Archive for April 25th, 2014

Detention centre beefs up security

| 25/04/2014 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Following the escape this morning of thirty Cuban migrants from the immigration detention centre in Fairbanks, George Town the Ministry of Home Affairs said Friday evening that it has enhanced the security. All of the migrants that escaped have now been rounded up and officials said that calm has now been restored following the incident in which rocks were thrown at security guards and their dogs. There are presently 30 Cuban migrants at centre who were disgruntled over the length of time that it has taken for them to be processed to return to Cuba. The men had reportedly jumped over the fence in the sixth break out so far this year.

“All individuals have been recaptured,” the ministry stated in a release Friday evening once the migrants had all returned. “Meanwhile to ensure public safety, Immigration authorities, in collaboration with the Police and Prison Services, will work to supplement the efforts of the private company which is responsible for security at the IDC.”

Yasmany Gonzalez Rodriguez, who escaped in March and who officials believe is being protected locally is the only remaining migrant not to have been rounded up.

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Cops charge booze burglar suspect

| 25/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The 45-year-old local man arrested on Thursday morning on suspicion of burglary of a local restaurant on the West Bay Road in the early hours of 24 April has been charged in connection with that crime and an earlier robbery at a liquor store in the same area. The RCIPS said the man was due to appear in summary court on Friday afternoon. He has been charged with breaking into Karma Restaurant at West Shore Plaza, at around 3:15am yesterday and stealing liquor from the premises as well as an earlier burglary at Pemier Wines in the same plaza on 11 April where booze was also stolen.


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Lower Valley heap fire burns out safely

| 25/04/2014 | 16 Comments

(CNS): Officials from the Cayman Islands Fire Service have confirmed that a heap fire in Lower Valley on Thursday night was safely contained by the fire service and burned out in around five to six hours. Firefighters said that the primary truck on the scene identified that no property was at risk and the wind conditions made it clear that it did not constitute a danger to anyone or anything. As a result, with an eye on water conservation and sensible resource management, fire officers took action to contain the blaze but then allowed it to burn out rather than waste water trying to extinguish the blaze.Photo by Rosie McNamee

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Cubans throw rocks at detention centre security

| 25/04/2014 | 17 Comments

(CNS): A group of thirty Cuban migrants currently detained at the Immigration detention centre in Fairbanks, George Town escaped Friday morning by jumping over the fence and throwing rocks at the guards as they fled. Officials confirmed that most of the men who broke out at around 8:20am were recaptured, but at lunchtime three men remained at large. It is understood that as the men threw rocks at both the security staff and their dogs one guard was hit by one of the missiles but he was not injured. There have been several escapes from the centre in recent weeks which is patrolled by private security and not law enforcement officials.

The centre had been housing dozens of Cubans recently as a result of a surge in numbers of migrants forced to land in the last few weeks. Although some 32 were deported over the last two weeks, the thirty men, most of whom had arrived this month, are still awaiting processing.

Following a number of recent escape since the beginning of the year most of the men were recaptured but Yasmany Gonzalez Rodriguez, is still on the run and officials believe he is still in the Cayman Islands being harboured with support of residents here which the authorities have ben quick to emphasise is a crime.

Although there appears to be no specific reason for the increase in the the number of migrants passing and then often having to disembark in Cayman the problems at the detention centre are down to the increase in the amount of time it is taking to process and deport the migrants.

This appears to be as a result, officials have stated, of the time it is taking for the Cuban authorities to clear the repatriations and communicate that to the British Embassy in Havana and then relay the information to the Cayman authorities.


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No quotas for new residents

| 25/04/2014 | 149 Comments

(CNS): The chief officer in the Home Affairs Ministry has said that government does not have a set figure or target when it comes to the number of people who get permanent residency but it does care about the profile of the people who will eventually go on to be Caymanian. Eric Bush said the new process for PR applicants is more difficult but it is also much clearer and the aim is to ensure that those who now get through are financially stable and community minded people who want to integrate. Concerns that some past approvals were not able to pay the fees drove government to look at profiles rather than quotas.

Speaking on Cayman 27’s political interview show, The Panel, with Tammi Sulliman this week,Bush made it clear that the government is far more concerned with the quality of people who stay rather than the quantity. Denying that the government was focusing on the rich elite, he said community minded people who cared about the best interests of Cayman were the target but admitted that they must be financially stable and able to sustain themselves.

“What’s clear to me is that government wanted to address the anomalies we were seeing in the system,” he said, adding that people were getting permanent residency when they were not stable. “There have been cases where people were going to the department of children and family services and asking for money to pay their PR fees.”

He said government wanted a system that puts a stop to that as those who get PR must be able to provide for themselves and their families and not become a burden in future on government. But he also emphasised the need for individuals to be integrated into the local community and not pose a threat or risk to Cayman.

“There is no road map to figures,” Bush said on the show on Tuesday evening. “It’s not that easy to say that we need X amount of people. We can’t be that prescriptive. We need to be objective and transparent and listen to business and their needs and regulate but let the private sector manage the growth.”

He said he did not think government could manage the size of the population but what it could do was shape the population. “I don’t know if there can be a set number as we grow but we know what we want the population to look like, which is what government is showing with the new PR process. We have made it clear what individuals need to do,” Bush added.

Bush explained that expat workers can now look ahead and know that if they want to stay they need to get 110 points and they can see how they can achieve those points via the new lists of requirements, including the work and education level, their earnings and investments and their community involvement.

Denying that the new controversial PR test was too difficult, the chief officer admitted some of the questions were “obscure and irrelevant” and he had directed a few changes. Bush said in March that of the 140 people who had taken the test so far, the average score was 63% and some people had even achieved 100%.

Despite reports that the backlog for applications under the old system was cleared, Bush also revealed that there were over 220 still to be dealt with, some going back as much as five years, but the board was expecting to have those completed within one month. Thereafter, the focus will be on the new applications made since October, of which Bush said there were more than 100.

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Trimaran wins 50th Easter Regatta

| 25/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CISA): The largest fleet in recent years took to the waters on Good Friday for the 50th anniversary of the Easter Regatta Round the Island Race. The combined Cruiser and J22 fleet headed out from North Sound, headed east to East End and then along the south coast to finish off Sunset House. On Saturday they completed the circumnavigation by racing from Sunset House back to North Sound via North West Point. The Friday race was a pursuit race where boats started at different times according to their handicaps.

The slower boats set off at 7.30 in the morning and tried to stay ahead of the chasing faster boats. RogerNelson’s brand new trimaran, a Dragonfly 28, was the fasted rated boat and started last but showed why it is so highly rated by charging through the fleet over the 41 nautical mile course to take first place with a time of 7 hours and 45 minutes. Bruce Johnson’s “Blue Runner” was second and Donald McLeans “Radium” took third place.

The J22 fleet saw Mike Farrington’s “Just Leaving” take first place after a grueling nine hour race, just 8 minutes ahead of Eduardo Bernal’s “Calima”. Mark Macfee was third in “Moon struck”.

“It was such an experience to be sailing with so many other boats around you” explained Cruiser Rep, Rob Hutchison. “Round the Island is a long race and sometimes you can feel pretty isolated but this year the light winds and large fleet meant that you felt like you were sailing in company”.

The Race back on Saturday saw “Blue Runner” exact revenge on “Nelson & Co” in the cruiser fleet, whilst “Moonstruck” were overall winners on handicap.

Race sponsors, Harbour House Marina donated generous prizes and trophies for the winners. Special trophies were also awarded to the top Cruiser and top J22 in memory of Mark Clarke. The handsome trophies were designed by Eduardo Bernal and donated by Peter Cunningham and were a fitting tribute to Mark who had raced and won the round the island so many times in his sailing career.

The Prize giving at Sunset House was attended by a large number of sailors and friends who were all in festive spirit. “It’s always great to see a big fleet for the major race in the sailing calendar and although some boats lost the wind late in the day and had to retire, the taking part in a long distance race always brings a sense of achievement” reported CISC Manager Rick Caley. “Next year is the 50th anniversary of the Cayman Islands Sailing Club and so we hope that the Easter regatta will be even larger. Many thanks to all those who support us including Race Committee, who get up so early on the first day of the holiday to go out and set boats on their way and our sponsors Harbour House Marina”

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