Premier arrested

Updated 6.45pm Tuesday: Members of the United Democratic Party Cabinet arrived at Premier Bush’s West Bay home after dark Tuesday evening following his release from police custody.

Updated 5pm Tuesday: Premier Bush was released from police custody just before 5pm, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

Mr. Bush was released on bail and was expected to return to face further police questioning on Wednesday.

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Update 12:30pm: The United Democratic Party leadership issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon following the arrest of Premier and party leader McKeeva Bush.  

“We, as a caucus, were informed [Tuesday] morning that the Hon. Premier was arrested.  

“The matter is the subject of police investigation and no comments relating to the particulars of this matter can be made at this time.  

“We the government fully understand the gravity of this matter. We confirm that caucus is presently convened, and further statements will be issued in due course.” 

Update 10:15am:  The ruling United Democratic Party leadership is said to be meeting in caucus at this hour to determine how the government will proceed, according to sources within the administration. There is no word yet on whether Mr. Bush will step aside from his leadership role as a result of Tuesday’s arrest by police.  

Update 9:30am: A Caymanian Compass journalist on scene at Premier Bush’s home in West Bay reports that the house is now being searched by the RCIPS. 

Initial story: The Premier of the Cayman Islands, William McKeeva Bush, 57, was arrested in connection with a number of ongoing police investigations, according to a press release issued by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Tuesday morning.

Officers from the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit arrested Mr. Bush at around 7am at his home in West Bay.

Mr. Bush has been arrested on suspicion of:

•    Theft in connection with financial irregularities relating to the alleged misuse of a Government credit card
•    Breach of trust, Abuse of office and Conflict of interest, contrary to S13, S17 and S19 of the Anti-Corruption Law 2008 respectively, in connection with the alleged importation of explosive substances without valid permits on or before February 2012.

No charges had been filed against the premier at this point. 

Police had cordoned off an area around Mr. Bush’s home in West Bay Tuesday morning, letting only family members through.

Mr. Bush had been taken to George Town Police Station following his arrest, the newspaper has learned.

The stunning revelations that Mr. Bush was involved in three police investigations were made public this April as Royal Cayman Islands Police released a statement regarding the latest developments.

The police statement about the matter from April read: “The RCIPS can confirm that there are a number of investigations currently ongoing involving the Premier of the Cayman Islands, the 
Hon. McKeeva Bush.

“One involves allegations of financial irregularities in relation to a land deal. 

“In addition, a further allegation of financial irregularities has been made which is entirely separate from the first investigation.

“Finally, allegations have been made in relation to the involvement of the premier in the periphery of a recent incident where a quantity of explosives were imported to the Cayman Islands without the 
necessary permit”

Mr. Bush’s political opponents called Tuesday for his resignation from the premier’s post.

Both the Coalition for Cayman political group and two independent members of the Legislative Assembly called for Premier Bush to immediately resign from office following news of Mr. Bush’s arrest.

“If the premier does not step down, the United Democratic Party should take appropriate action,” according to a statement released by the coalition.

“It does not serve us well to have someone charged of crimes and being our leader,” East End MLA Arden McLean said. “The UDP must realise now that [Mr. Bush] cannot effectively, efficiently or democratically lead this country.”

Members of the People’s Progressive Movement also urged Mr. Bush and his colleagues to follow “accepted international best practice”, presumably meaning that the premier should step aside although the PPM statement did not specify.

“The arrest of the premier is a hugely damaging body blow to the reputation of these Islands and to confidence in our government,” the PPM statement read.



  1. It’s a sad day indeed. I hope justice is served and in an opaque process that all can see. I also hope that Mr. Bush cannot bully his way out of this and is made to answer the charges as the law allows

  2. Mr Bush will not go down in peace, he will bring down the whole house of cards and everyone involved.

    Funny how he is arrested on the same day the story runs that the prisons are not up to standard.

  3. The warnings and writing on the wall have been there for Bush for a long time now…

    People in glass houses need to learn not to be chucking stones…and Bush has chucked many a stone at the British Govt., forgetting the glass house he himself, has been living in.

    Well, one well-thrown stone back has shattered all that now.

    I’m hoping that the strength and character of my own Caymanian people will overcome all this…and that Cayman can move on from it.

    Cayman’s people must always remember, THEY are Cayman, not any political leader or party.

  4. Number one story on the BBC website now. We are putting in a good showing, they even used one of the smug grin images to go with the story.

    My thinking is that they must have some pretty convincing evidence against the honourable Mr. Bush.

  5. At last he’s been found out. I somehow can’t see the Deputy Premier successfully taking over, as Cayman’s budget would be blown to bits with her five-star travel lifestyle. Are there any honest politicians in Cayman???

  6. Mac is out of control and when they come and get you at 7am, that’s what is known as a take-down. Anyone that thinks the UK is coming is a little out of touch. They are already here and thank God for it. I have never seen such money chasing and money worshiping in my life as what is in these Islands. The people have gone money mad and they done care who, what or where it comes from. I want to thank the ROYAL CAYMAN POLICE AND THEIR ADROIT FANACIAL CRIMES UNIT for a fantasic job in freeing up our politcal system from a politician that was totally out of control. The take down has finally happened and in the long run we all will be better off.

  7. Bush features on the BBC website along with other articles about Hugo Chavez and a smelly pig plant, so he’s in good company. Pity poor Nelson Mandela is also there, representing everything that Bush isn’t (or wasn’t)…..

  8. Though this is a situation that concern citizens of the Cayman Islands, everybody who cares about the present and future of this country should be extremely parsimonious and mindful with the nature of our comments and assessments.

    What we are facing is no matter for rejoice or celebration of any kind, regardless of your take on Mr. Bush’s performance as Premier. The threat of a Turk and Caicos-like scenario, with an effective suspension of the mechanisms that guarantee self-government, loom in the horizon. Keep always in mind that the Constitution could be overridden at any time, and the Crown decide to exert a direct intervention that could yield an effective, de facto neo-colonization of this country.

    Foreigners or nationals, status holders or citizens, real or paper Caymanians, all those of us that love this country need to be prepared and avoid, perhaps guilelessly or inadvertently, promoting dangerous scenarios.

  9. Even if there is no validity of the afformentioned assertions, it is just one more nail in the coffin of unsupervised governance.

    Cayman must be led under transparent, open and supervised accountability before its too late.

    Time to restore confidence in the process and extricate the contagion of miscreant despots.

  10. Folks, we are seeing the the fruit of Cayman’s politricks and where it is heading us. We as a people may have no ultimate control over those who have political and economic power. For there is alot of greed, self-interest, and burning desire that plagues our shores as well as the shores of England…

    God in His Wisdom will allow the elephants to play and trample on the grass, at the end, He knows best. Everything happens for a reason.

  11. I see the UK has stirred the crab bucket by arresting a local – who will no doubt be judged by his fellow man before asking themselves the question: Was a judge not arrested by the same RCIPS and then the Cayman Islands made to pay millions?

  12. It is very important to note the UK Foreign’s Office strategy of destabilizing elected government in the territories that do not see eye to eye with them! It is victimization and very undemocratic! They have done it in Bermuda, the have done it in Turks and now the Cayman Islands! – McKeeva failed to recognized that Cayman is a dependency of UK therefore the Constitution of the Cayman Islands and the subject of autonomy is very misguided! There is no such thing as autonomy and respect for elected government when it comes to the British! It is either my way or no way! – Interestingly what the Cayman fear Jamaica would have done 50 years ago the British is doing now! History is a beautiful thing to study!

  13. FairAndBalance you mention that the UK Foreign Office has destabilized the Bermuda gov’t.

    We in Bermuda didn’t know about this…we could certainly use the help from the UK since our gov’t seems to have the same issues as yours – sticky fingers and mis-management.

    Maybe you were talking about a different island?

  14. People we must remember not to REJOICE in anyone’s down falls. This is hard on his family, and the Islands on a whole!!

    I believe that this is just the start of a shake-down. There will be more to come, and The Premier will not go down on his own.

    He has been arrested, he hasn’t been convicted.

  15. Why on earth should the UK Government wish to destabilise Cayman? Why should they wish to get closer to such a truly ghastly political can of worms? Surely they should hope to minimise and if possible escape any further involvement with this tragedy brought on by stupidity and greed?
    Only asking, you know.

  16. From Big Mac to the Hamburglar. I wonder if His Excellency was able to write the first sentence of his press statement with a straight face, referring to the Premier as Honorable and arrested in the same sentence? I certainly couldn’t read it that way.

    It will be interesting to see if neocolonialism and the race card are the first salvos from the George Town lockup or wherever heads of government are held in custody? This is a sticky wicket and it will require a much more sophisticated strategy than the sacred vessel defense or my dog made me do it.

  17. The writing is very clear in the wall.The British Empire love to put there noses in Crown Dependencies for years.
    1- In 1967, Britain granted Saint Kitts and Nevis full internal autonomy, and Anguilla was also incorporated into the new unified dependency, named Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, against the wishes of many Anguillians. This led to two rebellions in 1967 and 1969 (Anguillian Revolution), headed by Ronald Webster, and a brief period as a self-declared independent republic.
    2-2009 Britain says it has suspended the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands and imposed direct rule after allegations of systemic corruption.

    Those in favour of independence Cayman’s inherent lack of democracy under the present arrangement; restrictions Cayman currently faces to advance its national interests; past colonial abuses and lingering inequities against the native population that independence would help to resolve; and the power imbalance and subjugation to the UK in the existing relationship which in turn discernibly risks stagnation and ultimate demise.

  18. It’s not nice to fool with Mother England. Seems like he pushed one to many buttons this time

    Time seems to be of the essence, It doesn’t surprise me that they did this before the election, I can only imagine how many changes will follow this and how much control the UK will place on Cayman. This is exactly the same time they took control of Turks. Don’t be surprised when they tell Cayman how they are now going to balance their budget. What were the main changes they did in TC, cut the Civil Service and implement new taxation.

  19. Spoiler – I am afraid you’ve lost me. What has this got to do with the article? Are you saying that if there is evidence of corruption should not be investigated?

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