Premier: 'Zero tolerance' for corruption

FIFA probe puts Cayman in the spotlight

Premier Alden McLaughlin main

Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin has defended the islands’ reputation in the wake of the FIFA bribery scandal, saying his government takes a “zero tolerance approach to anyone carrying out illicit activities” through the territory. 

He said local law enforcement agencies are cooperating with the international investigation into allegations of corruption at world football’s governing body. 

The premier added that he was satisfied that the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority was taking “appropriate action” following allegations that some bribery payments were routed through Fidelity Bank Ltd. in Grand Cayman.  

He said, “The Cayman Islands has a reputation for engagement and achievement of very robust global standards in relation to the regulation of domestic and cross-border financial transactions. 

“We do not intend to compromise the hard work we have done over the past couple of decades and the good rating and reputation we have earned.  

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“We have a long history of cooperating with global, and in particular, U.S. authorities and there is no doubt that we have and will continue to fully assist in the investigation and ultimate conclusion of these matters.” 

Mr. McLaughlin said government had been monitoring developments since the arrest of Jeffrey Webb along with other FIFA officials, including former Cayman Islands resident Costas Takkas, in Switzerland last week. Webb is one of 14 businessmen and sports marketing executives accused of negotiating bribes in return for television and media rights for international football tournaments. 

“This was sad news for the sport of football, Mr. Webb’s family and the Cayman Islands,” said Mr. McLaughlin. He added that government would not comment on ongoing investigations “in this jurisdiction or elsewhere,” saying it was a matter for law enforcement and ultimately the courts. 

“We are confident that justice will, in the end, be served,” he added. The FIFA investigation has put a global spotlight on Cayman’s financial industry. Mr. McLaughlin insisted, 

“The Cayman Islands has a reputation for engagement and achievement of very robust global standards in relation to the regulation of domestic and cross-border financial transactions. Our excellent ratings from assessments by the Global Forum and the Financial Action Task Force certainly demonstrate this.” 

Premier Alden McLaughlin X3

Premier Alden McLaughlin
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  1. There is nothing that the Premier could say that would satisfy some people.

    The thirst for blood has too many people not willing to understand that it would be foolish for the government to comment on ongoing investigations "in this jurisdiction or elsewhere" and that at this stage this is a matter for law enforcement and the courts.

  2. The Premiere is, respectfully, incorrect about Cayman”s "zero tolerance" for corruption. Cayman is rife with "soft corruption". Remember that corruption is not merely handing someone cash in an envelope to get something done. Corruption takes place every time a person in a government position gets a call from an old friend or family member who asks to have their application for something approved right away, or to have the application of their competitor put to the bottom of the list… This is all "soft corruption" and we all know that this is how things get done in Cayman.

  3. The biggest difficulty is persuading people to report what they hear or know are occasions of corrupt practice. And especially to make them understand that failure to report such activity is in itself a criminal offence.