Archive for July 7th, 2009

Rescue delayed by armed response unit

| 07/07/2009 | 34 Comments

(CNS): The response time of the emergency services to the shooting on Saturday night in George Town remained in question today when police said it was impacted by the need to wait for an armed response unit to check the scene before the ambulance was cleared to enter. Detective Inspector Kim Evans said an armed response unit was on the scene within 10 minutes of the 911 call. However, he did not say how long it then took for the ambulance to reach the victim, who according to reports bled to death and police have refused to comment further on the timeline.

Police said on Tuesday morning that enquiries regarding the incident in which a man was shot in the leg on Saturday night/Sunday morning in McField Lane and died of his wounds were continuing and that the number of officers had been increased.

Although police have not yet named the victim, CNS has learned it was 28 year old Omar Samuels. Detectives say they are following a number of lines of enquiry and a Family Liaison Officer has been keeping relatives of the victim informed of progress on the investigation. On Monday, 6 July, Neighbourhood Officers conducted house-to-house visits along School Road, McField Lane and Rock Hole Road to speak with residents about their concerns.

“We have increased the number of officers working on this case and are making steady progress with our enquiries,” said DI Evans, the Senior Investigating Officer in the case.

Addressing concerns about the response time of police and medics, Evans said there was a need to ensure the safety of all who respond to crimes. “It is always important to ensure that we do not put officers or medical personnel in danger when responding to reports of crimes that involve firearms. Our policy is to have the area checked and cleared by armed response before officers are allowed on the scene; in this case that protocol was followed,” he said.

Evans added that the police had to take into account the fact that there have been previous incidents involving firearms in the same area. “An armed response unit was on the scene within ten minutes of the call to 911. The ambulance crew was given access to the victim once they were satisfied that the scene, which was quite large, was safe,” Evans noted.

Police are appealing for anyone who was in McField Lane, School Road or Rock Hole between 12:30am and 1:00am on Sunday to contact them with information that may help the investigation.

The numbers to call are:

Detective Inspector Kim Evans – 526 0628

Detective Sergeant Collins Oremule – 516 8746

Detective Constable Wade Chase – 526 8911

People can also call 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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ICTA says malicious server not in Cayman Islands

| 07/07/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): UPDATE – UK researchers who reported that a malicious server in the Cayman Islands had been the source of the trojan Zbot have conceded that the server is not in these islands at all but is, in fact, in Britain. David Archbold, Managing Director of the Information & Communications Technology Authority (ICTA), said that he investigated the article published in SC Magazine and linked on CNS this morning, based on the findings of researchers from Prevx, who had discovered the site where the criminal operation had used the Trojan horse to upload the FTP login credentials from more than 68,000 websites, including companies such as Bank of America, BBC, and Symantec.

Prevx, a company that sells software to find and destroy malware, said the server was in the Cayman Islands. However, Archbold investigated the claims and found otherwise.

“I conducted my own research, and talked with the UK Researcher who made the original comments. I am now satisfied that the server in question is not, and never has been, located in the Cayman Islands but rather is in northern England," Archbold said. "The only Cayman Islands connection is that the criminals involved used a false George Town address when registering a range of network IP addresses. Subject to some final checks, the UK Researcher has accepted my findings.”

A CNS reader tracked down the IP address, which also listed the phone number of one of the churches on Grand Cayman, and found, through the Google search engine, a screenshot of the site which has now been shut down: linked here.

Go to article in SC Magazine

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Corals face extinction

| 07/07/2009 | 0 Comments

(Reuters) – Increasingly acidic oceans and warming water temperatures due to carbon dioxide emissions could kill off the world’s ocean reefs by the end of this century, scientists warned on Monday. The experts told a meeting in London the predicted pace of emissions means a level of 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere will be reached by 2050, putting corals on a path to extinction in the following decades.

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Fund rules could start ‘war’

| 07/07/2009 | 0 Comments
(FT.Com): The adoption of tough European restrictions on hedge funds would provoke a transatlantic regulatory war, one of the sector’s leading figures has warned. Stanley Fink, the former chief executive of Man Group known as the ‘godfather’ of the British hedge fund industry, said that the European Commission’s proposed regulation would be "very restrictive" for non-EU funds and some styles of investing.


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MLAs ignore OCC reports

| 07/07/2009 | 8 Comments

(CNS): The Office of the Complaints Commissioner tabled five reports in the Legislative Assembly last week, including the office’s 2006/07 annual report. However, not one of the reports was debated in the Assembly despite the revelations in them that many government departments have inadequate complaints procedures in place; that government entities have no procedures for disposing of sensitive information; that the immigration department is failing to refund deposit to customers in a reasonable time frame and that the public service pensions board is failing to comply with its statutory obligations.

Since Cayman’s first Complaints Commissioner Dr John Epp laid his first report on the table of the Legislative Assembly in 2005, members of the House have rarely debated the content of any of the office’s special reports or own motion investigations.  The OCC has the power to instigate investigations where appropriate, and while the office has submitted a dozen Own Motion Reports and around eight Special Reports since it opened, Epp said he was disappointed with the response. Epp who steps down from the post next week, handing the reins to Nicola Williams, lamented the lack of attention by members of the LA to the work of his office during his five year tenure as ombudsman. He said recently that while he and his team have won many battles engaging the Legislative Assembly was not one of them.

“The Legislative Assembly has received the reports of investigations completed on my own initiative, which have resulted in some important changes within the relevant departments, but almost no debate has taken place about any of them,” Epp said. “I am disappointed and I encourage members of both sides of the House to debate the issues and points raised in the reports.”

Alongside the 2005/06 annual report the latest batch includes three own motion investigations and one special report detailing the failure of the immigration Department to follow OCC recommendations after a complaint was upheld against it. Based on a complaint filed in September 2007 by an employer who was waiting for the refund of his repatriation deposit of $2000 given to immigration for an expatriate worker who had since left the island of his own accord, the report found the Immigration Department had failed to comply with OCC recommendations made as a result of the complaint.

The OCC had carried out an investigation found in favour of the complainant and asked immigration to refund the money as quickly as possible but also advised the department to introduce a proper process for returning deposits and recommend that the department introduce a thirty day maximum period for the refunds. However, as the department had still not complied with this by the end of 2008, Epp, under powers bestowed on him by the Complaints Commissioner’s Law, undertook the special report which is now before the Assembly.

Two of the three Own Motion Reports highlight a number of significant concerns for all government entities and the third reveals serious shortcomings with the Public Service Pension Board which the OCC said amounted to maladministration. In Own Motion Investigation No #12 Epp found that not only had the board failed to produce timely reports, certaindirectors and trustees had failed to attend regular meetings of the board; there was inadequate training of trustees; administration of the plan was poor and members of the PSPB were spending a large proportion of their time chasing contributions form government entities and they had not revealed the failure of departments to contribute. Epp also found that having the Financial Secretary as Chair of the PSPB was a potential conflict of interest.

All of these reports are now public documents and the people of the Cayman Islands have the right to read for themselves the findings of the OCC and form their own opinions. Constituents also have the right to contact their MLA and enquire why they have opted not to debate the content of these and other past reports.

The OCC team is made up of Susan Duguay, Scott Swing, Barrie Quappe, Bridgette von Gerhardt and Claudine Williams-Simons and the office is located on the 2nd floor, 202 Piccadilly Centre, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, phone number (345) 943 2220. The website is


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PAC vows to catch-up

| 07/07/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Speaking in the Legislative Assembly last week the newly elected chair of the PublicAccounts Committee, Ezzard Miller, said that members have committed to catching up as quickly as possible on some ten outstanding reports from the auditor general. The seriousness of the current backlog was demonstrated when the chair placed before the House a report conducted by the Auditor General’s Office back in 2003 on CUC. Despite raising some serious concerns that should have been revealed to the public, the report has remained secret for over five years because of the failings of the PAC.

Prior to a change in the law, before a report from the AG’s office could be made public the PAC was supposed to examine the content, call witnesses and submit its own comments back to the AG. However, because the committee failed in this regard, the 2003 CUC report has had to wait until now to see the light of day. Miller told the house that there were several more reports including the final Special Report on the Affordable Housing Initiative, which has not yet been seen by the public (although some of the content in that report was revealed recently by CNS as a result of an FOI request).

Until last month it was some 12 months since the public accounts committee had met, and while many of the AGs reports have now become public documents, the PAC has yet to examine a further eight reports including the Special Report on the State of Financial Accountability Reporting, which first revealed the alarming extent of government departments and agencies’ failure to account for public spending.

Tabling the PAC’s first report to the LA, Miller said that from now on the PAC would meet regularly on a monthly basis, and that he aimed to tackle all of the outstanding reports before September. He noted that since the election of the new committee it had already met four times, and once the backlog was addressed the committee intended to keep current.

With regards to the 2003 CUC report, he explained that, although no written submissions had been made or witnesses been called, due to the passage of time and the fact that CUC’s licence had been renewed, the committee had decided to simply release the report into the public domain without specific recommendations.

Miller noted that the committee had, however, noted the concerns in the report raised by the AG’s office and therefore had suggested that those involved in future negotiations with CUC need to be aware of the report’s concerns and that the AG should now review the new licence with CUC to ensure it adequately addresses the issues he had raised in this report.

The chairman also told the LA that the committee had agreed to hold further meetings in public except for housekeeping meetings and where sensitive or confidential issues were being raised.

During the committee’s recent meetings, the chair impressed upon the financial secretary the need to clear the backlog of government’s financial reports and that the financial years from 04/05 to 08/09 should be concluded by April 2010 and that ministries and portfolios should not allow this year’s financial reports to fall behind.

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