Another Cayman Islands public agency has been rocked by fraud allegations as a Cayman Turtle Centre employee is fired over “a significant amount” of missing cash.
Turtle Centre Managing Director Tim Adam announced the firing late Thursday, stating cash “from several revenue sources has gone missing.” He did not identify the employee who was terminated nor state how much money was missing.
The matter is under investigation by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s Financial Crime Unit, police officials confirmed Friday.
Evidence concerning the missing cash was uncovered during an audit of the government-owned tourist attraction’s 18-month budget for 2016/17, Mr. Adam said.
The matter was immediately reported to police, the Turtle Centre’s board of directors and its attorneys, Mr. Adam said. The Cayman Islands Auditor General’s Office further reported the missing cash to the Anti-Corruption Commission. The employee involved was suspended immediately, Mr. Adam said.
The audit office said a private firm was brought in to perform a forensic audit involving several years of the center’s financial records. That report has now been completed and turned over to police.
“The evidence from that report has led to the termination of employment of the staff member who had been suspended,” Mr. Adam said.
The RCIPS investigation is continuing and no criminal charges had been filed as of Friday, officials said.
The announcement last week was just the latest in a string of fraud, corruption and mismanagement-related allegations that have hit Cayman Islands government departments and public authorities in recent months.
The Cayman Islands Port Authority, also during an audit of the its 2016/17 financial period, found a number of potential fraud risks and hiring anomalies that were made public last week.
Auditors found evidence of overtime overpayments at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, leading the public hospital system to suspend about a dozen security officers. That matter was also reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Department of Environmental Health Director Roydell Carter remains “on leave” with multiple audits being conducted on overtime and other spending at his department.
An anti-corruption investigation into the Cayman Islands Immigration Department landed six immigration employees before the court earlier this year, charged in connection with a scheme to accept payment in exchange for providing assistance to individuals on the department’s English language tests.
National Roads Authority Managing Director Paul Parchment was suspended following allegations of “misuse of resources” by a senior employee at the authority.