Rankin acquitted two years after arrest

| 19/03/2015 | 21 Comments
Cayman News Service

McKeeva Bush (left) and Mario Rankin

(CNS): Local business man Mario Rankin walked out of court with his named cleared this week, two years after he was arrested for multiple immigration offences. The crown dropped all thirty plus counts against him and his firm Navitas on Tuesday. The prosecutor told the Summary Court that the crown had no evidence to offer in the case as Rankin had paid all of the relevant fees. The magistrate found Rankin not guilty of the charges, acquitting the one time leading United Democratic Party member.

Despite being relieved that his more than two-year ordeal was over, Rankin was angry that the authorities had taken so long to admit that there was no case when he had stated from the get-go he was innocent and no offence had ever been committed. The local business man said he believed the entire case was politically motivated.

“After over two years of much stress and significant personal and financial costs to myself, my family and my professional reputation as a local entrepreneur, I am relieved and thankful that I have been fully exonerated and found not guilty by the judicial system of the Cayman Islands on all charges,” he told CNS in the wake of the final hearing in the case, as he described the past two and half years as a living hell for his children as well as for himself.

“I knew and have maintained from day one that I was innocence of the charges that I faced in this political witch hunt,” Rankin said. “These charges and this entire chapter of my life was about one thing. I was the victim of an orchestrated campaign that was politically motivated, primarily because of my role within and support for McKeeva Bush and the UPD.”

Following his arrest in December 2012, Rankin had questioned the involvement of two British police officers, who were understood to be from the Financial Crimes Unit in the UK who were part of the team investigating the various allegations against the former premier at that time. Bush was also cleared following a high-profile trial last year of all charges against him.

Speaking on Tuesday Rankin again pointed to these officers involvement in what he believes was a baseless arrest. He said the two UK officers came with the immigration team that searched his office and home and took part in that search, despite not being named on the warrant. Rankin queried why, even if he had been guilty of not paying his Trade and Business license on time, two Financial Crimes Unit officers would need to search every inch of his house, including his refrigerator.

With the ordeal beginning under what he claims were questionable circumstances, the case dragged on inexplicably for two years, even when Rankin had already paid for and cleared all the relevant permits and licences.

“I have suffered much during this period. I suffered economic hardships and had to face many false accusations against me because of our tribal politics in Cayman,” he said. “Sadly, a situation like mine is not unique; it could happen to any Caymanian who demonstrates courage and conviction to speak out and stand up demonstrating their political beliefs, no matter what side of the political spectrum you may be on. It happened to me so it could happen to anybody,” he warned.

Rankin pointed to the way the system works and said that political victimization and discrimination was real. “I am living proof of that.”

He called on people in authority to “stop abusing their positions when in power just because the individuals they do not like or decide to look down on do not share similar views on life or are not political comrades and choose to walk their own path. The system tried to destroy me but today I have been vindicated.”

It is not clear why the crown had taken so long to drop the case, which included several counts of employment of another person without a work permit and operating a business without a Trade and Business licence. The issue had arisen following the transfer of ownership of local bar and restaurant businesses in Grand Harbor from the previous owner Harry Lalli.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone think it strange that it seems so many friends/members of UDP were arrested when UDP were in office and then cases can’t be won? Building case against CoP, UK but not the DPP/AG??

  2. Anonymous says:

    We all have our own Karma which is a hell of a thing, and happens is so many different ways.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea, Karma is such an equalizer. As much as this was a blatant wich hunt, I don’t feel any empathy for him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not 100% sure that nothing happened here. Think it best that Mario puts this behind him and gets back to business. The crown might actually show up if they were challenged. For the same reasons, it’s nice to see Mr. Bush put his issues behind him as well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope Mario has US citizenship so he can bring action in florida where the judgment would be in the 100’s of millions after all he could easily say his investment in grand harbor was ruined because of this BS.
    What cayman fails to understand is that cayman is not a sovereign nation and can be sued in federal court by Americans.
    I for one will be pounding the as# of cayman in the near future and have provable damages into the millions x it by 100 and I will own the place. Change will surely come sooner than later

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sue them mario this is ridiculous what happening in this country to our ppl. It dont matter if you like the person right is right and this is definately WRONG!!!

    • Sharkey says:

      We should not be encouraging government to be doing these political acts, and we should be telling the government that if tax payers money can’t be spent more wisely, you are gone next election and stay with your promises.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Do those of you advising Mr. Rankin to sue realise that it will be coming out of the ‘tax payers’ wallet, don’t you think those funds could be better allocated to out failing education system. Pretty buildings do not lead to inspired minds.

  7. Anonymous says:

    And who do you think pays for it when he ‘sues their asses’
    Ultimately it’s us.

    • Anonymous says:

      But that’s the only way to make damn sure it doesn’t happen again.

      • Anonymous says:

        how short term is your memory? Cohen and Cohen settlement, settlement over the tender switch on the cruise dock, and have they learned? no we keep on paying and voting in the same people who do this time and time again

        • Anonymous says:

          This has little to do with the politicians you vote in. If they are involved at all, they are simply being used. The corruption is by and on behalf of the people you do not want to identify and acknowledge, because then most of you would have to admit that you were wrong, and McKeeva and others were right. Which politician does the DPP and CoP report to? The battle is to be fought on the British turf. It is in that jurisdiction that any impact will be felt by those who abuse. Identify them in the British press and take action in the British courts. You will get results then.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps our Dubai-travelling, Anti-corruption crusading, CoP can explain how Cayman’s prosecutors can advance empty cases to court and keep them there for two years without any evidence of wrong-doing? This is how bad our own justice system is!

    • Sharkey says:

      This is not how bad our justice system is, this is how dis functional our Government systems are. When we sit back and watch our Government do these sort of thing to one man , and keep on supporting them, and let them waste tax payers money on these frivolous acts.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I fully believe in tribal politics as Mario said ,he knows because he is a wannabe leader of the tribe and knows exactly what he is saying.
    What I cant understand his how the DPP allows this to happen they should of dropped the fake charges 2 years ago

  10. Clever Boy 345 says:

    It was definitely a politically motivated attack. Nonetheless, I am happy that his reputation has been cleared in the court of law. Now, sue their backsides lad!

    • Anonymous says:

      So in your opinion Mr. Rankine was politically prosecuted by the UDP, the party he supports, as they were our Government when these charges were brought.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Someone needs to do some explaining just how they could try to destroy Rankin? I agree sue their asses off and include some firings in the settlement.

  12. Aunty Sookie says:

    Man rise man fall the UK witchhunt continues unabated supported by our always loyal stooges! Poor old Cayman for the lack of wisdom our people shall perish!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now sue their arses off!!! I knew immigration were inefficient and corrupt but they really outdid themselves this time.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I hope you don’t stop here…I hope you see a good lawyer!!!!! Government needs to pay a price when they go and destroy someone’s reputation if they don’t have all their facts

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