Police confirm USG officer suspension

The armed branch of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service had one of its officers suspended last year, according to information obtained by the Caymanian Compass through open records requests and other sources.

The armed unit, called the Uniform Support Group or USG, is responsible for conducting all armed police operations within the Cayman Islands. USG officers are the only police employees trained to carry firearms in the course of their regular duties; line patrol officers in the Cayman Islands 
are typically not armed.

A response received from the service following a Freedom of Information request indicated the officer is on paid suspension “in relation to a matter outside our jurisdiction”.

The Caymanian Compass has learned the matter involves a serious criminal allegation being investigated in Jamaica. The newspaper is not naming the officer involved because he has not been charged with a crime, as far as it is aware.

No other Uniform Support Group officers have been fired, suspended or placed on required leave from their jobs within the past five years, according to the RCIPS response to the newspaper’s open records request.

Repeated follow-up questions sent to Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines, the government Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, and Governor Duncan Taylor’s office over the last few months about the suspended USG officer’s case have been met with a wall of silence. No response to any questions the newspaper has sent, other than two contained in the Freedom of Information request, have been answered.

The Compass spoke to representatives of the RCIPS officers’ association about the case Monday. They indicated that there was nothing the department could have done to prevent the situation with the suspended USG officer.

“He was highly recommended by the Jamaican authorities,” said Sergeant Winsome Prendergast, the association’s chairperson for legal affairs.

According to another recent open records request, eight members of the RCIPS were subjected to disciplinary action earlier as the result of findings in the Operation Tempura and Operation Cealt misconduct investigations.

The police service has now confirmed eight officers were disciplined, six of whom were dismissed or forced to retire, as a result of the investigations being conducted against them. The two others faced unspecified disciplinary action. The RCIPS also did not specify what allegations against staff members led to their discipline or dismissal.

It was not certain whether the USG officer’s suspension came as a result of the previous anti-corruption probes or was unrelated to Operations Tempura and Cealt.

Although it indicated that Operations Tempura and Cealt had both officially ended, the RCIPS response to the previous FOI request also indicated there was at least one allegation that “remains the subject of active investigation”. The nature of that probe was also not stated.

Operation Cealt began in 2008 as a spin off from the initial Operation Tempura misconduct investigation and at one point involved 161 separate allegations.

“All allegations were fully recorded and investigated,” the RCIPS responses indicated. “In a number of cases, the allegations were evaluated and found to be of a ‘single strand’ or historic nature … making it difficult to find corroboration to support them.

“A significant number of the allegations have been ‘pended’ awaiting further intelligence/evidence becoming available in order to reopen them as appropriate. At the conclusion of operation Cealt a number of these ‘pended’ allegations were passed to the newly formed RCIPS Anti-Corruption Unit for further action, if and when deemed to be appropriate.”

The earlier probe, Operation Tempura, began in September 2007 following claims that a former local newspaper publisher, Desmond Seales of Cayman Net News, and Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis had improperly shared information that could have placed police operations in jeopardy and officers’ lives in danger. Investigators at the time said those claims were quickly disproved and began investigating an alleged ‘break-in’ at the newspaper’s offices in George Town.

The investigation eventually ended in criminal charges against a former deputy police commissioner and a former Cayman Islands lawmaker, both of whom were cleared following criminal trials.

According to the RCIPS response to the private individual’s FOI request, no other criminal charges were filed related to either the Tempura or Cealt investigations.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Just an update on previous comments filed after the original story – http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2012/01/27/RCIPS-quietly-disciplines,-dismisses-staff/ – was published on 27 January.

    The RCIPS have referred all queries about Operation Tempura to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). Apparently no records of the operation were retained in the Cayman Islands for reasons which are unclear.

    A further FOI request, filed with the MPS on 28 January, remains unanswered and the deadline for reply expired last Friday (24 February).

    Seems like no one wants to talk about Operation Tempura any more – I wonder why?

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  2. John, my friend…

    We are very acquainted with each other personally;you might not remember, but I do.

    If you haven’t yet figured out what has actually happened here, you probably never will.

    My analysis, based on all the past and still emerging evidence so far, would not be printed anyway but I will clue you in on one little thing…

    The key to the answers that you seek is in the evidence that was presented to the corruption judge who reviewed Stuart Kernohan’s lawsuit against the CI Govt…you are an excellent investigative journalist so…go to work.

    As far as the other side of the equation is concerned, my estimation of 70 cases before Tempura’s investigators was obviously a grave miscalculation…161 seperate complaints, some of which are still open confirms what I’ve already said to you on this forum…

    And been saying all along; maybe a full FBI investigation, which would be entirely independent of the British policing system, into every foreign-born police officer in the RCIPS might eventually turn up the true numbers of criminals wearing police uniforms in Cayman.

    Particularly those from one certain country for which corruption and criminality within the public services is world famous…or should we say, notorious.

    I grew up in this particular country and have clashed repeatedly with some of the nationals of this country who have taken over Cayman because I know them very, very well and they will never trample on me in my own country…NEVER !

    It remains for Cayman’s public to now see the mistakes that have been made in filling up Cayman’s public services, especially law-enforcement and the criminal justice system, with these people and begin to reverse the trend…and train their own very intelligent and capable Caymanian nationals for these positions…

    Before it is entirely too late.

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  3. As I’ve observed, and to a limited extent, been a victim of the policies chosen by my own Caymanian governments over a period of years…I’ve been wondering…

    Does anyone in power in Cayman really know the country of Jamaica and its people ?

    I have looked some of these so-called public servants in the employ of the Caymanian Govt. full in the face, eye-to-eye, and won my battles with them, because we all know each other and the country of Jamaica too well for it to be any other way.

    I have also seen these same people strike anger, frustration, a sense of injustice and yes…even fear, into the hearts of more gentle and innocent souls in Cayman, who don’t know them as well as I do.

    Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke comes up for sentencing very soon now, if not already, and is facing a maximum sentence of 20 or so years in federal prison in the USA.

    The fact that its taken the USA to finally put Dudus, the leader of the Shower Posse, behind bars should send a chill warning to the people of Cayman.

    Let me warn Cayman’s people that it was with the assistance, collaboration and conspiracy of many members of the Jamaican Constabulary Force, the Jamaican police, that Dudus Coke and the Shower Posse could rule and terrorise Kingston for so long…with the Jamaican Govt. looking the other way.

    Let me also warn Cayman that many of these same type of so-called police officers of Jamaican origin are in the employ of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS).

    I hope, that for the sake of my own Caymanian people, that Caycompass will print these warning comments.

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  4. Hi Firery,

    Let me just answer this question you ask Does anyone in power in Cayman really know the country of Jamaica and its people?

    YES THEY ALL KNOW -inclusive of you. Lets spell it out for the rest who don’t know..Cayman Politicians and Cayman people in general were born there before you all have hospitals….went to school there(some still going to school there). their families from there.. Still visit family there.wives/husbands from there.. After hurricane Ivan many Caymanian seeks refuge in their helper’s house there (then fire the helpers on their return because the houses were better than theirs) every holiday they all over booked the flights to go there. So the answer is yes they all do!!!

    Finally stop talking what you don’t know anything about. Reading about Dudus in the papers or watching the news doesn’t make you and expert. Find something new and productive to write about that will actually help this country. Talk about stimulating the economy unemployment get involved!

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  5. Mary Poppins

    Maybe you don’t recognise a rhetorical question; that’s your problem, not mine.

    And, as we both know that they do, then they are responsible for the situation reported in this Caycompass article…and the surrounding issues.

    I have no reason to argue with you on my knowledge of the Dudus Coke situation, or corruption within the Jamaican and Caymanian police forces…read this report again and form your own conclusions.

    You know absolutely nothing about me or what I would or would not know about that particular situation in Jamaica; there are others reading my comments who do.

    But let me QUARANTEE you this, you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Jamaica that I don’t, from personal experience, family connections and being educated and grown in the country.

    If you believe that the economy and underemployment is Cayman’s only problem then think again.

    I don’t care get how upset you get when reading the truth about your countrymen.

    Read my comments again, for emphasis.

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  6. Mary Poppins…

    Just one little bit of personal information for you…

    Lorna Golding, the wife of ex-prime minister Bruce Golding, and myself attended the same 7th day Adventist Church in Kingston when we were youngsters.

    If you knew anything at all about Jamaica, as you seem to think that you do, you would know the ties that bind the 7th Day Adventist Church to the Jamaica Labour Party in Jamaica, by blood as well as religious and political allegencies.

    She still worships there, btw.

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  7. This Cayman Islands government is the most sickening government on the planet. There is more secrecy than the French and Russian Gustapo.

    There is way too much corruption in our RCIP and in our government. I don’t know what it will take to clean up this corrupt regime but something has to be done.

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  8. I’m of the opinion that the reason the families of dear ana Evans and Kerran Baker can not get closure is not because the police did not get enough evidence from the public. Because they obviously did get substantial information from people coming forward.
    After all they held a suspect Twice on two occasions he was let go!
    I conclude that the reason there is no closure on these two cases is not lack of information to arrest, prosecute and imprison, BUT the problem is ‘CORRUPTION in the RCIP.

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  9. This is bad business Cayman.. If we cannot trust our police, we are just one step away from the claim many Jamaican make, That the police is the cause of their problems.. If I cannot trust the police! I would have a natural tendency to seek self protection..

    So it seem the national Security threat claim for closing of the operation Tempura record is not the release of the information but that the finding may have revealed a threat to national security.

    I may be reading into this wrong but’ could it be that if the information was released, that the Cayman people themselves could be the risk to National security/stability if the truth was known about Jamaican corruption in Cayman law- Enforcement.. And’ that the UK is working quickly to remove this problem from Cayman.. Quickly!..

    Remember National Security again was stated, this time by the governor in regards to the attempts by Mr Bush to remove the Visa restriction.. His claim had to be grounded in investigative reports..

    Come on Fiery no need to be vague, even the US state department claims Jamaica is a country which has accepted murder as a way of life..

    Helper with a big house?.. If that was a cause for some one to be fired.. I wonder what would happen to someone who moved their country under the political model of a country like Jamaica..

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  10. Many Caymanian seeks refuge in their helper’s house there (then fire the helpers on their return because the houses were better than theirs)….

    Or found out where some of their missing stuff from their own homes had ended up…which was more than likely the real reasons they were fired.

    Caymanian 0n Guard…

    Its good to know that not all Caymanians are naive or slow to pick up on the real facts that have been hidden about Operations Tempura and Cealt.

    And what is now coming out, I already know much about; it was my complaint and report to the FCO in one of the most thorough evidence files ever put together by a Caymanian against these same Jamaican USG (firearms-authorised)officers in the RCIPS that has contributed to what you are now getting, in drips and dribbles.

    I won’t go any further into detail, only to point out that this Jamaican police officer has been suspended for ‘a serious criminal allegation’ being investigated in Jamaica yet…

    His indentity and the nature of the alleged offense is being kept hidden and secret from the Caymanian people who have employed him and pay his wages.

    I guarantee you, if this police officer is found to have committed a serious crime in Jamaica, his identity and crime will be splashed all over the news media in Jamaica…in Jamaica, the country might produce them but we don’t harbour, hide or protect them, once they’re caught.

    And I am speaking as a person who is as much a product of Jamaica, as I am of Cayman.

    The Caymanian people have every right to know who is amongst them and right now, I don’t care what excuses are being given, they are criminally being denied that right.

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  11. Mary P

    In case you haven’t really been paying attention…the stone HAS hit the pig…and it certainly ain’t me squealing..or will be.

    Upset ? Far from it…

    More happy that the cat’s being finally let out of the bag…the Tempura cat that’s been trying to be covered up.

    Give it up, girl…

    It’s your countryman that’s been busted.

    I wonder how many more cats are in that bag, waiting to get out.

    Hmmmmnnnn ?

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