A Cayman Turtle Centre worker has been suspended and reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission after “purchasing irregularities” were discovered during an audit.
The employee is the second worker from the West Bay tourist attraction to be reported to authorities this year as a result of findings from an ongoing audit on the business’s 2016/17 financial statements.
The two incidents are not believed to be connected. One employee was fired in May after the audit revealed a “substantial amount” of missing cash. That incident is still being investigated by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and as of this week, no arrests had been made or charges brought.
The second incident is connected to procurement at the facility and is understood to involve other individuals, outside of the Turtle Centre. Managing Director Tim Adam said, “The investigation is ongoing, and arrests have been made, including one Cayman Turtle Centre employee who has been suspended. The management of CTCEC [Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre] will continue to liaise with the relevant authorities pursuing this matter.”
He said the incidents were concerning but showed that the audit process was working.
“I am pleased that the audit process was able to detect these quite different issues and enable the authorities to pursue and investigate,” he said.
He said the theft, reported in May, had been discovered during a routine audit on the center’s finances for the 18-month financial year ending in 2017. That discovery raised the level of the audit process and further investigations revealed the second incident.
The Anti-Corruption Commission did not respond to questions from the Cayman Compass on Thursday but released a statement highlighting three arrests in a fraud probe without specifying if they were connected to the Turtle Centre.
The statement noted that one of the suspects is aged 37 and from Prospect, and the others are aged 33 and 40 and are from George Town.
“All were arrested upon suspicion of having committed offences contrary to section 11 [of the] Anti-Corruption Law 2016, fraud on the government and contrary to section 13 [of the] Anti-Corruption Law 2016, breach of trust,” the statement continued.
All three were interviewed and released on bail pending further enquiries.