Watson, Aspinall blacklisted by finance regulator

Canover Watson is led from court after being convicted in February on five of the six criminal charges against him.

Canover Norbert Watson and Robert Neil Aspinall have each been identified by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority as “not a fit and proper person” to hold certain positions in the Cayman Islands financial services industry.

Canover Watson is led from court at Kirk House to the law courts building downtown. He was later transferred to Northward Prison on Thursday after being found guilty of five counts of corruption-related charges. – PHOTO: MATT LAMERS
A jury found Canover Watson guilty on five of six counts of fraud and corruption charges in February. – PHOTO: MATT LAMERS

According to CIMA decision notices dated June 7, Watson has been determined to have contravened the Directors Registration and Licensing Law and is no longer considered eligible to hold a position as a registered director. His director registration has been canceled.

Aspinall has been found to have contravened the same law and is not considered eligible to hold a position as a professional director. Aspinall’s director registration has been suspended.

The CIMA notices, both effective June 3, do not state why the action was taken against either Watson or Aspinall.

The move was expected against Watson, who was convicted in February following a jury trial on fraud and corruption-related charges that he personally benefitted from the award of a public hospital patient swipe-card contract he arranged as chairman of the Health Services Authority.

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Following the verdict, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran said the Crown would request that the court inform the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority that Watson is not a “fit and proper person” to register companies in the islands. This essentially means that Watson will no longer be able to set up a business in Cayman, even after his release from prison, his former attorney Trevor Burke, QC, said.

“He is ruined,” Mr. Burke said during Watson’s sentencing hearing. “[The conviction] will leave him penniless.”

The action against Aspinall was taken despite the fact that, as of press time Wednesday, he had not been charged or convicted of an offense in the Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Compass understands that Aspinall was arrested in early May by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service in connection with an investigation into suspected money laundering.

According to a press release, which did not identify Aspinall as the suspect, “The man had been appointed as a voluntary liquidator for two funds while employed with the local office of an international investment firm. During this appointment, a quantity of money was misappropriated from these funds and transferred to another account.”

The suspect was released on police bail and was prohibited from leaving the Cayman Islands while the case is under investigation.

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  1. I think that they should continue to keep making that decision to treat others like Watson , when they have been convicted of crime and corruption . That should be for everyone on the Island from top to bottom.