C&W now subject to immigration enquiry

| 13/05/2016 | 76 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Department of Immigration

(CNS): Following news this week that the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) had raised concerns about the legal status of the Cable & Wireless CEO here in Cayman, the immigration department has confirmed that it has opened an investigation. Garfield Wong, the deputy chief immigration officer who has responsibility for enforcement, told CNS Thursday that there were concerns regarding the telecoms company. “There are matters of concern that is being investigated by the Immigration Compliance Section,” he said. 

“However, as we have not yet completed our investigations, it would be premature to elaborate any further,” he added.

Wong said he was unable to confirm the details of previous fines that may had been administered to C&W, explaining that the department does not release the names of businesses or private individuals who has been administratively fined for breaches of the law. CNS has now submitted an FOI request for the details.

The revelations by the telecoms regulator that it had discovered a number of irregularities relating to the firm’s management team and the legal status of its CEO, Warren Harding, whom the ICTA asked to be removed, has triggered further public concerns that C&W are not alone when it comes to breaching immigration laws. However, Wong told CNS that his department investigates all allegations of wrongdoing by employers.

“Once infringements are brought to our attention, the matters are investigated and mostly dealt with administratively and reports forwarded to the relevant boards for their action. All matters of concerns raised by the public and what is determined internally is actively pursued,” he noted.

The enforcement of the immigration laws remains a controversial topic. Although government statistics suggest local unemployment is falling, the perception and experiences for Caymanian workers suggests that locals are still struggling to find work, even though there are some 20,000 work permit holders currently holding local jobs.

C&W remains one of Cayman’s largest employers, which previously had a reputation for recruiting, retaining and promoting a large percentage of local workers. The allegations against the firm have been a cause for concern that the manipulation of the work permit system is endemic and that most bosses are seeking ways to circumvent the law.

There have been a number of changes in the management of the firm since its merger with Columbus International early in 2015. Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) is now being bought by Liberty Global. The company was expected to close the US$8.2 billion deal announced in November 2015 with shareholder approval this in June. But talks between CWC and the ICTA have now been stalled as a result of challenges over the right of Harding to hold the position of CEO.

Without the ICTA’s approval, the new company will not be licensed to do business in Cayman.

See related story on CNS Business: C&W sold to Liberty Global

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Category: Crime, Immigration

Comments (76)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello? I have no idea but can someone enlighten us as to the reason Cable and Wireless changed it’s name to Lime, a name that is synonymous with a sour taste then after you all got accustomed to the taste of Lime with operators stationed overseas who don’t even know your geographical lay out and establishments, they changed again to Flow with their commercial, this is how we flow>>>> Really? Not to mention CUC boasting in their commercial that they’ve got the power. What power? I thought the consumers had the power. How much does Jamaica pays for electricity? How much does Florida pays for electricity? We don’t hear any other jurisdiction boasting about them having electric power supply or any other power for that matter.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is a group of people that believe they are entitled to every place and award in this world. This group has acted in accordance to this twisted theory for the past 500 years and the world was organized along these leanings.

    Fast forward to 2016 and we see members of their group defending and justifying fellow member’s breaches of national laws as the offence fell in line with the aforementioned twisted syndrome of entitlement that plagues said group.

    It is a wonderful thing to see Cayman finally wake up to the reality around us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Immigration Keep digging too much foreigners in all the wrong places seen another 2 recently doing a job a local could do

    • Jotnar says:

      Really? Only two? See hundreds of foreigners everyday doing jobs a local could do – thing is, Caymanians don’t seem to want to do those jobs. Or by “all the wrong places” do you mean the highly paid executive positions?

    • Anonymous says:

      In your imagination… And that’s the problem. A lot of people want to be MD earning $200,000 bit very few know how!

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing worse than sorting out a great hire and knowing there is someone mediocre but pseudo-qualified (or in their minds suitably qualified) who will try to apply for the job and wail to Immigration about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also there is nothing worse than breaking numerous CI Immigration laws and getting caught by someone you thought was too mediocre to catch you

    • Jotnar says:

      Nothing worse – how about spending a lot of money to acquire a company then finding out you can’t chose the best qualified guy you can find to be its CEO, but it has to be someone local irrespective of relative qualification and experience.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey Jotney you’re supposed to find that out BEFORE you spend a lot of money to acquire a company but if you do happen to get it all backwards then perhaps the best you can do is sell the company, haul a**, and leave it to someone who has a clue what they’re doing and are prepared to abide by the laws of the country.

      • Anonymous says:

        Counting chickens before they are hatched is not wise

  5. Anonymous says:

    We need Caymanians to hold more jobs or there is going to be a price to pay. If one can’t see the beginning of paradise lost …..then keep up the BS

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, be more qualified than an expat OR be willing to work the jobs that are there. No one ever recommends their Caymanian house keeper or nanny to me. It’s a gimme gimme society you are raising and you need to start teaching these kids accountability so they can get educated and come back to get the jobs they “deserve”. AND one more thing, paradise lost will be when you lot keep treating expats like scum so we decide to leave and you’re sitting there confused as to why you have way less imports, your housing investments are worthless and no one is raising money for your charities.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous at 3:49p, tell me one thing – did you come her to make our island better or to make yourself better?

    • Anonymous says:

      Very obviously to make themselves better. Their billing/pricing practices need to be investigated as a matter of at least as much urgency as their affairs with the Immigration Department.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell me one thing did you study melodrama at college or were you naturally gifted at?

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell me one thing, if Caymanians are so gifted then why do you need us to make it better? Can’t do it yourself? Shurley not, shay I’m mishtaken!

      • Anonymous says:

        Any 5 year old Caymanian can spell better than THAT.

        • Anonymous says:

          Never write comments at 4.34 a.m. No sense of humour and never read Private Eye in your life methinks.

          • Anonymous says:

            YOUR sense of humor is anything but considering you are pitifully attempting to use it to discredit the same citizens that have allowed you into this country to earn yourself a living. No i have never read Private eye and don’t care to whatever business on earth that might be of yours, nor is whatever time of day or night I choose to write comments on CNS. If you care so very much about me perhaps you can be of some service the next time I visit the loo.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is all very wong.

  8. Anonymous1 says:

    When Cable & Wireless disbanded their Staff Association, that was the end for Caymanians and the company here in these islands.

  9. Ian Boxall JP says:

    You don’t need to look very far to see what a careless and worthless company C&W is.
    In 1993 its share price on the London Stock Exchange reached 711.55 pence. It closed today at 74.60 pence. If you factor what inflation has done to reduce the residual value of this once highly-respected company, it is probably now worth less than 10p a share at 1993 values.

    • Anonymous says:

      hmmm…..no doubt the Cable and Wireless businesses had a rocky period in the 2000s and suffered a great reduction to its market cap, but i don’t think a comparison of share prices is the way to illustrate that. For a start, the “old” Cable and Wireless business underwent a demerger in 2010 into two entirely separate businesses (of which present day C&WC was the smaller…).

    • Anonymous says:

      Nonsense. In 1993 C&W traded around 200p. The peak value was 526p in 2000 but that was a bubble for those sorts of stock. Compared to many others in the sector the performance is not unusual.

  10. Anyone but Hillary says:

    Don’t stop the carnival

  11. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t F’amoe use to work for C&W?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry you soon have your island all to yourselves

    • Anonymous says:

      you should go now

    • If CIG wants to control all of the hiring for C & W then there is only one answer. Nationalise C &W and see how rapidly things go downhill telecom wise with Caymanians in total control. The socialist model is not the answer but really there is no other way to go if CIG basically wants total control over senior management hiring.

      I strongly suspect with all the harassment C & W are receiving they will be out of here next year. It is simply not worth the hassle for a $8 billion dollar corporation.

      • Anonymous says:

        Garfield Weston – $100 million in turnover not worth the hassle? Wonder what your LinkedIn profile says.

        • 3:08. Perhaps you should look at C & W s annual report. The report shows Cable and Wireless profit at $321 million and I can assure you that $100 million of that was not from the Cayman operation. Wonder if you have ever read an annual report.

          • Anonymous says:

            Hey Garfield, that’s strange. Back in the day when Caymanians wee running the show, it was making $100 million.

      • Anonymous says:

        You must be a Johnny come lately in these islands. C&W Cayman was built on the blood, sweat and tears of Caymanians from 1966.

      • Anonymous says:

        Customers are being raped with poor service. You pay for faster speed and the speed remains the same. Such a reliable company.

      • Anonymous says:

        We could only HOPE & Pray they would be out of here! What a glorious day that would be for the consumers. They have been raping us of hard earned money for far too long!!!

        GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

      • Rob says:

        It’s not about government control, it’s about abiding by the immigration law. Your attempt to twist this narrative is slimmy and pathetic.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since when were YOU appointed to advise Government on how much control it should or shouldn’t have?

      • Anonymous says:

        I pray that one day expatriates will learn to demonstrate sufficient intelligence to come to this country and quietly and peacfully perform the roles they and their corporations have greedily denied Caymanians without trying to take over and run the country their way. Unfortunately you people have ALREADY succeeded in this mission to a grossly unacceptable level and this MUST come to an end. Haul your A** and PLEASE take your 8 billion dollar corporation with you if you refuse to understand you are not here to run the Government.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nationalization always works well. Just look at Venezuela. Not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you very much indeed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It beats all intelligent thinking to understand how a person can go into retirement in their 60’s (in these expensive Cayman Islands) after working hard for several decades only to see what they worked so hard to put aside for themselves has been devoured by a group of rich pension administrators who have invested unwisely and lost thousands of the pensioner’s funds. And they top it off by charging high mismanagement fees for the losses! Losses get blamed on ‘market conditions’ but really involves bad investment choices – with no penalties attached. And no mandatory insurance either to replace a pensioner’s lost funds. We don’t just have Pirates Week once a year but rather, Pirates Year all year round!

  14. Anonymous says:

    what would jesus do?

    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus would also look at years of abuse of the immigration laws that Law firms have been getting away with…not just CandW.

      • Anonymous says:

        C&W are an excellent law firm.

      • Anonymous says:

        Indeed, the conduct of some law firms in particular has been disgusting. What do the bar associations and Chief Justice have to say about these so called noble a – holes, who set the example for their clients. No one does what Jesus would do. They just do what their lawyers do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hear Hear! Anyone EVER see a Manager at Digicel that wasn’t Irish? come on, it is common place for them to hire locals only long enough to push through more expat permits. There is NO career development like the 90’s for talented locals. This lies at the feet of Wong and the Business Staffing Board for rubber-stamping permits and letting business cronies do what they please for greed. C&W is just the tip of the iceberg and all Immigration integrity has gone out the window.

  15. Aldens legacy says:

    Well done Alden 4 areas under your watch failing miserably…Immigration, Hospital, the Dump, Police not to mention the school fiasco from your last term!

    • Anonymous says:

      Atl least he’s not selling ous out lock, stock and barrel and then losing what we have left in las vegas casinos.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those areas are doing better than under previous governments despite the bad press. But then again it’s all about perceptions and not reality. The press including CNS ran big headlines on the dump fires. There has not been a dump fire for over two years and no one in the press is reporting about that.

  16. I have been a recruiter for the Advanced Telecommunications industry for over 40 years and have placed CEO’s and many other Executive Management people in that industry. I know a Caymanian with whom I have worked and who I believe is totally qualified for this role as it relates to the Cayman Islands. If CandW wants to know more about this I am happy to tell them who this is and why I think they are qualified for this particular role.

    • Anonymous says:

      My children have a vast amount of experience texting, talking, and ignoring anything that didn’t appear on the screen of their phone. Are there any jobs in Advanced Telecommunications for such as they?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I think what Mr. Wong meant was more that the Immigration Department actively pursues all reports of infractions that have been brought to public attention and cannot otherwise be ignored….at least that has been my experience with the department. They truly seem to be happy to have secure jobs where they don’t really have to do anything until a friend or family member lodges a complaint. That department has gone downhill since Franz left.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are hundreds of persons working or operating in Cayman in breach of the immigration requirements. Some are personal friends of senior officials.

    • Anonymous says:

      I recall a clear cut case of a senior Caymanian manager who had proven success being pushed out of a Telecom and it went all the way to Franz with NO action, so please…2 Wongs don’t make a Wright.

  18. Joe says:

    Hire the best person for the job

  19. Anonymous says:

    We need to stop thinking that what were are doing here is cancer research. There are some very well qualified Caymanians for these positions. We need to stop thinking that if you are an expat you are someone automatically more qualified for these jobs.

    • Perhaps you should look at Warren Hardings profile on LinkedIn and honestly ask yourself whether there is a Caymanian with a similar level of experience in telecom. I have my doubts you will find a Caymanian that will meet the level.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is not the point. Does he have immigration permissions to hold his position described on his linked in page and if so, were all proper disclosures made in obtaining it?

      • Anonymous says:

        Is LinkedIn vetted? I can write anything and everything and put on LinkedIn.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Everyone should comply with the law, but its hard to expect a multinational communications company to be able to find enough Caymanians for its senior positions. The solution will be the same as for local cable in the US–hire an “affirmative action” local figurehead and run the actual business from out of town.

    • Anonymous says:

      Senior positions aside what about all the junior level and technical staff that LIME, FLOW and C&W have made redundant or just gotten rid of, those qualified Caymanians are having a hard time finding jobs while the company increases profits and smirks in the face of Immigration. Those are the persons that we need to protect as they all have Caymanian families to support.

      • B.M. says:

        When companies realize that their costs are rising beyond what the have budgeted to make their profit projections, they have to cut costs. What I have seen repeatedly here is the belief that the businesses “better not lay me off” and a lack of recognition of the role each employee pays in managing costs which routinely and blatantly gets ignored.

        Anyone who is watching revenues remain flat as costs rise knows that you are cutting into profitability and that something must be done. However, I have had Caymanians threaten me with immigration retribution, violence against myself and my property because of plans for various cuts, I did it anyway. Yes, my property was damaged, there was an attempted assault but guess what, I would do,it again because it is the right thing to do.

        If you want to help yourselves, stop taking office supplies for your children in large quantities each summer, work efficiently with the time you have, use company resources as they were meant to be used, stop spending your days on social media when you should be working or talking to your bf or gf when you should be working. I know you’re mad and will call me names or tell me to get back to where I came from but I am very use to it by now. God bless.

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