LA votes status for teacher, ‘lost local’ and millionaire

| 17/11/2017 | 103 Comments
Cayman News Service

Chris Bounds is recognised on his retirement after 30 years in education (Photo courtesy Cayman 27)

(CNS): Members of the Legislative Assembly voted to approve three Cabinet Caymanian Status grants Thursday for residents in three very different sets of circumstances. Chris Bounds, who taught in government schools for more than 30 years, Angelyn (nee Jackson) Zias, who was born and grew up in Cayman but fell through the status cracks, and Ergun Berksoy, a millionaire Turkish property mogul, were all made Caymanians following a debate on the government motion. By law, Cabinet can only grant status on four people per year and Alden McLaughlin confirmed that the law protecting people from ever losing that status when bestowed by Cabinet had also been amended.

The grants of status to Bounds and Zias were warmly welcomed and supported by both sides of the House; even Arden McLean and Alva Suckoo, who recently said in their budget debates that the only people who should receive status should be spouses and descendants of Caymanians, offered their backing to them.

Bounds, who even taught some of the MLAs, was recommended for the grant because, despite his many decades in and extremely close ties to Cayman during his long tenure with the education ministry, he never made any formal applications for permanent residency.

Zias, who is now 40 years old, was born in Cayman and grew up here, and although a British Overseas Territories Citizen, she never achieved status. Stuck in a strange place of limbo, she had fallen through the cracks of the immigration system and had applied for her status under a sunset clause in the immigration law, which had set by the time she made her application. The mother of several Caymanian children and with other local family connections, she was recommended by the board because there is simply no other legal way for her to become Caymanian.

Legislators raised concerns about the number of people who may be in this position, where they are accepted as Caymanians but are not legally recognised as such.

Cayman News Service

Ergun Berksoy, pictured with Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick

Berksoy (73), who is legally resident as a person of independent means, is the owner of Seven Mile Beach Investments Limited. The Turkish millionaire has invested in property here and is a major shareholder in the caves in East End. He is also the person behind the large private home being constructed on Seven Mile Beach. Although the premier lauded his investment in Cayman and his stated intention of building a hotel in the eastern districts, Berksoy is not without controversy. He is understood to have had a number of disputes with various people and entities both here and overseas, including the planning department over the construction of his new house on Seven Mile Beach.

The three grants were awarded the day after the premier, answering a parliamentary question, revealed that almost 3,000 status grants had been given to qualified residents via the normal legal means since 2009.

Speaking after the debate, Kenneth Bryan, MLA for George Town Central, said that he was surprised to discover that the government did not reveal the names of the individuals until the motion was brought to the floor on the last day, even though the motion was brought to parliament at the start of the meeting.

Bryan told CNS that the opposition members are unable to scrutinize who the individuals are without their names. He said on this occasion, on the surface, it appears that there are no major concerns but the lack of checks and balances is cause for concern when dealing with something as important as those being bestowed with Caymanian status.

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Comments (103)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow. And yet me a local, and my Cayman born child both need DNA tests to qualify the child as a local.
    Soon these Ghosts will rise tho!

  2. Unison says:

    Congrats to all three of them, now Caymanians. I see alot of negative comments about Mr. Berksoy. Albeit, may he continue to invest and improve on these islands.

    Godspeed ?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am living next to this house and daily I witness hundred/two hundred people admiring the house and taking photos. You may not like it, I find it very classy and think it is a gem on SMB.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really..OMG …I live at Cayman Reef and everyday I sit on the beach and hear people ask if it is an office building..It’s god ugly!!

    • Anonymous says:

      For the longest time I thought it was just another ugly office building..glad someone enlighten me..Why was this allowed in any case?

  4. Information Real G says:

    Somebody from the PPM better get to certain peoples from Bodden Town before the cat get out of the bag eh ! Big embarrasment for all those concerned?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would like to add my congrats to Mr. Bounds. As a retire Caymanian Teacher myself, I too congratulate the MLAs for bestowing this well deserving gesture on him. I worked for many years with Mr. Bounds and I can contest that not once did I hear him utter a bad word about Cayman or its people. His dedication towards the children of the Cayman Islands and his various jobs within the system, as an expat, should be modeled by many of the current expat teachers who seem to forget why they chose to take a job in the Cayman Islands in the first place.

    I most certainly applaud the people of our country for giving this so deserving gentleman Caymanian Status. Enjoy your retirement Mr. Bounds.

  6. Willy says:

    Yes but appears most of the CPA contractors are working on it. Think that may be some help in all of this?

  7. Anonymous says:

    So let me get this straight…our government officials just granted irrevocable status to a multimillionaire foreigner who thought it necessary to take out work permits for his handyman and cleaning lady ( rather than find Caymanians to do the jobs? And please, spare me the “Caymanians don’t want those jobs” garbage. I remember when every cleaning lady and handyman at every hotel and condo development on Seven Mile Beach were all Caymanians.

    This guy apparently does not have our best interests at heart or in mind, so why has the government decided to grant him citizenship? Berksoy didn’t think Caymanians worthy enough to clean his condos at Regal Beach Club, so what contribution do you think he will make to these islands now that he has the ability to hire whomever he wants? Totally idiotic and self-serving to grant this guy citizenship.

    • Anonymous says:

      well help me out here, how long ago was it that every handyman and cleaning lady was Caymanian? Perhaps, unfortunately it may be the case that expectations have been falsely raised over a generation or two, and now it most definitely is the case that most do not want these roles.

      • Anonymous says:

        The maids at Regal Beach were all Caymanian. They have been replaced with an all Filipino crew..

  8. Anonymous says:

    I know many millionaires who have properties galore in Cayman and have been coming here from the 80’s. Don’t see them getting awarded Status. Yet this Turkish dude with very sketchy history who has been here for a little bit and building that God awful house across from Wendy’s gets it? Makes no sense to me other than I am sure he was a handsome donor to the PPM machine

    • Anonymous says:

      Money $$$ money $$$ money

    • Diogenes says:

      Campaign finance reform with a focus on transparency would clear this mess right up


    • Anonymous says:

      Since 2009 has been 3,750 Status Grant given out…. looks like you must be his follower as you probably know all about him referring to his history and considering 15 years residency a “little bit”… my understanding of your comment is simple … Envy

    • Omer says:

      Madem ki tanıyorsunuz benim selamımı iletin lütfen.
      Ellerinden öpüyorum saygıyla.
      Ömer Ernez

  9. Anonymous says:

    The world is not fear. It is so sad when someone is poor and uneducated. Contribution is contribution regardless of job. The world is made up of all sorts of professions and each one is essential. There are many folks here for over 20 years who has cooked many a dinner for the so called professionals, washed and ironed their clothes, raised their kids, cleaned their bottoms etc and the list goes on who are not recognized. Money is the root of all evil and it certainly dosent make good people. I am very happy for Mr Bounds who I CONGRATULATE. He taught my kids and is certainly a good man who just fitted in to our society. Well deserved Mr Bounds.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ergun Berksoy didn’t get rich by being stupid. Hence he chose Fred Whittaker, long-time CPA member as his contractor for his offensive house. Fred’s long-time friend is the Premier. For icing on his cake, he seems to made friends with Helen-the-Clueless also. He got what he wanted.
    The other thing worth noting is that while Cayman may be getting a few dollars in import duties for the materials he has been bringing in (if he didn’t get one of those easy-to-get exemptions), once the house is done, Cayman will get peanuts in benefits from that piece of property sitting in its prime tourism strip. Which farmer turns piece of his most arable land into a house lot.
    Oh well, its the price we pay for stopping PLANNING over 40 years ago.
    But Caymanians keep electing Alden and McKeeva – dahwhaunnaget.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe that you are not knowledgeable about the process of Status granting by LA.
      Before the applicants file reaches to LA, immigration board reviews the file from every angle, sometimes this takes years, then it applicant’s case is suggested to LA for approval. The process can not be influenced by couple of individuals, even the Premier. Clearly in this case the application was approved by all 19 members of LA, including opposition.

      • Anonymous says:

        You don’t have a clue how Governor special grants work…immigration had little to do with MacKeeva’s give away

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s true, but they sure as hell continued it when they had the power and obligation to stop the next of kin of every recipient from turning up and putting down their own roots without full checks and balances.

      • Anonymous says:

        NOT TRUE sometimes the Immigration Board and dept has no say at all its a Cabinet decision

    • Anonymous says:

      “Which farmer turns piece of his most arable land into a house lot.” Valley Gardens?

  11. Anonymous says:

    As fass the Turk, check out the Turkish Eye on that gaudy house he is building on SMB…things that make you go hmmm..Why does he need a cabinet grant? Why could he apply based on his own merit?…Has anyone done due diligence on this man? Has anyone questioned any of the things he has done in Cayman and in Turkey..How many lawsuits have been filed in Grand Court?..What is taking him so long to finish the house on SMB.??

    Something stinks here!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dude, have you seen Dart’s house? This was a hotel when he bought it.

      Also, folks from the Middle East are known for their lavish taste in decor and architecture; it’s their culture.

      Has anyone done due diligence on DART! Wake-up!

      • Anonymous says:

        Where is Dart’s house? Very curious about how it looks. I’ve only heard the rumors about it being a previous hotel and being somewhere along smb.

      • SMB_Lover says:

        You really have it bad for this guy, it sure seems like you are not an objective commenter. You carry a lot of water for this guy.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I challenge anyone to convert these figures into population percentages and present an identical report to Americans and or Brits (re their respective country) today and see what would be the response and feedback.
    Political and social upheaval guaranteed.

    After all, such concerns (albeit merely fractional when compared) are what brought both President Trump and the Brexit into reality.

    – Whodatis

    • Anonymous says:

      Not your most resonating self this morning Who. Totally irrelevant with a touch of trying to stir shit. These decisions are made by Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, it seems Caymanians are a very welcoming people giving so many thousands of grants to foreigners. Why then are these same foreigners so anti-Caymanian?

        • Anonymous says:

          Those foreigners of whom you speak are the bitter and jealous ones.
          They love everything about the Cayman Islands – except the people.

          Also, many hail from historically racist and prejudiced jurisdictions which raised them in a corresponding regressive culture.

          Old habits die hard and they can’t help themselves.

      • Anonymous says:

        You people are amazing.
        How you manage to insult yet compliment me at the same time is admirable.

        Lastly, do try to understand the point being made before posting embarrassing comments.

        – Who

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have a few friends who have been tenants of Berksoy. XXXXX Strange choice, unless he contributed to PPM coffers. Mac had the Jordanian, Alden the Turk.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wondered who the owned that monstrosity on 7 mile.

    • Anonymous says:

      Leave the word “monstrosity” for the Water Colors condo!

      That damn thing blocks out the entire sun!

      • Anonymous says:

        Guy that developed that got a Cabinet status grant too! What does that tell you?

      • Anonymous says:

        but it is a beautiful building and Government received lots of stamp duty on the $3M plus condos..What will we get from the Turks house?

        • Anonymous 2 says:

          View of the house?

          • Turkey says:

            ? A 10 for that quip.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yuck! unfortunately, yes we will have to see it every day..At least DART planted lots of foliage around his..Berksoy’s is just so in you face and downright ugly..I don’t know want possessed him to make it even uglier with all of those gold-plated columns.

            • CantStandthat House says:

              Totally agree, the Turkish House is a nightmare. Its ugly, over sized, the fake gold exterior column caps are …well lets just say ..puke! +4 years and counting and the bloody thing is still not finished. Also, why the hell would they let him build the servants quarters so close to West Bay. They should have shut this shit down a long time ago.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think they will agree status for people they really think deserve it and not a wholesale lottery of our prized nationaliity. Good for them!

    • Anonymous says:

      “Deserve it” heh heh heh. Care to explain why the guy building the ecological nightmare monstrosity on the beach “deserves” it. Dieing to know, darling.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mr bounds was also married to a Caymanian and has two Caymanian daughters. Very well deserved.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh oh. One of three is already on the electoral roll. How did they get on it if they were not Caymanian? How many non Caymanians got to vote in the last election? Is that legal? Is our democracy safe?

    • Anonymous says:

      Democracy and safe used in the same sentence is contradictory anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, the rules around registration for election and Caymanian status are totally different. There are quite a few people who don’t have status who can vote. another oddity of these laws.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true, and anyway the Constitution says you have to be Caymanian to register. She was not Caymanian and is registered. How? How many other non-Caymanians could vote in the last election? Were their votes legal?

      • Anonymous says:

        No they are not. Both require Caymanian Status.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Two of these grants are fully deserved, buy why on earth was this Turk selected?. Are we now classing ourselves with certain Caribbean territories that “sell” their passports for money?.

    • Anonymous says:


    • PD says:

      Why – because he spread the cash around! Planning, well look at the names on the job sign board and check them to names of members of the CPA, and now say that there is no conflict of interest there. Besides was allowed to bring in all kinds of “Turkish specialty workers” to construct the project.
      Money always will get you what you want here in good old Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Excuse me ignorant commentator, I think you will find that this is 2017 and that the ‘Turk’ as you so call him, actually has a name.

      • Boggy Sound man says:

        And CNS does not want you to use names, so why in your wisdom don’t you put forth the name?

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree…how can both Governor and Alden think this was justified? Considering the big PR give away and work permits for who-ever can pay policy it doesn’t seem that anyone is protecting the interests of Caymanians.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Should you wonder why this country has the reputation it has.
    A simple google Mr. Bryan

  20. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Angelyn (in particular). Long overdue.

    CNS: Are you (or any readers) able to confirm whether Angelyn (nee Jackson) Zias is also known as Angelyn Roberta Carbajal-Zayas?

  21. Anonymous says:

    How is Zias the mother of several Caymanian children if she was not Caymanian herself?

  22. Anonymous says:

    They need another Immigration category:


    Granted based off number of years of contribution.

    I don’t why after 35 years of contributing to the Cayman Islands, having children and grandchildren, been law abiding citizen, and good reputation in the Cayman Islands, and have to be told that I MUST APPLY TO BE RECOGNIZED!

    Did the hundreds of folk that came off the Wreck of the ten sails, after 35 years stranded in Cayman, did they APPLIED to be recognized Caymanian? No! So why must this government find everyway to get money off of people! This is not fair.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must apply because you are not Caymanian unless you are Caymanian. Being born here and having Caymanian children does not make you Caymanian. There is much more to it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanian status is just the legal term for the right to abode in the cayman islands…..Cayman Islands is not independent country, nationality is that of B.O.T.C

    • Anonymous says:

      We have enough expats popping out babies for deadbeats as it is. They seem to have a race going for who can have the most for government to support.

  23. Anonymous says:

    congrats to Mr Bounds. Very deserving.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see all like Bounds, an educator for over 30 years, not ask for any thing from Immigration like residency, yet because of his contributions is recognized by the highest body of the land ✌

  25. Anonymous says:

    Why are we giving a 73 year old “Turkish” rich guy Caymanian Status…What has he done for Cayman to deserve getting status?

    • Anonymous says:

      Poured in a ton of money to support the local economy. In other words, more than most people. No, money isn’t everything. But it’s not nothing, either.

    • Anonymous says:

      good question….this philantropist has been living in Cayman for almost 15 years, raising his children here and considers Cayman to be is home, supporting local charities and church, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars accommodation taxes to the government(yes, we do have taxes here too), providing Caymanians jobs, has developed and is owner of a major tourist activity Cayman Crystal Caves. He is a self made businessman with strong personal qualities and spiritual values and a great asset to any community and well deserved the recognition.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes a true hero. Better get a statue of him then, right next to the man who will save our beach accesses!

      • Anonymous says:

        Philantropist??..You have got to be kidding me….have you looked up the meaning of this word? Good Lord, this man definitely does not minutely fit that definition..

  26. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Mr. bounds! Well Deserved and past due..

  27. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone do a due diligence check on Berksoy???

  28. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the reason Chris Bounds made no application for status or permanent residency…and the fact he did not do so is significant surely…was the same reason that many expats in the civil service did not do so, namely because they would lose their overseas benefits of Contracted Officers Supplement and instead be put on pensionable terms which they did not want because their take home pay would be reduced by 15% per month. By the way, I have no problem at all with Mr Bounds getting it now.

    • Anonymous says:

      All expats in the Government Service have been paying pensions since 2002.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes 5:13, but he could have applied long before that 2002 date because of his Cayman connections but presumably he did not do so because if he were granted status he would have lost his expat benefits….long before 2002. Whatever, I have zero problem with him getting it now. It’s just all the fuss that’s been made that is irksome.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’ve nailed it bobo.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmm? I wonder how being a controversial millionaire investor in itself deserves the grant of Caymanian Status (I muse with tongue firmly in cheek). Did CIG bother to do due diligence checks in Turkey? Pay for play perhaps?? This sends a terrible message which our powers that be seem to ignore.

    Congratulations to Mr. Bounds (well deserved and long overdue) and Mrs. Zias

  30. Anonymous says:

    When Alden McLaughlin is quoted as saying the law protecting people granted status from cabinet from ever losing it has also been amended, does anyone know what he is talking about? The law has confirmed cabinet can revoke such grants (in certain circumstances) for more than a decade. Has there been a change to the law which now says they cannot?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hundreds of persons who were born here and have no other option for status are left out, and at least two of these 3 had other options to become Caymanian. Why did the Board recommend these three in particular?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Ergun Berksoy, who has been in the Cayman Islands for 10 minutes, has been given a non-revokable status grant on the basis of what exactly? This will, of course, invite open speculation as to the appropriateness and terms of this transaction…but we’ll never know one way or another because the Standards in Public Life (2014) Law, which would obligate Cabinet to disclose conflicts, has not been enacted.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Disclosing status grantees is a serious infringement of privacy.

    The only thing worthy of public scrutiny is whether the legal process is followed.

    It’s simple; the names of the applicants themselves do no matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      OK. I’ll bite. Was the legal process followed? Many persons need status. There are only a limited number available each year. Were these three more deserving than other persons that need it? Tell me.

      O dear. You cannot. You at least need to know the details of the others or at least, have they been born even longer ago? Do they have more Caymanian children? Have they been here longer? Do they in fact have alternative options?

      Did anyone with a personal interest in the outcome recuse themselves from deliberations.

      When you know those facts you can tell me the legal process was followed.

      Oh, and by the way, the law requires the names of anyone granted status to be gazetted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems to me it wasn’t followed in at least one case..Someone certainly did not do their due diligence.

      They are red flags everywhere, even here in Cayman on the Turk..

    • Anonymous says:

      Sez you

    • Boggy Sound man says:

      And why is that? Afraid of bringing into the light?
      More of the same old crap!

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