A spokesman for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) confirmed on Saturday that Cayman Islands premier McKeeva Bush is now the subject of three separate police investigations.
Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush
According to police, one of the investigations involves allegations of financial irregularities in relation to a land deal. In addition, a further allegation of financial irregularities has been made, which is entirely separate from the first investigation.
“Finally, allegations have been made in relation to the involvement of the premier in the periphery of a recent incident where a quantity of explosives were imported to the Cayman Islands without the necessary permit,” the police spokesperson said.
“All three of these investigations are actively ongoing. The governor and the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] are being kept fully updated,” the spokesperson added, concluding that “It would be inappropriate for the RCIPS to make any further comment in relation to any of the allegations made, or the status of the investigations, at this time.”
The first of the three investigations was confirmed by Governor Duncan Taylor in July 2011, when he acknowledged that the investigation in question centred on a letter said to be written by Bush in 2004, when he was then Leader of Government Business.
The letter to developer Stan Thomas, written on Windsor Development Corporation letterhead, and apparently faxed from Bush’s ministry in October 2004, asked for a balance of $350,000 to be sent to the corporation’s account as a result of Bush having “ensured that all of the proposed re-zoning issues” had been approved by Cabinet.
Windsor Development Corporation is reportedly owned by Bush’s wife, although according to the official register of interests he is a signatory on the corporation’s bank account.
At the time, land purchased by Thomas was the subject of a zoning application. It was rezoned in July 2004 by the Legislative Assembly after Cabinet approved a change in the territory’s development map.
However, at a press briefing on Friday, attended by Britain’s Minister for the Overseas Territories Henry Bellingham, who was on his first visit to the Cayman Islands, local media workers were taken by surprise by Governor Taylor’s admission of a second such investigation in response to questions about the first enquiry.
Neither Bellingham nor Taylor would comment further and the governor said it was up to the police commissioner to take the investigation forward and that at some point it would be up to the director of public prosecutions to take the matter any further than that. He then revealed that there was another hitherto undisclosed investigation in relation to Bush.
No details of this second investigation were given but Bellingham said he was confident of the independence of the police and that they were handling the investigations properly.
He added that it was important to keep at arm’s length from the investigations but he was being updated on the progress.
“I can say that there is a further investigation, a second investigation involving the premier but, as the minister said, it is not appropriate for me to comment on it in any detail,” Taylor stated, adding it was for the police commissioner to comment.
Then on Saturday came the police announcement of a third investigation related to explosives that were apparently imported into the Cayman Islands without the necessary permit.
Earlier, on Thursday in a broadcast on local radio in response to opposition calls for him to reveal the details of the police investigation against him, Bush stated that he was aware of “none”.
On Saturday morning, his press secretary stated that the premier had no comment yet, as he was still trying “to determine what the governor was referring to” when he made the second disclosure at the press briefing on Friday.
These revelations in the Cayman Islands come amidst ongoing investigations in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) into allegations of widespread government corruption that have resulted in a number of former cabinet ministers being charged with various offences of bribery, fraud and money laundering.
Former TCI premier Michael Misick is currently a fugitive from justice following the issue of an arrest warrant and an Interpol ‘Red Notice’.