(CNS): The police say they are investigating a single-vehicle collision that happened early Saturday morning at the Poindexter Roundabout in Newlands, in which a car belonging to a political candidate was abandoned at the crash site. Because there was no one at the scene when officers responded to the call out, the police have not stated who was driving the vehicle but they have determined who owns the car. CNS understands that the Range Rover, which appears to have smashed into a light pole before being abandoned, belongs to Mario Rankin.
Rankin’s election campaign already appears to be fraught with challenges. Contesting the seat of Newlands as an independent candidate in an alliance with Chris Saunders, he is one of three candidates whose qualification to stand for office have been questioned by the Elections Office. Rankin is being challenged on the basis that he has a previous dishonesty conviction, though whether that conviction was recorded remains in question.
Rankin also appeared in court for a labour law infraction relating to issues of back pay for staff when he ran the Sail Inn Restaurant after various employees complained that they were not paid between 2012-2013. It is understood that he is making payments under the supervision of the courts but the magistrate has asked for a breakdown of Rankin’s finances to increase the payment amounts.
According to the election candidates’ register of interests, which were viewed by CNS the day after Nomination Day, Rankin has declared no job, no business interests, shares or directorships and no sponsorship of any kind.
Yet Rankin was featured in a controversial BBC documentary last year depicting Cayman as a tax haven and playground for millionaires, in which he spoke about his business success in scrap metal and making some CI$4.5 million on a government contract post Hurricane Ivan.
He was described by the host, Jacques Peretti, as a “construction magnate” and one of the richest people on the island”, as Rankin drove the documentary maker around in his Ferrari.