Archive for May 6th, 2010

Local business owner suffers scam attack

| 06/05/2010 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Following recent warnings by the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit over bank scams one local charter boat operator is also warning fellow business owners that cyber attacks can be very real and very damaging. Dwight Ebanks, who owns Reel-esea Charters, told CNS that following what one of his staff members believed to be a genuine security notice from Yahoo asking for verification of his account’s user-name and password, the business online details were revealed. He said that as a result of a genuine mistake hackers have now taken full control of the company website and email accounts causing untold problems for his business.

Ebanks said that the scam email appeared very genuine to his member of staff who believed that Yahoo was making a legitimate request for the information as there was a real problem and the staff member made an honest mistake when they revealed the details of the company’s user details including the password.
“The scammers have now hacked into all my online business websites and email accounts, even the Facebook pages,” he said. “They are using my address to send requests for money to all of the people in my email address book saying I’m stuck in a hotel in Edinburgh and need people to send me money, which is of course not true.”
Ebanks said he wanted to warn other local businesses to make sure that they don’t give out their usernames and passwords to anyone, no matter how official it may look, and to warn all their staff about the potential scams as they are out there and that your business can be vulnerable.
“These scams are no joke. They have control of my email and my website. They’ve changed the password and all the security questions and even Yahoo can’t help as they point out there is no way for me to prove who I am so they can’t close the account. I want to warn other business not to give details to anyone no matter how authentic or genuine the request seems.”
Earlier this week the Financial Crime Unit warned the public not to give out bank information over the phone or via e-mail after two potential scamming incidents were reported to them on Tuesday 4 May.
The potential victims had received calls from a man claiming to be phoning from a UK bank. The man stated that someone they know was in the UK and needed additional money. He then asked the person he had called to divulge their bank details. The people who received the calls refused to give out details and made a police report.
Detective Chief Inspector Claudia Brady of the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit warned people to be vigilant when asked for bank details. “Never give out personal or banking details over the phone or via e-mail,” she said. “A genuine bank would never ask for this information therefore my advice to anyone who receives such a call is to refuse to give out details and immediately call the police.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Financial Crime Unit on 949-8797.

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Neanderthal genes ‘survive in us’

| 06/05/2010 | 0 Comments

(BBC): Many people alive today possess some Neanderthal ancestry, according to a landmark scientific study. The finding has surprised many experts, as previous genetic evidence suggested the Neanderthals made little or no contribution to our inheritance. The result comes from analysis of the Neanderthal genome – the "instruction manual" describing how these ancient humans were put together. The genomes of 1% to 4% of people in Eurasia come from Neanderthals. But the study confirms living humans overwhelmingly trace their ancestry to a small population of Africans who later spread out across the world.

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Man arrested for helping missing teen

| 06/05/2010 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Police have arrested a 20-year-old man suspected of assisting missing teenager Shandi Sandoval (left) by providing food and shelter. However, the RCIPS says the 15-year-old girl, who has been missing from a local care home since Monday 19 April, has not yet been traced, though over the past few days there have been a number of sightings of her. Police believe that she is moving around the island in an effort to avoid being found. Officers from the RCIPS Family Support Unit (FSU) are working with other departments of the force, partner agencies, and friends and family of the girl to establish where she is.

Following a police operation on Tuesday 4 May, the 20-year-old man was arrested. He has been released on police bail while enquiries continue. Renewing the appeal for information about the current whereabouts of the youngster, Detective Inspector Christsandra Mitchell of the RCIPS Family Support Unit, said, “Shandi has been missing several times before. She is a ward of court and we are working with partners to trace her as quickly as we possibly can. However, we also need the help of the public. It’s clear that someone must know where she is and where she has been since leaving the care home on Monday 19 April.

“There have been a number of sightings of the girl, and we know that she is being assisted by people who are feeding her as well as providing shelter and clothing. One man has already been arrested and I would remind others who are assisting her that they are interfering with a police investigation. We will have no hesitation in putting anyone doing that before the courts.”

Shandi is described as being of slim build, weighing about 125 lbs, 5’ 3” in height, brown complexion with shoulder length curly black hair. When last seen she was wearing green camouflage shorts, a white t-shirt and brown ankle boots.

Anyone who has any information which could assist the police in tracing Shandi is asked to contact their local police office, or the Family Support Unit on 946-9185.

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False hope in UK election?

| 06/05/2010 | 20 Comments

There is a "false hope" in the air that if the Conservative Party wins, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not pressure us like it did before about "sustainable revenue" or taxation. When the Labor Party with Gordon Brown was in active power and unemployment rose in the United Kingdom, large business owners, corporations, and wealthy elites, evading taxes to places like the Cayman Islands (a new scapegoat), became a major issue.

 It was claimed that much of their tax monies was supposed to be going to social programs to help the low-wagers and unemployed, but that was not the case. The allegations: "they" were evading government taxation and putting their monies safe away into the offshores financial centers. It seems that the Labor Party’s aim was all about getting at the so-call "tax havens" to replenish the UK’s economy.

Such things appeared not to be on our side: the OECD and their stance on banking and financial transparency in the Cayman Islands; President Barak Obama and his negative view on tax evaders and the Cayman Islands; the United States’ Democrats and UK’s Labor Party, teaming up to confront the tax evasion issue and pressured by their ailing economies.

And last year, just after the ratification of their new constitution, evidence of corruption in the Turks and Caicos’ government became the premise for the FCO and appointed Governor to seize the Islands’ finances, dissolve their cabinet, and declare full British Rule over the Islanders without their democratic consent. The move was condemned by many members in the United Nations. But this was done to curb the corruption in the Islands – so they said. Most definitely, many UK investors returned to the UK.

But no worries … is what I am hearing from people here!

Apparently, the Conservative Party (the new hero!) is on the side of much of the large business owners, corporations, and the wealthy elite of the United Kingdom. And by them winning this election, these same businesses and elites will be able to secure their monies in the offshore places without any hindrance. "Conservatives are about making money and protecting large businesses! They will want what we want! They will want to protect the offshore centers. The next appointed FCO Minister will be on our side." I wouldn’t be so sure about that! Regardless of which party was in power, read your history books, the FCO have always had their own way over the Overseas Territories.

It will be interesting and non-surprising to see if they will still refuse to let the Chagossian people return to their home island after 40 years of being evicted so that their Island, Deigo Garcia, can be used as a US/UK military base. Recently, the FCO under Brown’s government has declared the Chagos Islands protected – no fishing allowed. Hence, even if the Chagossians were allowed to return back to their home island, they would have no authorization from the UK to start their own fishing industry. It seems English justice still sleeps!

We will just have to see, time will tell …

But as far as I know, we should not become too relaxed entertaining false hopes.

If Labor wins – the same old thing! If the Tories wins – you’re in for a surprise!

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Tsunami alerts ‘confuse public’, says Noaa scientist

| 06/05/2010 | 0 Comments

(BBC): Tsunami warnings need to convey information that is more meaningful to the public, a top US researcher says. Traditional alerts that have focussed on "wave amplitudes" are confusing to most people, says Dr Vasily Titov. The scientist, who directs Noaa’s Center for Tsunami Research, thinks more practical information such as the risk of flooding is also needed. He says this is one of the key lessons from the recent Magnitude 8.8 Chilean earthquake and subsequent tsunami. "We’re scientists and we’re really proud of our models and our accuracy but we realised after the Chilean tsunami that when we convey this information to the public there is a gap between what we are saying and what is understood," he told BBC News.

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Voters head to polls for UK general election

| 06/05/2010 | 0 Comments

(BBC): Millions of people in constituencies across the UK are casting their votes in the general election. Polling stations up and down the country opened at 0700 BST and people will be able to cast their ballots until 2200 BST. More than 44 million people are registered to vote. The first declarations are expected at 2300 BST. As well as picking MPs for Westminster, voters will elect councillors in 164 local authorities across England. Voting in the general election will take place in 649 constituencies, with nearly 4,150 candidates standing for election across the country.

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Government retains lawyers for international dealings

| 06/05/2010 | 16 Comments

(CNS): According to a release from the Ministry of Finance the Cayman Islands Cabinet has retained international law firm, Sidley Austin LLP to represent the country’s interests in its relationships with the public and private sectors in the US, the UK, the EU and in the international financial community.  The law firm has represented Cayman since 1985 on various issues and most recently, Sidley Austin was counsel to the Cayman Islands government in its $312 million senior note offering in 2009. The premier stated the firm would help take Cayman to “another level” in the eyes of the international community.

The announcement comes in the wake of international news reports that Cayman faces another black-list threat this time from the European Union in relation to hedge fund investors. The statement from the ministry made no mention of this latest development but said Sidley Austin would have an important role in assisting the Cayman Islands government marshal resources such as international communications, government and stakeholder relations and research, using a tailored approach as part of a globally-integrated strategic programme.
“We are pleased to be extending our long-standing relationship with Sidley Austin as part of our global international relations strategy for the Cayman Islands,” said the Premier, McKeeva Bush.
“Our focus moving forward is to take the Cayman Islands to another level in the minds of the international community which will undoubtedly support our long-term business, economic and reputation objectives.”
Sidley Austin’s representation of the Cayman Islands will be led by Joseph Tompkins, a partner in Sidley Austin’s Washington, D.C. office, who has represented the Cayman Islands government in various matters since 1985. Mr. Tompkins will work with a team of Sidley Austin attorneys in its Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, London, Brussels and Asian offices.
The firm has some 1,700 attorneys and offices in 16 different cities around the world, including Washington, D.C., New York, London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney.
Sidley Austin’s relationship with the Cayman Islands government dates back to 1985 in connection with the negotiation of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the Cayman Islands and the U.S. government. During this period, Sidley Austin has advised the Cayman Islands government on numerous matters, including relationships with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It has also represented the Cayman Islands government in negotiating an Asset Sharing Agreement with the U.S. government
In 2008, Sidley Austin supported the Cayman Islands government’s cooperation with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in that agency’s review of U.S. business interests in Cayman. The GAO’s resulting July 2008 report noted that the U.S. Department of Justice regarded the Cayman Islands as one of its “best partners” among offshore jurisdictions, and the GAO also recognized that the Cayman Islands has implemented a regulatory regime that has been recognized to be in compliance with a wide range of international standards, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce (CFATF).

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