Cayman reacts to Premier’s arrest

Reactions to Mr. Bush’s arrest were widely varied. 

Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“I am aware that the Honourable Premier, McKeeva Bush, has been arrested this morning in connection with a number of ongoing police investigations. The reasons for the arrest have been set out in the statement issued by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

“The conduct of criminal investigations in the Cayman Islands is a matter for the Police Commissioner. If evidence is brought to his attention which leads him to suspect that an offence or offences may have been committed, I expect him to carry out a robust, fair and comprehensive investigation, regardless of the individual concerned. I am confident that the Police Commissioner will ensure that this applies to the ongoing investigations involving the Premier.

“I would like to reassure the people of the Cayman Islands of my commitment and that of the whole of the Cayman Islands Government to ensure the continued effective functioning of the government and the continued efficient delivery of services to the public.”

The opposition People’s Progressive Movement called the premier’s arrest “a grave situation” for the Cayman Islands in a statement released around noon Tuesday.

“The arrest of the Premier is a hugely damaging body blow to the reputation of these islands and to confidence in our government. It will do immense harm to our credibility as an international business centre and a place to work and do business.

“The social and economic interests of these Islands depend on Mr. Bush’s colleagues in the Cabinet and on the Government Backbench acting swiftly and resolutely in this matter to return normalcy to the operations of Government and to prevent the further hemorrhaging of the country’s image and reputation.

“Accepted international best practice and the conventions of the Westminster system of government provide clear guidance as to the course of action that ought now to be followed by Mr. Bush and his Cabinet and supporting backbench MLAs.”

“I’m truly sorry for what is happening to our premier,” said Ed Solomon. “I totally respect him. I know that he’s a commendable leader and a good person. The allegations against him I don’t know, so I can’t make any comment. But I will truly keep him in my prayers and God bless him and keep him.”

“Being a supporter for years, it’s a pity,” said Ted Gray. “He’s one of the most decisive, go ahead people there is.”

“This isn’t the first time a leader of a country has been accused and you’ve got to be careful,” Sarah Clarke said. “It’s like Lance Armstrong, who did a lot of good and he had to step down because of what he did was wrong.”

The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce released a statement about the arrest: “The arrest of the Premier on alleged breach of trust, abuse of office and theft [allegations] demonstrates Cayman’s robust law enforcement and anti-corruption systems and the Islands’ intolerance with any alleged unethical behaviour or corruption even at the highest level of political office. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s Financial Crime Unit’s investigation leading up to today’s arrest has been ongoing for several months and the economy has continued to perform robustly providing quality services and products to the world’s financial markets, international visitors and investors.

“We are wholly confident that that same level of integrity and service will continue as the case works its way through the judicial system. The Chamber of Commerce unequivocally supports all actions by law enforcement officials to root out any unethical behaviour that may damage the reputation of the Cayman Islands as a leading international financial centre and as a quality jurisdiction to conduct business and  invest.”

The Cayman Islands financial services sector also responded to questions about the arrest.

Anthony Travers, senior partner at Travers, Thorp, Alberga, commented on the arrest:  “It is too early to comment on the substance of these matters .The timing given the recent arrest of Mr Misick, the former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, however does not appear coincidental and if these charges are found by the Court to be ill-founded, then that aspect will need to be considered. Under the Constitution, the financial services industry operates quite independently of the political arm of the Legislature under the regulatory regime of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and is unaffected by any change in government leadership.”

David Marchant, the publisher of Offshore Alert, actually took a more positive view on matters: “Strange though this might seem, I believe it will have a positive effect on Cayman’s reputation internationally because it demonstrates the jurisdiction is prepared to take action against individuals regardless of status. The measure of any country or jurisdiction is not that scandals occur but what it does about them when they surface. The worst thing any jurisdiction can do is bury its head in the sand. This has been the traditional approach in Cayman and the jurisdiction’s reputation overseas has suffered because of it. With one action today, that has changed for the better.”



  1. IF the police could keep the fact that their vehicle was stolen quiet for months – it is hard to believe that there shouting the arrest of the Premier from the mountain tops is no accident.

    The RCIPS has quietly covered up many things, and this is blatantly UK reprisal. And after this turns out like the Judge that was arrested and the Country owes another debt, the UK will, again, not so much as apologise.

  2. Today is a great day for Grand Cayman! Now you will see your country get back in order and prosper. It is up to you, the Caymanian people to make the right choice when elections come up. We the expats, count on you to make the right decisions. We trust in you to know your fellow Cayman politicians that will be running and find the best to put us all back on track as we the expats cannot vote – you are our voice. Don’t believe every promise that is made, and gifts don’t equal votes. Track records of honesty and integrity get votes. Thank you for being our voice and letting them know they work for you and me and this country and we are all going to be holding them accountable!

  3. Is a Very sad day for the Cayman Islands but this political hunting by the FCO and RCIP.Mr Mclauglin and his former PPM Ministers are next in the list for the waste of public funds under there administration.Don’t rejoice to quick because in the next couple of days when the dust settle down everyone will see that very clearly.The FCO will take over our affairs in the next couple of days and then old dog eat your supper.

  4. Spoiler, that’s an interesting comment.

    We’ve got a very unofficial timeline on this from sources in the UK –

    According to it Peter Hayes, the new Director Overseas Territories, flew out at the end of last month to do a face-to-face briefing on this with Governor Taylor and Commissioner Baines. He then flew back to the UK to get the arrest approved.

    Then the Premier flew over to the UK, got glad-handed by Mark Simmonds, met the PM and got the whole VIP treatment. In the meantime RCIPS, using outside resources backed up by FCO lawyers, tied the noose and he walked right into it.

    May be true but then again may not. At this stage (and last I heard RCIPS were searching the Premier’s office) all that is clear is this looks like it might be moving outside the technical capabilities of RCIPS.

    Just keep your fingers crossed this is not Tempura all over again.

  5. Lulu5: Your comments are a sweet-sounding rally call, but I am afraid you are being naive regarding the mindset of voting Caymanians. Caymanians, however, are not naive; they are just worried about their piece of the Cayman pie, a pie which has been shrinking and growing stale since the world recession. Can you blame them? Voters will be voting for whomever they think can make their lives the most comfortable, even if that means that corruption is the inevitable rule of the day. Certainly there are many high minded individuals in Cayman, but the average voter is comfort driven, not ideals driven. Being the voice of expats is the least of their concerns. (Sorry to be a bubble burster here.)

  6. This will not amount to much of anything. In the end, Mac will pay restitution after sharing a reasonably plausible story of happenstance. This will be another trial to spend time and money. As far as LuLu5’s comments- Caymanian voters are not concerned with voting in the best interest of expats. Some of this is due to expat induced corruption (yes, expats pushing corrupt practices to get a friend over to Cayman, a job for themselves, etc.). Any corruption that occurs is not restricted to Caymanians. A the end of the day, Caymanians must vote for whomever has the best interest of the Islands, the education and development of Caymanian children for productive careers, and the long term security of these Islands at heart.

    I always hear most expats looking for whomever will come with a price tag, someone made to be bought. Stand strong, Cayman. God bless you.

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