Third arrest in year-long CIFA probe

| 04/06/2018 | 17 Comments
Cayman News Service

CIFA headquarters, Grand Cayman

(CNS): A 47-year-old man from George Town was arrested by investigators at the Anti-Corruption  Commission Monday on suspicion of committing several offences under Common Law, the Proceeds of Crime Law as well as the Anti-Corruption Law. The ACC said the arrest related to a corruption investigation in which two men were arrested almost 12 months ago. Those men were Bruce Blake, a former vice president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, and Canover Watson, a former CIFA treasurer who is currently serving a seven-year jail term following his conviction in the Carepay scandal.

Neither Blake nor Watson have been charged in the ongoing case, which is said to relate to two  questionable payments amounting to more than one million dollars at the Cayman Islands Football Association relating to a loan account.

Following this third arrest Monday, the ACC said the man was taken into custody on suspicion of secret commission contrary to the Anti-Corruption Law 2008, money laundering contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Law 2008, and conspiracy to defraud contrary to Common Law.

Officials said he was detained for questioning at the Prisoner Detention Centre at Fairbanks and was later released on bail. The man has not yet been identified and the ACC stated that as the inquiry is continuing, they were not prepared to make any further comment. There are indications however, that it may be Watson who was arrested for the second time.

CIFA has been under the spotlight ever since its former president, Jeff Webb, who was also president of regional football body CONCACAF and VP of FIFA, was arrested in the massive US-led international FIFA corruption probe in May 2015. Webb remains in the US awaiting sentencing after he admitted being involved in the bribery scandal.

Webb was also charged alongside Watson in the local hospital scandal but by that time he was already facing charges in the United States and has not yet returned to his native Cayman to answer the local charges. Webb has still not been sentenced for his part in the FIFA case but after numerous delays, the disgraced football boss is due to hear his fate in September. Given that Webb has cooperated with the authorities in the case, has been under house arrest for almost three years and has forfeited some $6.7 million, he is unlikely to go to jail.

It is not clear if the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in Cayman has plans to seek Webb’s extradition in the CarePay case once his FIFA case is settled, and whether or not the ACC investigators are also keen to speak with Webb in their own CIFA probe.

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Comments (17)

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  1. SSM345 says:

    I hope they got Canovers passport before he go Russia next week for the World Cup. Betcha Jeff soon reach here too after serving no jail time in the US and they and their mates get away with the CIFA fiasco. Absolute mockery made of the system and all of us by.PHs like them. If people woke the F up they would realize that they all do it and have done it from time. No coincidence that boards; clubs; govt etc been run by the same crew since how long? Pigs at the trough. Nothing will happen cause it wasn’t written that they couldn’t do what they have done and there will be no paper trail.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why in hell is the parole board letting him out after two years. I hope they realize that they have to provide actual reasons for this decision.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why is Canover out of prison already?!?!?!?
    Saw him working at a garage the other day

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a huge investigation.

    C. Watson should sing like Sinatra!

    “I did it my way” LOL

  5. Al Jazeera Ebanks says:

    If Watson starts singing for his supper like Webb did to the FBI a lot of people including current and former politicians are going to walking around in nappies or rushing to cut their own deals. CIFA is rotten do the core and until the forensic audit goes back 10-15 years and show the public where the funds went. No one in CIFA including the new president and executive committee can be trusted. We need to see the FIFA audit report that has been finalized. Release it to the public if there is nothing to hide. Failure to do so means nothing has changed at CIFA. The member clubs must demand the release of the forensic audit if not they are complicit in the ongoing corruption and national embarrassment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tooooo slow. Get moving!

    • Anonymous says:

      In the CIFA/Carepay/FIFA/Cartan/Captain’s Bakery context, there are a limited number of contributing entities, controlling persons, transactions, and recipient accounts. Based on public indictments, and years-old media reports, non-professionals can put together a corrupt actor flow chart with entity names, UBOs, dates and amounts in under half an hour.

  7. Yes but what investigations have been made into the 1500 square foot clubhouse costing CI$750,000 ? The CPA were advised it would cost CI$186,000. This involves all sorts of local contractors and must not be ignored and swept under the marl or Tarmac.before I forget what happened to the tons of top soil that were removed to put in the articulate grass? Three accounting firms missed the red flags. In fact more red flags than the annual meeting of Matadors in Madrid.
    And what from CIFA itself after three years. Absolutely nothing.
    Corruption rules OK?

    • Anonymous says:

      Where O where have al de money gone? Where O where have al de money gone? Oohhh Yes Barefoot man got it right along time ago. He made a song! Lol! Unlike us who is scratching our heads. All de money folks gone in land purchases and investing into their own businesses or their friends business. These blue collar thieves think their smart but you don’t need degrees to figure them out either just plain ole common sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chris Johnson has commented on this many times in the past, but it seems like nobody wants to listen or act. He has asked all the relevant questions that needs answers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is not the current President who was one of the first people that Jeff in his capacity as Concacaf President promoted to the position of Assesor of Refrees for the whole of the Concacaf region! And also was his bosom buddy! Until the so called football clubs of Cayman divorce their selves from the past culture of opportunism that Jeff cultivated for twenty years in the local game. This beautiful game locally will always be a means to and end for a few clubs and the current administrators of the game! Just look at the current CIFA administration. It still has in it’s membership people from Jeff era, who are under suspicion for curruption! With the exception of a few clubs most football clubs are weekend recreation teams playing the game in a recreation league called the Premier League!

      • Anonymous says:

        The arrested, and once-suspended Bruce Blake is apparently back at CIFA now, despite ongoing investigations. How would that be possible without active willing consent of Whittaker?

    • fairplay says:

      Based on Chris’ comments regarding the clubhouse, which I do not doubt, I can only assume that the Port Director when planning his office refurbishment was inspired by Jeff Webb.

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