Six weeks after the surprise “temporary removal” of Cayman Islands Governor Anwar Choudhury, there is still no word from British authorities of his fate or the reasons for his sudden departure to the U.K.
Cayman Islands leaders were informed on June 12 about the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office decision to withdraw the governor, just two-and-a-half months into what was supposed to be a three-to-four year term.
The temporary removal was announced June 13 by Cayman Premier Alden McLaughlin, apparently without the knowledge of the foreign office, which later put out a brief statement confirming what Mr. McLaughlin had already announced.
U.K. officials noted their investigation into Mr. Choudhury would take between four to six weeks. However, when contacted this week, Head of the Governor’s Office Matthew Forbes indicated there was nothing further to announce.
“I have no further updates at this time,” Mr. Forbes said.
Sources in the U.K. told the Cayman Compass that it could take another two to four weeks before any announcement is made about Cayman’s absent governor, partially due to the fact that Mr. Choudhury’s mother passed away earlier this month.
Acting Governor Franz Manderson has declined to comment on the subject and forwarded a Cayman Compass open records request to the U.K. foreign office. The request seeks a copy of a complaint filed by Mr. Choudhury’s staff in Cayman. The foreign office has said a response to that request could take until early August to produce.
Multiple government sources contacted by the Cayman Compass since Mr. Choudhury’s sudden removal indicated that complaints had been made internally within the governor’s office in Cayman and concerned his behavior while in office. Mr. Forbes has declined to discuss specifics surrounding the allegations.
Other media reports in the U.K. stated that Mr. Choudhury “abused” staff and had gotten involved in a “drunken row” with his mother-in-law during his brief time in Cayman. The Compass has been unable to independently confirm those reports.
The Compass has attempted to call, text and email Mr. Choudhury since his temporary withdrawal, but has received no response.
Governor Choudhury, 59, arrived in Cayman on March 26, making history as the British Overseas Territory’s first non-British-born governor and its first Muslim governor.
The Bangladeshi-born U.K. diplomat had a far more public persona than previous U.K.-appointed representatives did, advocating for monthly meetings of the National Security Council, backing the creation of legally recognized civil unions in Cayman, and taking a leadership role in Cayman’s discussions with Britain concerning the future of its financial services industry.
The new governor had also announced plans to significantly reduce the amount of bureaucracy Cayman residents often have to wade through in dealing with government.