Turtle farm sacks employee over missing cash

| 10/05/2018 | 112 Comments

Cayman Turtle Centre(CNS): The Cayman Turtle Centre has revealed that an undisclosed but “significant” amount of cash has gone missing from several of its revenue sources and that a member of staff has been fired as a result. What appears to be a major theft has been reported to police but it is not clear if anyone has been arrested. The managing director of the farm, Tim Adam, issued a short statement Thursday evening explaining that the missing money was discovered during the course of a 2016/17 audit.

“We have promptly made initial reports to the Commercial Crime Branch of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, our Board of Directors and our legal counsel,” Adam stated. “The Office of the Auditor General informed the Anti-Corruption Commission.”

He explained that a member of staff was initially suspended while an independent audit firm was
engaged to conduct a forensic investigation spanning several years of records.

“They have now completed that detailed investigation and produced their report. The report and other relevant details are being shared with the RCIPS,” Adam said, adding that the evidence in that report led to the termination of the staff member, who had been suspended.

“The management of CTCEC will continue to liaise with the police crime detectives pursuing this matter. So as not to jeopardize the proper conduct of the criminal investigation, that is as much as we can state to the public at this time,” he said.

CNS has contacted the police regarding any arrests and an RCIPS spokesperson confirmed the FCU is investigating the report, but gave no other details.

The Turtle Centre is still running at a loss and hardly in a position to cover a major financial theft. It receives around $9 million annually from the public purse to cover the loan payments that funded the construction of the current facility and to plug the continuing gaps in its operating costs, as it still does not make a profit.

The facility also remains the target of international animal rights campaigners who are trying to pressure the facility to transition from a butcher’s shop to a conservation centre. However, the continued support in the community for consumption of the meat and the continued threat of poaching to the wild population means that there is no sign of such a change. In recent years there has been evidence that the increase in wild turtles nesting on local beaches has been assisted by the historic release programme by the Turtle Centre.

The revelations of theft come in the wake of a number of financial scandals surrounding both public authorities and government departments, from the port and the hospital to the Ministry of Health.

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Comments (112)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Once again, let’s not overlook the important step of recovering our stolen money. How are things going over at CIFA in that regard? Crickets…and meanwhile, Bruce Blake has been quietly re-installed!

  2. Spokentruth says:

    Hello all contributors, please tell me how did the comments stray from the topic of the article?? Sea Turtles, Turtle Centre “a waste”, Animal Rights or nothing else of such is relevant to the topic…. corrupt, thieving govt employees, mostly linked to the UDP Administration, XXXXX. It’s sad to see the prevalence of the offenses, but that they are finally being found out! And I must say that it’s not only the “local, Caymanians” that is stealing from the govt, or robbing the ppl here blind….expats from all over, living here, everyday commit theft, highway robbery, petty theft (from stealing company supplies, telling lies everyday, sneaking time out from the Office), armed robbery to blatant fraud, obtaining property by deception, i.e. most recently, but not limited to, XXXXX and there are more, like the Bank Foreclosure on Caymanians Homes, Insurance Plan rates, Pension providers, Commercial and Offshore Banks.
    Also commenter 12:59 pm, clearly I take offense to anyone calling the ppl of WB & EE idiots, bcus; (1) I’m Caymanian and proud of my ppl & heritage, then (2) you have no right to speak of anyone like that. Nothing’s wrong with the butcher of sea turtle in Cayman to eat!! End of convo, as far as I am concerned

  3. Anonymous says:

    I just recently visited the Turtle Centre, paid $10 (had to show id that I lived on the island) and was able to tour all of the facilities. It’s a very nice place.

    I was amazed that there were only two Caymanians working there that day. The cook, servers and the life guards were from different countries.

    I am sure there are older Caymanian cooks (not chefs) who could serve up some good local food and be thankful to have a job. The food that I had from there was awful.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Port Director, Head of NRA, Turtle Farm employee .. what do they all have in common ? UDP!

    • Anonymous says:

      Who are the current Board Members for the Turtle Centre?

    • Cess Pita says:

      11.00pm – Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup…and many hold senior or top government positions, with little to no supervision, where their missions are almost impenetrable. I hope the Auditor General’s Office, Cabinet, in conjunction with the Financial Fraud Unit, investigate the hell out of them. Corruption is steep in those Gov’t Departments & Statutory Bodies.

    • Anonymous says:

      If there were still such a thing.

  5. Say it like it is says:

    I can only say Tim Adam is light years ahead of the Port Director. He sacked the employee and did not spend hundreds of thousands od dollars converting his offices into the Taj Mahal.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh Lord hear ya now! Boi this is neverending! Port Authority Director and now Turtle Farm employee? Seriously? Come hear who that is now..SMDH

  7. Anonymous says:

    Boy this has been going on at the Turtle Farm for a long time who placed him in that position anyway???? Oh don’t forget the other person that works there who knew what was going on will that person get fired also.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Whatever happened to the good old days when they would only steal a turtle now and again?

  9. Anonymous says:

    The UDP empire is crumbling !

  10. RICK says:

    I now see why some bussiness only employ expats

    • Anonymous says:

      Expats steal as well. Take the case of the Canadian lady who stole from the elderly gentleman and the white South African who stole from Solomon Harris.

      • Cess Pita says:

        12.39am a fraction of the numbers of corrupt locals.

      • Jotnar says:

        I don’t pay for money stolen from Solomon Harris or private individuals, who can be expected to protect themselves. I do pay – as do you – for money’s stolen from publically funded enterprises because management don’t put simple controls in place.

        • Ann says:

          Be careful you don’t end up paying more. What is it they say? Oh yes Innocent until proven Guilty ” and not by the media.

      • SSM345 says:

        If we knew the true figures from stealing from Govt coffers by those in charge over the last 30yrs it would put.hundreds away for decades. Thieving incompetent bastards.

    • Co Worker says:

      Yo Yo ricky what’s up? bro you need to get hooked on phonics!

  11. Sound Frank says:

    Why is everyone so dishonest in Cayman?

  12. Tony Ward says:

    $750,000 per month in subsidies on top of income at the gate? Where the hell, is this money going? In agricultural terms, this is a small farm and it is losing $175,000 each and every week? Something smells in Cayman and it isn’t the turtle poop.

    • Anonymous says:

      best to read the article again… the subsidies assist with covering the loan for the initial construction

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        Yep. And who agreed that loan? And with whom? And for what consideration? Of course, in addition to the financing cost is the fact that it employs a hell of a lot of people on very comfortable salaries. The life guards make more than the average blue collar worker, let alone the white collar staff.

      • Anonymous says:

        More of mac’s folly

      • West Bay Premier says:

        11 : 22 am , if the subsidies are assisting with the initial construction , then a very small amount of those millions of dollars goes to the loan . The farm was built in early 70’s and every year after Government has been dumping millions of dollars in it . Where are all the money going ? Not on initial construction loan . Something smells at farm , and it’s not the turtle poop .

        • Anonymous says:

          If you’re from West Bay then you must have been living under a rock out in Barkers or something for a very long time. The Turtle Farm was rebuilt after extensive storm damage across the road from the original site. Its the cost of construction and operation of this enormous folly/corrupt employment operation for supporters, sorry water themed experience, that is draining 750k per month of taxpayers money.

    • Hugh says:

      I’ve always wondered where all that money was going. Why hasn’t there been any accounting of where all that money has been spent…. or stolen!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why?! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ….

      • Timothy Adam says:

        Hugh if you want to know “where all that money was going”, simply read the audited Financial Statements with its extensive notes, plus the detailed Annual Report, that are freely available to anyone to download from the webpage

        Each fiscal period there is a full set of financial statements prepared (by the Company’s management), subsequently audited (by the Office of the Auditor General and one of the major accounting firms which together issue a joint opinion), then presented to the Legislative Assembly; so your question “Why hasn’t there been any accounting …” appears to be fundamentally flawed in its premise.

        That leads me to conclude you weren’t aware that after every fiscal period the financial statements of Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre Ltd. (and its predecessor) have been prepared, audited, presented in LA, and published. I hope the web link above is helpful for you to now be able to easily find that public information.

        FYI: the financial statements for the fiscal period ended 31st December 2017 are currently undergoing the audit process.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Absolute BS. The numbers nesting on Caymans beaches maybe seeing a slight increase but when one in one thousand actually makes it to maturity and we apparently average only 150 to 250 nests per year, (also with and average 100 to 150 eggs per nest) just one turtle taken from the wild makes a huge dent in the breeding population. After all, if you’re starting from virtually zero then one is an increase.
    So when the retarded geniuses from the back woods decide it’s their birthright to catch and kill our wild population of endangered green turtles to satisfy their warped sense of heritage, a few hatchlings thrown into the ocean to pacify those who would rather see this poor excuse for a petting zoo close down is pointless.
    If we’re serious about returning hatchlings to the wild then resource those who protect our wild turtles and marine environment, stop pandering to a few reptile munching cave dwellers and turn this national embarrassment into a source of pride. Hand it over to those who don’t want to exploit these wonderful creatures and create a world recognised sanctuary, research and breeding centre fit for the 21st century.
    9 million dollars could be better spent on research and strong enforcement protection instead of lining yet more crocked pockets whose only interest is their own.
    But that is the Cayman way so nothing will change.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Literally every civil servant has their hands in the cookie jar awa!? And you idiots are calling for independence! What a royal mess we will be in if that ever happens!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment is so unfair. I’ve worked for government for over 20 years and have never taken a dollar. The vast majority of civil servants are honest. It seems that the majority of people who are caught had a shady past but always had someone in a position of authority bail them out. If people had to take their licks the first time they got caught the stealing might stop. And obviously there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to police clearance for foreigners.

      • Say it like it is says:

        1.03pm I quite agree hundreds of civil servants have never taken a dollar, it’s not worth it. Problem is they take hell of a lot more than a dollar.

      • Anonymous says:

        Haven’t taken one yet…

      • Anonymous says:

        And just how many young Caymanians have been caught skimming money out of accounts at our banks? All they get is a slap on the wrist and they hop to another bank or private company only to steal again. Seems some people on here have very short selective memories.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are NOT civil servants, they are public servants in one of these organizations that governments like Mckeeva have created over the years to avoid the rules of the civil service. Usually with massive salaries and no control…until the recent Public Authorities Law which they all hate because it stops them doing their corrupt practices outside of the scope of the civil service. Prior to the PAL, check the salaries in the statutory authorities….nearly 200k for Maritime and CIMA and CAA.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Here is an idea. Allow residents to bring their guest at local rates. A lot of private business do this. I would love to take family that visit but will not pay tourist prices.

    • West Bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 7:43 am , a very good point , that locals get a special rate price to visit the farm for many reasons .
      When I go there they dear don’t say anything to me about cover charge , because I tell them that I went out and catch the turtles to start the farm , and I helped build the farm , so if it wasn’t for me , you wouldn’t have your job .

      But talk to your district MLA about the issue, because it isn’t fair that locals and family pay the same price as tourist , and get the reins tighten in all these government departments .

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        Locals and their guests don’t pay the same as tourists. Locals pay $10, guests of locals pay 50% of the tourist rate. That doesn’t seem unfair.

        • Anonymous says:

          Since when? It was full tourist price when I went.

          • Fred the Piemaker says:

            Did you ask? I went 2 weeks ago. They even tried to give me the resident rate for the whole party until I told them 2 were guests.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s just going to mean more government subsidies are needed to keep it afloat. Stop being cheap!

      • West Bay Premier says:

        Now 9:51 am how is that going to cause the government more money , when they at the farrm don’t use the money collected for any purpose except been misplaced .

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually no. It might help as visitors increase as well as the resident (and perhaps this means an entire family) also visits more often

    • Anonymous says:

      They do.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Where is the audit for the Hurricane Paloma fund in Cayman Brac? Marl road suggests some very questionable findings in the audit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who was dishing out all the brown envelopes EVERY Friday when Clifton Hunter was being built? Most of the recipients were not working there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Forget it, 7:38. Julianna contacted people who have lived in Grand Cayman for 30 years or more and asked them if they wanted funds to fix their house on the Brac, which they had not lived in since leaving the Brac. Many people fixed up derelict houses which were untouched by Paloma or those receiving minor damage, but that is the way Bracers and Julianna in particular operate. Oh yes, and its called corruption in most countries. The Auditor General would say the same, but it would not matter a damn because we need that corrupt inactive little cesspit to give us two MLAs every election.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Prior to this article I could not understand where the $500,000 per month government subsidy went.

  18. Anonymous says:

    another glorious day for the civil service……time for some more awards franz…zzzzzz
    and these fools speak about independence……..

    • rickberns@gmail.com says:

      What does this have to do with the Civil Service?

      • Anonymous says:

        when at the head of the stream there is a polluter or polluthers, then downstream others believe they have a license to pollute!

        So it has been when ExCo and Cabinet members have committed corrupt acts, get away with it while reaping the profits, then others in the government system believe they can too.

        Most of the construction “costs” at the Turtle Farm were siphoned off into some peoples pockets.

        It is for these corrupt reasons why no government wants an effective functioning Standards in Public Life Law, Auditor General, Anti-Corruption Commission, Police Complaints, Complaints Commissioner, Information Commissioner, etc. etc.

        Too much corruption at the heads of government, the reason why crime is increasing – If the BIG MAN can tief den so can I!1

        Too slowly some of the crooks are being exposed – now let us get to the top crooks too!

      • Anonymous says:

        7:28am: Read the new Public Authorities Law.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Turtle Centre is a theft of the people’s money, a barbaric tourist attraction and a place of appalling suffering that cannot be challenged due the Animals Law opt out. For those who don’t know, all animals on Cayman are protected against cruelty, with the explicit exception of sea turtles. Disgusting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh shut-up.

    • Anonymous says:

      So why attack the poachera if they are equally harming them and keeping them captive. They need deliverance asap.

    • rickberns@gmail.com says:

      While you are at it, why did not mention cattle, chickens, goats, pigs, etc., etc.? Are you biased against those animals (That was in jest; clearly you are just ignorant)?

      • Anonymous says:

        I suspect that cattle, chickens, goats, pigs, etc., etc.all come under the grouping of “all animals on Cayman are protected against cruelty”.

        It’s a reading comprehension think

        • Anonymous says:

          The only animals people in the Cayman Islands care about are Rock Iguanas, Blue Iguanas, dogs, cats, and parrots. They for sure don’t care about chickens. There is at least 10 dead chickens in the road in Cayman Brac every day. There is a dead cat in the road every week. Matter of fact, I take that back, all they care about is the iguanas because they are setting rat poison for everything else.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, and that’s the mindnumbingly stupid excuse which is frequently banded around by those who cannot understand the difference between domesticated and endangered.
        Oh please tell us genius, which part of the 10:23 submission is factually wrong?
        Captive wild animal interaction centres, (or zoo’s and circuses to you) are being closed all over the world because the public are becoming educated and maturing, realising that exploiting animals that are born to roam the land, air or oceans is fundamentally wrong.
        The Caymanian mindset is programmed to exploit, whether it’s wild animals, domesticated animals, foreign workers, tourists and every resident who buys utilities or goods on these islands. You can’t help yourself, it’s take now and to hell with the consequences.
        The levels of cruelty on this island are shameful and you would be better served by seeking a solution rather than making excuses for your failings.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:41am, turtles were once not endangered as well – stop defending the killing of any animal you mindnumbingly stupid and cruel person!

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh please. Try again as you’re obviously missing the point. This is about cruelty not about the vegan agenda.
            Grow up.

            • Anonymous says:

              Sasputch, cruelty is cruelty no matter the animal being cruelly farmed. Gheesh!

              Hitting the “vegan agenda” – You adult fool.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:23 What about the poor cows and pigs that are being slaughtered.

  20. Anonymous says:

    they need better manager that can grow the buisness! Bracka.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I understand from a source that the individual in question has already left the Island and returned to their home country.

  22. Anonymous says:

    In what area of government are we not getting ripped off – Port/Customs/Immigration/HSA………where does it end?

  23. West Bay Premier says:

    Sir you sacked the wrong one .

  24. Anonymous says:

    What about that guy displaying overly aggressive managerial techniques seen in a video a while back? What ever happened to him?

  25. Anonymous says:

    How much ?

  26. Anonymous says:

    “Butchers shop”? Wow. The facility allows caymanians who choose to eat turtle to buy the meat without threatening the seaborne population. People get hung up on turtles cos they are cute and gorgeous. Hell, I love swimming with them. In my book cows, sheep and chickens are gorgeous too but that don’t stop the rest of the world feeding them all kinds of unnatural hormones, antibiotics and other bs, slaughtering them in their billions for us to buy nicely packed on the shelves. Logic needed, not emotion. And no I won’t eat turtle but I will defend caymanians rights to do so as long as it is humanely done.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the “endangered species” issue. Makes them different to other animals, cultivated or not.

      The Turtle Centre has historically released disappointingly few numbers into the wild – sort that out and release significant numbers (and seriously address the animal welfare and disease control issues), do the science to prove that releases are contributing to rising wild populations and you might stand a chance of justifying local meat sales as a poaching reduction/ mitigation measure.

      Alternatively, educate people that endangered species are more important than their stomachs.

      • Anonymous says:

        Before making negative comments about the Cayman Turtle Farm’s turtle release, over 31,000 turtles, please Read the CNS article:

        “In recent years there has been evidence that the increase in wild turtles nesting on local beaches has been assisted by the historic release programme by the Turtle Centre.”

        The scientific evidence is in – even the most vocal critics know that more than 50% of the turtles nesting on our beaches are turtles released from the Cayman Turtle Farm returning to nest on our Cayman Islands’s beaches.

        • Anonymous says:

          Over how many years? And out of how many hatchlings? Last time I saw any figures published they were releasing a small fraction of the numbers than died each year due to overcrowding and disease.

          Yes – the efforts have been stepped up since the centre was resoundingly criticised several years ago, but up until then, the releases were pitiful – averaging a few thousand a year (which may result in only a few individuals surviving to maturity) out of the tens of thousands of hatchlings.

          I did read the article and no, the evidence is not as you claim. The Turtle Centre itself only claims that “several” animals have been identified as being former releases, not the 50% that you claim

        • Hugh says:

          “50% of the turtles nesting on our beaches are turtles released from the Cayman Turtle Farm”? You lie!

        • Anonymous says:

          So at a modest ratio of 1 in 1000 living to be a viable adult, that’s 31 turtles we’ve successfully returned to the wild. And say if only 50% are female hatchlings, that’s not that spectacular for our breeding population is it. Also if 50% of the nesters, (100-150) really are Cayman TF hatchlings, (which I doubt) that is still only a very few as some turtles nest more than once.
          The idiots of WB and EE who hunt these creatures to extinction have killed more than that in the past two years if the empty shells that are dumped around the island are anything to go by.

          You must be so proud.

          • SSM345 says:

            Without the TF there would be no turtles in our waters because we would eat them all: that is a fact. I like buying it from them instead of nicking one from the dive sites or spotts and then going through the rigoral of prepping it; takes forever.

        • Fred the Piemaker says:

          I am not a vocal critic just a sceptical reader. So tell me what the evidence is for your assertion that 50% of the nesting turtles have been released from the farm? Seriously, because if you can do that, fair comment. Were they tagged? Some kind of DNA test? Or just some figure you made up as you posted the comment, or something someone told you in a bar once?

          • Anonymous says:

            Fred the Piemaker, the numbers are from DNA testing as tags are usually missing when they return 20+ years later to mate and lay.

            The study was done by the University of London and the University of Barcelona through a Darwin Institute sponsored study.

            According to this study, some 54% of the active breeder population in the Cayman Islands have the DNA of the Turtle Centre. You have to admit, that is pretty remarkable.
            You can google the study.

            When turtles are released as head started 2 year olds, the odds of surviving goes way up. The 1 in 1000 survival ratio is for hatchlings in the wild.

    • Anonymous says:

      Total crap. Until an enforceable process is in place to ensure that only farmed meat is sold to consumers then wild caught meat will always be on the menu in local bars, cafes and restaurants.
      And if you are naive enough to think that those farmed turtles don’t get pumped with disease prevention drugs in those filthy tanks, then you deserve all you get.
      It probably accounts for the retarded view of those who try to justify the unjustifiable.

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