it is prevalent. The problem is compounded by high incidences of poverty, food shortages, conflict and corruption in these areas. Noma survivors are often left with severe scarring and are unable to speak and eat properly because of restrictions in jaw movement caused by scar tissue.

Facing Africa sends four surgical teams from Europe to Africa every year, at a cost of $100,000 per trip. The dedicated efforts of fundraisers have allowed the charity to carry out more than 1,000 facial reconstructions since its inception in 1997. The donations of cash, clothes and toys raised by Cayman Prep & High School will be delivered by the voluntary surgeons themselves.
More information about Noma and Facing Africa can be found online at

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Brac students attend OT conference

| 25/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two students from the UCCI Brac campus recently attended the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF), held in Grand Cayman earlier this month, as part of their Environmental Science course, and it apparently made a major impression on both. The conference, which is held every three years inone of the OTs, promotes the coordinated conservation of the diverse and increasingly threatened plant and animal species and natural habitats of the UK Territories Overseas. It aims to do this by providing assistance in the form of expertise, information and liaison between non-governmental organisations and governments, both in the UK and in the Territories themselves.

Brac student Dustin Bodden said the conference gave him “a unique opportunity to see this world of conservations and environmental protection.” Bodden said he was impressed with the “gathering of the brightest minds in the UK Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and other small island communities,” and while he was a little intimidated at first, he said that he had never met so many older successful adults willing to listen, teach, and even learn from young people.

"In the few days that I spend at the conference I most likely learnt more about the environment and the world in general then most students all over the world learn in their senior years of high school. For me it was really life changing it made me rethink just about everything we are currently doing on a global scale and in the Cayman Islands,” Bodden added.

The topics which affected him most at the conference were environmental education, climate change, and sustainability. He says that as far as environmental education is concerned, the Cayman Islands "have created an amazing education program for the primary schools which is a very ingenius idea.” But he believes that the primary schools alone are not enough — we are missing a major gap in the development in a young adult in the areas of middle school (Years 7-9) and high school (Years 10-12).

“Not only do the older students set what’s cool to do for the younger primary school students, they are the future,” Bodden continued. “ They should be told what will be theirs in 15 to 20 years, and what should have been theirs but isn’t because we build a parking lot on it for the 7th billion resort that we don’t need.”

Bodden and fellow Brac student, Tashara Lewis, spent much of the conference discussing conference topics with Jersey student, Piers Sangan, who attended the previous conference held in Jersey, and both expect to continue this kind of networking through the conference blog site: as well as a Facebook link.

Summing up his feelings of the conference, Bodden said that young people are the future, “and some of us need to realize this, and those of us who already do need to act on this. We need to learn, we need to teach, and we need to show the others of our generation that if we continue on the path that we currently are going all the wonderful memories we had while growing up won’t be possible for our children. We need to use our voices to make the older generation which is currently making the decision realize that they’re turn is coming to an end but they can be a major help in our effort by laying the ground work. They can give us a head start in becoming a green generation.”

Tashara Lewis, the second Brac student to attend the conference, made comprehensive notes of all the presentations, and found the it to be “interesting, eye-opening, and extremely informative. This conference for me has meant a great deal and I have learnt a lot of information I can take back and share with my class and my community.”

While enjoying all the presentations, she was particularly interested in those involving invasive species, “because we have a lot of invasive species in the Cayman Islands. One recent one on the Brac has been the Lion Fish.”

“In Dr. Matt DaCosta-Cottam’s presentation he said that it is hard to stop/control the invasive species because the community will sometimes go as far as they can to prevent their destruction because they do not know the damage they can and will cause,” Lewis explained. "They only think that the species are magnificent and beautiful creatures, but they need to become aware of the large amount of damage they cause.” Having said that, Lewis has been encouraged to help the Brac community become aware of the invasive species and the damage they cause. “Yes the invasive species may be beautiful and mind blowing species, but with their beauty come tremendous problems.”

Lewis also observed that throughout the conference emphasis was placed on the tremendous part that parents play in childrens’ lives. “Parents should be the primary example for assisting in and becoming involved in environmental activities,” she says, “And they encourage children and other poeple to become part of the solution rather than being a part of the problem.” With the involvement of parents, Lewis believes, the community achieve much more.

Martin Keeley, UCCI Brac Campus Director, said he was delighted with the role of both students at the conference. “I just wish there had been the opportunity for my entire Environmental Science class to attend,” he said. “It is obvious from their keen interest and involvement that both students have been impacted in a major way through exposure to this level of science and the social implications of environmental concerns in the OTCs .”

Keeley, who teaches Environmental Science at the Brac Campus, was also involved in the workshop on environmental education at the conference. “From my perspective, we have come much further that other OTs in our environmental education in Cayman, but we still have a long way to go,” he said.

He reported in his presentation that his 300-page curriculum-linked teachers’ guide, Marvellous Mangroves in the Cayman Islands, has been translated adapted for use in seven different countries worldwide. “Delegates from several tropical Overseas Territories also expressed an interest in adapting it for use in their countries,” he said.

“I think Dustin sums it up when he says we must get everyone in every age group involved in solving our environmental concerns. There is a much stronger awareness now than there was, say, 10 years ago. But we still have a long way to go if we are going to protect what is left of the finite ecological resources in these islands.”

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Cops issue warning over buying stolen goods

| 25/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police are warning residents to be on the look out for stolen goods as a result of a number of electronic items being stolen from residential premises recently during a number of burglaries. Police urged people to call CrimeStoppers if they are offered  laptops, digital cameras or any other electronic equipment that seems like a great deal,  especially if it is missing things like chargers, otherwise they could find themselves or the wrong side of the law.

Head of CID, Superintendent Marlon Bodden, warned people that if they end up buying stolen goods they could face charges, whereas reporting it instead could lead to a reward.

 “If you are offered a laptop or other item for sale which seems to be an especially good deal or is missing parts, such as chargers or instruction manuals, an alarm bell should start ringing. It could be that the item is stolen. If you buy it you will be handling stolen goods which, is an arrestable offence. If, on the other hand, you report it to Crime Stoppers and your information leads to the recovery of goods or an arrest – you could be entitled to up to one thousand dollars,” Bodden added.

Crime Stoppers Chairman Stuart Bostock said the scheme is a great way for people to pass on information while remaining anonymous. “All calls to Crime Stoppers are answered overseas and you do not have to give your name. Once you have passed on your information you are given a unique reference number and you can call back at any time for an update on the progress that has been made with your information. If an arrest has been made, or if property, drugs or firearms have been recovered you could received up to $1000 – which could buy you a brand new laptop!” Bostock explained.

Crime Stoppers can be reached on 800-8477 (TIPS) or residents can submit tips anonymously online at Tackling burglary remains a priority for the RCIPS and officers will continue to identify those responsible and bring them to justice before the court. Police said they are also asking residents to play their part in cutting crime by ensuing items are as secure as they can be.

Valuables should not be left on display or in vehicles and everyone should note the serial number and take photographs of the item to help police identify them should they be stolen. Owners of laptops and cell phones should also make full use of security measures such as passwords to help protect them should they be stolen.

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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Spy school for geeks proposed

| 25/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(BBC): Vital UK computer systems are under attack by "state-sponsored hacking on an industrial scale", the ex-digital engagement minister has warned. Tom Watson told MPs the only way to combat the threat was to set up a "spy school for geeks who are more cunning than their Chinese counterparts". The Labour MP ran Downing Street’s web strategy until two weeks ago. He spoke as ministers unveiled a cyber security strategy to prevent attacks from hostile states and terrorists. Launching the strategy Lord West, who has been appointed as the UK’s first cyber security minister, confirmed that the UK government has faced cyber attacks from foreign states such as Russia and China.

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Our human ancestors weren’t always so special

| 25/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(HealthDay News) — A 54-million-year-old skull has yielded the first detailed images of a primitive primate brain. The 1.5-inch-long skull was from an animal species called Ignacius graybullianus, part of a group of primates known as plesiadapiforms. They evolved in the 10 million years after dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth. Scientists said the species was similar to modern primates in terms of diet and tree-dwelling, but its brain was one-half to two-thirds the size of the brain of the smallest modern primates.


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