Another top ranking immigration officer arrested

Man allegedly attacked with a hammer

 

A senior immigration [*] officer was arrested over the weekend in connection with what local police said was a domestic assault at her home, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service reported. She is the second senior immigration official to be arrested within the past year.  

According to a RCIPS statement on the Saturday arrest: “The assault was of a domestic nature and during a search of [the immigration officer’s] home, a licensed 12 gauge shotgun was recovered with a quantity of ammunition, which were seized by the police. The firearm was featured in the victim’s complaint.  

“The victim … received a number of injuries during the assault … allegedly inflicted by a hammer. He was treated at the George Town hospital and later released. The Immigration officer has been interviewed and bailed, and the matter referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for ruling.” 

Though the police did not specify how the shotgun may have been used in the incident, the police statement alleges that the firearm did become involved.  

“The misuse of any firearm can have deadly consequences which we will not tolerate. We take every incident of domestic violence whether the victim is a male or a female very seriously, and we continue to ensure a zero-tolerance policy.”  

The government Ministry of Home Affairs, which has responsibility for the Immigration Department, said it was notified Monday about the arrest.  

The immigration officer, who is not being named because she had not been charged at press time, was still working in the department as of Tuesday.  

“The ministry is awaiting a report and recommendation from the department,” the statement noted. “No decisions [as to the officer’s status] have been made at this time].”  

Another senior immigration officer charged in connection with a drunk driving-related accident from late last year, Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Garfield “Gary” Wong, is still working at the department while the case is adjudicated.  

The ministry’s deputy chief officer Kathryn Dinspel-Powell said in May that Mr. Wong would remain on the job pending the outcome of the court case.  

Mrs. Dinspel-Powell said this is in line with principles set forth in civil service personnel regulations and with the principles of natural justice and fairness, nothing that Mr. Wong has only been accused of various offenses at this point.  

“Historically, the [civil] service has not taken a position to discipline civil servants who are convicted of traffic offenses, including those that [Mr.] Wong has been charged with,” she said. “I am therefore going to advise that this remains our position and that, in the event that he is found guilty of some/all of the charges, the matter may be revisited.  

“In the interim, he will continue to report to work.”   

 

 

Editor’s note: [*} Story changed to reflect the rank of the officer arrested.

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