Anti-corruption report: One convicted so far

Since the establishment of the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Law in early 2010, there has been only one conviction under the auspices of that legislation.

That’s according to a report produced by the Anti-Corruption Commission for the government’s 2012/13 budget year.

The individual who was convicted, Patricia Monique Webster, was a civilian employee with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. She was charged with misusing police data systems to solicit information from the Immigration Department records database for various purposes, other than in accordance with her authorized duties. In March, she pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office.

Other cases are not specified, but the commission reported that at least one other person – police officer Elvis Ebanks – has been charged in connection with alleged corruption offenses. The accusation against Ebanks involves him allegedly taking a bribe from a man in exchange for not arresting him.

In addition, the commission reported two cases before the Grand Court awaiting trial on corruption-related offenses.

The cases awaiting trial do not include allegations against former Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush and former Electricity Regulatory Authority Managing Director Joey Ebanks, who have both been charged with dishonesty-related offenses.

According to commissions secretariat manager Deborah Bodden, those matters are not recorded in the Anti-Corruption Commission’s report because they were investigated by a different branch of the RCIPS – the Financial Crime Unit, not the Anti-Corruption Unit.

“I only have access to and therefore only report the stats of those investigations/charges/etc. made by the Anti-Corruption Unit,” Ms Bodden said.

Several other corruption-related investigations are in the pipeline, according to the 2012/13 report.

There are 19 “active cases,” meaning those that remain under investigation by police. Nine cases considered by the Anti-Corruption Unit have been concluded, four others are pending additional information.

Four reports to the commission were transferred elsewhere, according to the records.

A total of 31 anti-corruption complaints were received for the year, according to the report, leading to 82 interviews being conducted and 12 requests for production of documents in relation to cases under investigation.

The five-person Anti-Corruption Commission is chaired by the RCIPS commissioner and includes the auditor general, the complaints commissioner and two civilian members. It has no dedicated investigators of its own and must rely on police investigators to do the legwork on cases.

That may change in the near future. The Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission has been allocated its first dedicated budget in the government’s current 2013/14 fiscal year.

A total of $281,678 has been allocated specifically to the Anti-Corruption Commission as part of the secretariat’s $827,000 overall budget for the year.

Previously, the commission’s budget was included with other boards overseen by the secretariat, of which there will soon be seven, Ms Bodden said.