Archive for December 30th, 2009

Gunman robs liquor store

Gunman robs liquor store

| 30/12/2009 | 85 Comments

(CNS): A female cashier was robbed at gunpoint earlier today when a North Side liquor store was robbed in broad daylight by an armed man. Bodden Town detectives are appealing for witnesses to the incident which occurred at around 11.55am, Wednesday 30 December 2009. The woman who was uninjured was working in Nicho Norte liquor store in Frank Sound Road when a masked man entered the store, presented what appeared to be a firearm and demanded cash. The suspect then made off from the premises with a small amount of cash but no shots were fired.

The man is described as being approximately 5’11” in height with brown eyes and of skinny build. He was wearing a green and black mask which covered his head, a black top and blue pants. Detective Constable Alric Palmer is appealing for anyone who may have been in the area of the store around 11.55 a.m. today and witnessed the robbery, or the suspect making off from the scene, to contact Bodden Town CID on 947-2220. Information can also be passed to Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

The heist comes in the wake of a robbery at the east end branch of Fosters on 22 December by three men and another armed hold up by one man at Jack’s Esso across the street from Nicho Norte’s on Friday 18 December. Police did not say if they believe any of the incidents are connected.

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Two men arrested in police crack bust

Two men arrested in police crack bust

| 30/12/2009 | 8 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS has arrested two men for various drugs offences following a police operation in the West Bay area early on Tuesday morning (29 December 2009). Police reported that at about 1.05 am a team of uniformed officers from West Bay station carried out a drugs operation at a business premises on Watercourse Road, during which an unspecified quantity of crack cocaine was seized.

Two men, aged 25 and 27 years were arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply, possession of drugs utensils and suspicion of consumption. Police said that the suspected drugs were now being analysed.

Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, area commander of West Bay promised to keep up the fight against drugs in the community. “Drugs destroy communities and I will use all of the resources at my disposal to ensure that we continue to actively target those involved in their use and supply,” she said.


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Over a thousand people ticketed in cop road campaign

Over a thousand people ticketed in cop road campaign

| 30/12/2009 | 13 Comments

(CNS): Almost one in four people tested by the police during the Christmas week were found to be drunk-driving police said on Tuesday. In the seventh week of the festive road safety campaign 22 percent of drivers tested were found to be over the legal limit. The RCIPS has also issued 777 speeding tickets during the campaign as well as more than 350 tickets for other traffic violations and a further 147 to those not wearing seatbelts. However, the public complaints and controversy that police are spending too much time on traffic offences and not enough on serious crime continues.

Since Monday 21 December 2009 44 people have been breath tested – and ten of those now face court on charges of DUI. This figure includes the 16-year-old-boy who was arrested after he crashed a Honda Civic into a concrete pillar injuring himself and the other four occupants of the car on 22 December 2009, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) stated.

All of the offences as well as the DUIs were detected either as a result of routine traffic patrols or through the numerous static road checks carried out by officers as part of the festive road safety drive.

“Christmas was not quite so merry for a number of people this year,” said Sergeant Kim Ramoon of the RCIPS traffic department. “Ten people who decided that they would ignore all of our warnings and take the chance to drink and drive now face court and the possibility of being heavily fined or losing their license. It’s not worth the risk. These people are now counting the cost of taking the chance that they wouldn’t get caught.”

Ramoon warned that road checks will continue right throughout the New Year. “The message from RCIPS is don’t gamble with your safety, don’t risk injuring or killing innocent people on the roads with your selfish actions and don’t risk your livelihood if you need your car for work. Let’s face it if you lose your license you may find you’ll also lose your job.”

Sergeant Ramoon was keen to stress the need to make sure drivers comply with other aspects of traffic law. “Some of the excuses for speeding are quite ridiculous -being late for an appointment, thinking about what you’re going to make for dinner, or wanting to be home in time for a ball game are not excuses for speeding,” he added. “When you’re behind the wheel of a car you need to be fully aware of your surroundings, be aware of your own speed and how your actions can impact on others. This is not about targeting ‘innocent’ motorists. This campaign is all about making the roads of Cayman safer for everyone. So my plea to the motoring public is play your part and think about road safety.”

In addition to the ten arrests for DUI during the past week police issued 226 (two hundred and twenty six) speeding tickets, 8 (eight) drivers have been found not to be wearing seatbelts, and 106 (one hundred and six) people have been issued with traffic tickets for various offences including failing to stop, failing to indicate and expired vouchers.

That brings the campaign totals to date to 26 (twenty six) DUI arrests; 777 (seven hundred and seventy seven) people issued with speeding tickets; 147 (one hundred and forty seven) found not be wearing seatbelts; 359 (three hundred and fifty nine) people issued with traffic tickets for various offences.

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Powell 6th fatal shooting of 09

Powell 6th fatal shooting of 09

| 30/12/2009 | 29 Comments

(CNS): The police have now confirmed that the body of the 27-year-old man found shot dead in Sound Way, George Town on Tuesday is that of Fabian Mark Powell of George Town, the sixth young man to die as a result of a gun this year.  Detectives say they are keeping an open mind on the motive for the murder, but have confirmed Powell was in Welly’s Cool Spot Monday evening and are asking anyone who was there to contact them. They have also stated that although no reports were made at the time people have now come forward to say they heard gun shots that night and early Tuesday morning.

In the hours following the discovery of the body, detectives have spoken to dozens of people in the area and carried out a full forensic examination of the scene, the RCIPS said. Part of the scene remains cordoned off and further examinations will continue today.

It has now been established that Powell had spent the early part of Monday night (28 December 2009) within Welly’s. Police said that people have come forward to report that they heard sounds similar to gunshots in the area of Sound Way on Monday night about 10.00pm and around 3.00am on Tuesday morning. Despite the fact that these sounds were heard no reports were made to the RCIPS at the time.

 “We are keeping an open mind about the motive for the murder,” said Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett, who is leading the enquiry. “Today my team will continue to actively trace people who were in Welly’s Cool Spot on Monday night to establish the last movements of the victim. If you were in the bar on Monday and you have not already spoken to my officers then please call the incident room.”

DCI Kennett explained that Powell was very well known in the area and police need anyone who saw or spoke to him on Monday night to come forward. “The victim was wearing a white marina sleeveless t-shirt, black faded 3/4 length jean pants with a scroll logo on the back left and black shoes. If you did not know the victim but saw anyone answering this description on Monday night, or in the early hours of Tuesday morning, please get in touch,” he added. “It is concerning that despite the fact people heard what appeared to be gunshots on Monday night/ Tuesday morning no such reports were made to the police at the time. If you were in the area and heard shots or a disturbance then again my officers would be interested in speaking with you as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information can call the murder incident room at George Town police station direct on 244-2924 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS). Welly’s Cool Spot remains open for business.

The formal identification of Powell’s next of kin has not yet taken place as this will be done at the post mortem examination which police said will take place later today (Wednesday 30 December 2009).

Powell ‘s murder follows the fatal shooting of Jerome Russell, Omar Samuels, Marcus Ebanks, Carlo Webster and Fabian Reid. With the exception of the shooting of Samuels in McField Lane in July police have brought no charges in any of the other killings. Two other people were also killed in 2009 and in the case of Sabrina Schirn who’s body was found near East End, Randy Martin, a serving prisoner, is currently on trial for her murder. Earlier this year the crown accepted Paul Gordon’s guilty plea to the manslaughter of Sherman Bodden, aka DJ Jazzy B, and he was sentenced to 11 years.   

See Cayman 27 video

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Local doc doubts Shetty plans

Local doc doubts Shetty plans

| 30/12/2009 | 63 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman health news(CNS): Although the proposed plans by world famous Indian cardiac surgeon, Dr Devi Shetty, to develop a health city in the Cayman Islands have been broadly welcomed, local physician Dr Steve Tomlinson has warned that medical tourism may simply not work in this jurisdiction. In a trade journal article the Director of the Chrissie Tomlinson Hospital says that both Cayman law and the cost of living may make it very difficult for Shetty to be able to provide the low cost health care service that he has proposed.

Speaking to the International Medical Travel Journal, Dr Tomlinson said he wanted to reserve his opinion on the issue but for medical tourism to work it has requirements. “It has to be quality service, needs to be less expensive than what the cost is wherever those patients are coming from, and/ or must offer treatment not available in the places where those patients are coming from,” the doctor said.

“Cayman law says that we cannot offer healthcare services that are not already available in Canada, the United States and the UK. I believe that most patients would be coming from those countries. Medical tourism works in some places where people are paid very little for the work that they do because the cost of living in places like Bangalore, India, is much lower than it is here in the Cayman Islands. If you are going to use high-grade medical equipment and supplies it becomes very expensive.”

Several months ago it was announced that Dr Shetty was exploring an initiative to bring medical tourism to the Cayman Islands. Dr Shetty is the founder of the Narayana Hrudayalaya Group of hospitals in Bangalore, India. The plan is to establish a health city in Cayman that would include a 2000 bed hospital and a medical university that would cater especially to the medial needs of patients from North America as well as the Caribbean region and locals. Dr Shetty has said that his plan to cut medical costs by 50% will work in Cayman if he can do the volume of work as he has in his hospitals in India, where doctors perform literally thousands of operations every year

Although the details of when the project will start and where it will be have yet to be revealed, the project, which is an entirely private sector initiative, has received the blessing of government. Before Christmas the premier and the minister of health visited India for the opening of Dr Shetty’s latest facility, and McKeeva Bush has stated that his government is in favour of the project.

“I am talking to Dr Shetty and our government has some interest in his proposed medical facility in terms of our medical tourism plan,” Bush said recently. “We are very supportive of the proposed hospital and we are continuing our discussions. Medical tourism will assist the Cayman Islands and it is a serious plan that Caymanians will benefit from, as it will enhance the services that are currently available.”

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Faces of tourism

Faces of tourism

| 30/12/2009 | 37 Comments

I was in a very popular seaside bar on the other afternoon. I was served by a very pleasant young lady who spoke excellent English even though it was obviously not her first language. She told me that she was from Latvia and had only been on the island for two weeks.

This made me wonder how she had managed to get a work permit when there are a number of unemployed Caymanians perfectly capable of performing the unskilled and less than onerous duties that she has. Now that I come to think about it, I realise that every bar worker I have ever come across here, and there have been quite a few, has been an expat. They are American, Canadian, South African, Australian etc.

There is a similar situation in restaurants. I have never been served by a waiter or waitress who is not an expat. Austrians seem to dominate here, although there are many other Europeans. Never Caymanians.

Why are there no Caymanians?

This is an island that relies heavily on tourism and yet young Caymanians are not working in that industry. Certainly, working as a bartender or a waiter means starting at the bottom but there is experience to be gained that could be of benefit elsewhere and there is also the possibility of promotion. It must be a better prospect than unemployment.

I was talking to a restaurant owner recently about why he had no Caymanian staff. His response was interesting, instructive and depressing. He told me that he advertised a position and (as a long time resident and a status holder who is concerned about rising local unemployment levels) stipulated that only Caymanians should apply.

He received three applications; one from a young man and from two women whose ages ranged from 18 – 21. He interviewed them all. Then he made a difficult decision, as all three applicants were suitable. Later he phoned the successful candidate and told him that he could start the next day. The Caymanian applicant declined the offer. The reason, he told the restaurateur, was that he had not realised what the job involved when he applied and he did not want to work on Friday and Saturday evenings. That was when he went out with his friends. The other two gave the same response for the same reason when called to be offered the job.

Why they applied for the job in the first place is a question that I don’t have the answer to. Didn’t they realise that working in a restaurant was not a Monday to Friday, nine to five job? The restaurant owner has hired a Spaniard.

I am not going to attempt to draw any conclusions from this but I do find it ominous and deeply depressing.

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