Cayman Islands leader arrested in corruption probe

Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:18pm EST
 

By Shurna Robbins

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (Reuters) - The leader of the Cayman Islands was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of corruption in connection with a graft investigation in the Caribbean offshore financial center, authorities said.

Premier McKeeva Bush was detained at his home by members of the Financial Crime Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, a police statement said.

The 57-year-old premier is suspected of theft, alleged misuse of a government credit card and abuse of office over the alleged importation of explosive substances without valid permits, it said.

"It would be inappropriate ... to make any further comment in relation to these matters at this time," the statement said. "Further updates will be made available in due course."

A police spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the arrest.

Leonard Dilbert, Bush's chief of staff, said the premier had been detained on suspicion of wrongdoing pending an investigation but had not been formally charged with any crime.

"It is important to remind the people of the Cayman Islands not to rush to judgment," he said. "Being suspected of having done something is far from it having been proven that you did that thing."

Bush was elected in 2009 as premier of the island chain, a British Overseas Territory with a population of 55,000 people and a leading global tax haven.   Continued...

 
Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush speaks during a jobs rally in Seven Mile Beach outside Georgetown in this June 25, 2011 file photo. The leader of the Cayman Islands was arrested on suspicion of corruption on December 11, 2012 in connection with a series of police investigations in the Caribbean offshore financial center, authorities said. REUTERS/Shurna Robbins