Archive for September 14th, 2009

Perez opts for judge trial

Perez opts for judge trial

| 14/09/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The man accused of the murder of Canadian national Martin Gareau (left) has opted for a judge alone trial over his right to be heard by a jury. The trial of Josue Carillo-Perez, a Honduran national from Bodden Town, was adjourned on Monday morning until 16 September when Justice Roy Anderson will hear the Crown’s case against him without a jury.  Gareau’s badly beaten body was found in his home in Beach Bay in May 2008 by his work colleagues. Police charged Perez with the murder on 13 June last year.

Following the late receipt by the judge of the case documents and a number of submissions filed by defence counsel Anthony Akiwumi on Monday morning when the trial was scheduled to commence, the judge adjourned the proceedings and the first witnesses in the Crown’s case against Perez.

Gareau (47) who was originally from Saskatchewan, Canada, had been working in the Cayman Islands in the construction industry for almost four years when he was found dead at his Bodden Town home by work colleagues who had gone searching for him when he failed to show up for work on Tuesday 20 May 2008, the day after the Discovery Day holiday weekend.

According to autopsy reports Gareau died of multiple injuries to his head and body caused by both a blunt and sharp object. When Perez made his first court appearance charged with the murder it was revealed by the Crown that Gareau had been introduced to Perez in April 2008.

Prosecuting attorney Trevor Ward said that evidence in the case against Perez included two fingerprint impressions in blood on an inner door of Gareau’s home. However, Perez has denied being present or any involvement in the murder.

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Hot Spot team makes arrest for Courts Road assaults

Hot Spot team makes arrest for Courts Road assaults

| 14/09/2009 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) said this morning that they had arrested a 45-year-old man on suspicion of robbery in connection with the recent Courts Road assaults. The man was arrested in the Eastern Avenue area and remains in custody while enquiries continue. This was just one of what police described as a number of significant arrests made this weekend by the ‘Hot Spot’ team as well as the recovery of ammunition and crack cocaine.

The team is made up of regular police officers and Special Constables and is tasked with addressing burglary offences and focussing on areas where crime has been a problem, such as the Courts Road area as well as liquor licensed premises. A man, aged 24, was stopped and searched in the vicinity of Saturn Close, Eastern Avenue and a large amount of cash and what is believed to be crack cocaine was found on his person. Police said the man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine with intent to supply and has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

In another incident, a number of rounds of shotgun ammunition were recovered by the team following a search of an area on Shedden Road in the vicinity of Archie’s Bar. The team arrested a 32-year-old man who was wanted on suspicion of theft and as part of the enquiries a search of the area resulted in the recovery of the ammunition.

“We’re putting pressure on known offenders and want to bring as many criminals before the court as possible,” said Inspector Bennard Ebanks. “We must work together to do this and have been building excellent relationships with outside partners such as security guards. We have also had a lot of people coming forward and approaching the team with information – I thank all members of the community for their assistance and support.”

Inspector Ebanks also acknowledged the valuable input from members of the Special Constabulary who assist in making the Hot Spot team what it is. “These people come out in their own time to assist the police and do what they can to help keep the Cayman Islands a safe place to live and work,” he said. “They should be commended for their dedication and commitment.”

The team has also been working hard on crime prevention measures and officers have been building links with night-time security officers, educating workers on what suspicious activity they should be on the look out for and what to report to police.

Residents are reminded to assist the police in the fight against crime by always reporting suspicious activity to police and ensuring that measures are taken to lessen the chances of becoming a victim of crime. Homes and vehicles should always be secure and business owners should install CCTV and alarm systems. More advice can be found on

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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Dealers foiled in drug flush

Dealers foiled in drug flush

| 14/09/2009 | 19 Comments

(CNS):  Officers from Cayman Brac went beyond the call of duty this weekend when a suspected drug dealer attempted to flush evidence down the toilet during apolice raid in which four people were arrested for drug related crimes. With the help of the Public Works Department, officers were able to recover packages of ganja from the septic system during the multi-agency operation at the government trailer park in Watering Place. Area Commander, Chief Inspector Malcolm Kay said police were prepared to do whatever was necessary to fight drug crime.

The operation was conducted on the Brac on Friday, 11 September, by local RCIPS officers, the Drugs Task Force, the Immigration Department and HM Customs and resulted in the arrest of three men aged 24, 31 and 39, and a 28-year-old woman on suspicion of various drugs offences including possession of ganja with intent to supply, possession of ganja and consumption of ganja.

One of the four was also arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and some electronic equipment was seized. Police also seized several individually wrapped packages of ganja; however, one of the men had attempted to destroy the drugs by flushing them down the toilet. With the assistance of PWD the septic system was removed and examined and the packages of ganja were recovered.

“We will do whatever it takes to gather evidence and arrest people as part of the ongoing fight against drug offenders in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Anyone who sells imports or uses drugs in the Sister Islands can expect a visit from the police,” said CI Kay, who encouraged the community to work with the police in addressing drug related crime. “Anyone who has information about drug use can contact the Brac police station or myself directly in the strictest of confidence,” he added.

The raid was carried out a Government Trailer Home in Watering Place, North East Bay and anyone with information should contact Cayman Brac police station on 948-0331. Mr Kay can be reached on 526-0759 and Crime Stoppers is 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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Cayman gets place on OECD steering group

Cayman gets place on OECD steering group

| 14/09/2009 | 8 Comments

(CNS): According to a release from the Ministry of Financial Services, the Cayman Islands was elected as a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Steering Group at the recent Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information held in Mexico. This means Cayman will have some input into the work of the forum in restructuring policy relating to international tax information exchange and transparency. Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said the move confirmed Cayman as a leader in international tax cooperation.

Along with members from thirteen other countries, the Cayman Islands will assist in the restructuring of policy for the Global Forum, with the remit of preparing and guiding the Global Forum’s future work,” the ministry stated. The Global Forum which was formed in 2000 is the final decision making body for OECD matters relating to international exchange and transparency on tax information.

Bush said it was an honour for Cayman to have been selected as a member of Steering Group. “This provides us with the opportunity to further demonstrate Cayman’s commitment to international taxation standards and further underpins our exemplary position as a thought leader in the area of international cooperation on tax,” he added.

The Forum announced earlier this month the formation of a Peer Review Group, established to develop a detailed methodology and terms of reference for a robust, transparent and accelerated process that will evaluate the tax information exchange regimes of OECD and non-OECD countries. The work of the Peer Review Group will be fed into the Steering Group.

The Ministry press statement said that during the meeting in Mexico the Cayman Island was formally recognized for its efforts in concluding twelve bilateral agreements which allowed it to progress from the grey to the white list. This recognition assisted the Cayman Islands in being selected to chair a multilingual breakout session on the restructuring of the Global Forum with the rapporteur being the host country, Mexico, the ministry said.

The Cayman Islands also participated in the Tour de Table session in which it presented a status update on the amount of signed TIEAs (12) as well as the numbers that have been negotiated but not yet signed. These include Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Mexico. These agreements will be signed once these countries complete their respective internal approval processes.

The OECD’s next Global Forum meeting, scheduled to take place in 2010, will focus on progress in the signing and entry into force of tax information exchange agreements; preliminary outcomes from Phase One of the peer review process; multilateral initiatives to improve the exchange of information; and a report from the OECD Secretariat on how developing countries can be further integrated in and benefit from the Global Forum’s work.

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Governor’s Cup Regatta

Governor’s Cup Regatta

| 14/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Governor’s Cup Regatta, one of the most prestigious events in the sailing calendar, will take place this weekend (19th and 20th September) at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club (CISC). The Cup was originally presented to CISC by Governor Alan Scott for an annual J/22 regatta and the first regatta was held in 1991. It has been raced every year since then usually in September, a CISC release says. With the resurgence in popularity of J/22 racing in Cayman, the CISC expects an impressive turnout of ten boats. The regatta will also involve a party on Saturday night, 19 September, at the CISC from 7:30pm.

Notable entries include: the defending champion, Mike Weber, who will be sailing with his staff of sailing coaches; and the 2009 KPMG International Regatta winner, Mike Farrington, sailing Compass Marine.

A new team comprised of CISC members, Jo Richards, Mark Edmunds, and Dave and Helen Stephenson sailing their boat, Mayhem, have been improving quickly and should make a run for the podium.

The CISC youth team will also be looking for a good result. The youth team includes Marina Maffessanti and Chris Delaney, fresh from the Byte World Championships, along with CISC instructor Alex Walton. Two new graduates from the CISC’s Talent Identification Programme, Deijian Solomon and Malik Williams of Red Bay Primary School, will be part of the youth team crew taking part in the event.

The regatta will also involve a party on Saturday night, 19 September, at the CISC from 7:30pm. The party is open to the public and the CISC is welcoming people to come and enjoy the regatta festivities. Tickets are CI$20 for CISC members and CI$25 for non-members and include food, a live band and drink specials.

For more information on the 2009 Governor’s Cup Regatta or for tickets for the party, please contact Rick Caley at

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Trial exposes Op Tempura

Trial exposes Op Tempura

| 14/09/2009 | 43 Comments

(CNS): The governor has been quick to defend his decision to support Operation Tempura and the special police investigation team (SPIT), despite the most recent court room revelations that the investigation was flawed from the very beginning. Late Friday afternoon the Governor’s Office issued a statement that Governor Stuart Jack had noted the outcome of the Lyndon Martin trial and respected the verdict of the jury, but he continued to back the investigation. During Martin’s trail, however, further serious weaknesses were exposed, especially the lack of supervision of the SPIT officers. (Photo: SPIT members at Rum Point).

While the governor said he believed it was “necessary to continue the pursuit of alleged police corruption", there was no indication of any intended investigation into the activities of Operation Tempura, no apologies to those that have been damaged by what was first described as nothing more than a “fishing expedition” by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, then by Sir Peter Creswell as a “gross abuse of process” and, more recently, by Stuart Kernohan, the former commissioner, as “horribly wrong".

Despite all of these criticisms by experienced legal minds and a senior police officer with decades of experience regarding the conclusion that the officers jumped to within 72 hours of their arrival, the governor said that whatever may have “subsequently transpired in regard to Operation Tempura", he believes that it was important to get to the bottom of the original allegations. “It remains necessary to continue to pursue, under Operation Cealt, other allegations of police corruption,” he said.

The investigation, which has lasted more than two years and estimated to have cost the Cayman pursein excess of $10 million, has yet to prove corruption in either the police service or the judiciary. Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon is the last person arrested and charged in connection with Operation Tempura yet to face trial, which is scheduled to begin on 28 September. Dixon faces misconduct charges relating to two arrests, one in June 2003 and another in April 2004, in which Dixon instructed officers to drop the cases for various reasons.

Back in May of this year both, former CoP Stuart Kernohan and Chief Superintendent John Jones were cleared of any criminal allegations, and on Friday 28 August, in what was suggested to be a deliberate and contrived move by Martin’s QC Trevor Burke in terms of timing, Jones was exonerated of all disciplinary proceedings regarding his part in the entry to Cayman Net News on 3 September to enable him to testify and bring an unsigned witness statement of Martin’s to the court as evidence.

Currently two civil actions remain outstanding — one from Burman Scott, who suffered a humiliating arrest at the hands of SPIT (allegedly to “make him talk”) with regards to the case against Dixon, and one from Kernohan, who has also filed suit against the governor, members of SPIT and the police commissioner for their collective role in his suspension and ultimately his dismissal. Neither Lyndon Martin nor John Jones have filed suit at this stage, although Martin made it clear last week in the wake of his not guilty verdict that he has not ruled it out if there was a way to make the SPIT and not the Cayman people pay.

Both SPIT and Operation Tempura are being increasingly held in contempt by the people of the Cayman Islands in the face of continuing revelations about the conduct of the officers and the cost to the tax payer without results. Further revelations are also expected when Auditor General Dan Duguay submits his Value for Money Aaudit of Operation Tempura.

Duguay said recently that the response from the parties involved has taken longer to canvas than his original investigation – a clear indication that they are not keen for its contents to be made public. Duguay said, however, despite their reluctance to return the preliminary report to him with their comments, that he was be prepared to release it without their contributions if necessary, as he said he would not allow them to continue to delay its publication.

The report is expected to reveal how much SPIT officers were earning, how much they have spent on the investigation from an operational standpoint, as well as the money wasted persuing failed legal cases, such as the Henderson judicial review. While Justice Alex Henderson was paid some CI$1.274 in damages and costs, CNS also discovered through an FOI request that Bridger had also spent more than $½ million on court costs to defend that unlawful arrest.

The integrity of Operation Tempura has been severely brought into question again by testimony from a number of witnesses who took the stand during Martin’s trial. The investigation not only seems to have been characterized by a catalogue of errors, from the covert operation being exposed through the alleged activity of one of the investigators to the unlawful arrest of a high court judge. For several months SPIT was unsupervised save for two fleeting visits by John Yates from Scotland Yard, who supposedly had oversight of the investigation.

The local strategic oversight committee was not formed until February of 2008, and even then the day to day activities of SIO Martin Bridger and what were as many as one dozen SPIT members were not directly supervised. Bridgerand others were often seen drinking in around a number of Cayman’s bars, in particular the Triple Crown and Bamboo — which sources have suggesed explains the investigation’s moniker.

Bridger has also been severely criticised by many for making the decision within a few days of arriving that Desmond Seales was a truthful and dependable witness, despite the fact that the recent trial revealed that Seales probably did have an inside police source, although it was not Anthony Ennis, and his testimony given under oath was contradicted by a number of Crown witnesses.

CNS also understands from sources that, following the result of the Henderson review, Bridger was, if not ‘leaking’, at least placing significant information about Operation Tempura with Seales in an attempt to justify the continuation of his floundering investigation. This resulted in a number of defensive stories and, in particular, editorials regarding the entry into Net News by John Evans and Justice Henderson. Despite Bridger’s decision in 2008 to stop talking to the press, one former employee of Cayman Net News told CNS that Bridger “was calling Seales on a daily basis".

The growing calls for an investigation into the actions of Tempura is based on concerns that Bridger and his team did very little actual investigating and based much of the case, as they perceived it, on documentation already in the public domain. The early assumption of the burglary was, according to Kernohan, Jones and Evans, based on information disclosed to Bridger and Ashwin on their arrival. The trial also revealed that the so-called “missing files” with regards the Dixon case were never covered up and came from information supplied by Martin.

The judgement that Seales was a reliable witness was based on his testimony given during the Charles Clifford enquiry and not the circumstances building up to Seales’ involvement in the case, according to Evans and other sources. Each of the decisions made to suspend, arrest and charge people involved were based on information that was in the documents handed to them in the first few weeks of their arrival.

The legal advice given to Operation Tempura has also been severely criticised. Martin’s trial revealed that Andre Mon Desir advised SPIT to arrest Martin for burglary despite the chief justice having already informed the team twice that no such crime had been committed. Later, based on English law and not the local penal code, Martin Polaine advised Bridger to arrest Justice Henderson. Polaine recently faced the UK Bar Standards Board and admitted fundamental errors regarding the advice he gave to SPIT and is awaiting a decision on his license.

From the beginning and until now the governor has continued to offer his full support, not just to the investigation, but to Martin Bridger as well. Even in the face of the UK’s refusal to approve more borrowing by the CI government to get through the current economic downturn, the governor’s office has given no indication that it will be bringing Operation Cealt to a close or seeking moneyfrom the UK to pay for what has become a catalogue of errors with no benefit to the people of the Cayman Islands.

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The spoilt generation – no respect for authority

The spoilt generation – no respect for authority

| 14/09/2009 | 16 Comments

(The Daily Mail): A growing lack of adult authority has bred a ‘spoilt generation’ of children who believe grown-ups must earn their respect, a leading psychologist has warned. The rise of the ‘little emperor’ spans the class divide and is fuelling ills from childhood obesity to teenage pregnancy, Aric Sigman’s research shows. Attempts to ’empower’ children and a lack of discipline in the classroom have also fostered rising levels of violence, at home, at school and in the street. Dr Sigman said nursery-age children are becoming increasingly violent and disrespectful towards their teachers, ‘parent battering’ is on the rise and the number of policemen attacked by children is soaring.

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