CIG’s Euro trip adds up to $150K

| 05/12/2018 | 72 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers

(CNS): The extended trip to Europe in September by the premier, financial services minister, the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) and a number of other government officials cost the public purse more than $150,000, according to documents released by the various relevant government departments. Premier Alden McLaughlin led a small delegation to Europe for talks on the potential blacklisting by the European Union of Cayman’s offshore industry, as well as a much larger delegation to a boat show in Monaco and a lunch in Athens to promote the shipping registry.

Responses to FOI requests to the ministries and departments involved reveal that the whole trip exceeded $153,000, with the bulk of the money being spent in Monaco on MACI’s appearance at the luxury boat show and social events hosted by the Cayman delegation.

The Cabinet Office and MACI spent around $27,000 hosting cocktail receptions and dinners at the super-yacht event. The authority also spent well over $6,000 to send two staff members and the board chair to Athens for a lunch with the premier and shipping magnates, which also cost over $3,000. The flights, hotels and daily allowances for the premier and his political adviser, Roy Tatum, totalled almost CI$20,000 for the two week trip.

The travel was justified by officials in various releases because it provided an opportunity to promote the shipping registry and to help the agency attract even more of the luxury boat market. The add-on trip to Athens for lunch was seen as a way to interest merchant ship owners in Cayman’s shipping register which currently accounts for only a small fraction of MACI’s business.

CNS made the original request at the beginning of October and received the last relevant document that has so far been released yesterday after requests by at least two of the entities involved for extensions to the 30-day period set out in the law to respond to FOI requests.

See documents in the CNS Library

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Category: Politics

Comments (72)

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  1. Blouse &Skirts says:

    The Trini Mafiya seems to know exactly what is going on this likle place and they big bout ya now! They are now expanding their own shipping registry boy dis place hemorrhaging bad errrybody now starting to suck dis place dry! Aaaaah boy Cayman ya selling yourself really cheap!

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  2. Witness says:

    If you like that. Check the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. Not talking about the half ass “auditing” that happens once a year. Government is greedy and sucks up to the foreign doller.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully soon this global vacation will end for MACI like it has for many of the other authorities …. flowing ‘soft money’, expensive dinners, Mercedes Benz , travel, wine, women (include visiting illegitimate children) and song. All for an organization that doesn’t contribute much to the coffers of the Cayman Islands Govt. oops I mean the Government of the Cayman Islands. A look at Instagram will give the impression of a billion dollar company and it CEO traveling for the betterment of the organization instead it all ‘fake news’ with waste and personal aggrandisement and the stupid politicians that follow him. Again another example of an entitled generation of Caymanian men who need to be given the boot … wonder if MACI will soon have back those “useful girl Fridays” who were fired from the Port ….

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  4. MM says:

    And FOI request to confirm what the daily allowance for the premier and Roy actually was would be very interesting… I would estimate it to be about US$350 per day based on deducting the estimated cost of the hotel and air fare from the $20,000 total listed in the article….

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Its nice to be the King. And its not like the Caymanian people will stand together to do anything about anything.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think it would have mattered to the bunch of trolls on here if the Govt and spent $10 on these events because you all would fiound something negative about that, it would either be too little or too much. Why can’t we see the positives and be proud for once, that the Cayman flag is one of the best flags in the world and that the staff at MACI should be congratulated for this.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Simply because the negatives far outweigh the positives. When I see big screen TV’s being unloaded from a new plane collected by government officials, it tells me the free trip and free cargo is what it was all about, and to top it all, it is shoved in the publics face when it is unloaded right in front of them.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    cheez…150k and i would be mortgage free! yet they nlow in 1 wk..pathetic😯😉

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  8. Anonymous says:

    ash…le’s…

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      All he is doing is keeping the News Media filled up with propaganda to keep the heat of the most important issues .

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Our Premier deserves first class travel and accomodation.

    But not the private sector board chair and members..

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  10. say it like it is says:

    What we need to know is how much business MACI picked up swanning around in Monaco and Athens.Do they really think we will sign up a lot of merchant ships when our inspection standards are far higher and our fees so much more than the established flags of convenience?.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you don’t know what you are talking about. You should perhaps do some research before you make such a inaccurate statement. Our flag offers a top rate survey regeime at one of the most competitive prices in the industry. And FYI the registry doesn’t have a higher standard for inspection.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Cayman Islands was the number 1 rated flag in Europe in 2017 and the number 2 rated flag in 2018. This says a lot about these little islands in the Caribbean.

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      • anon says:

        Yup.. all those rich people can brag that they have a cayman flag on their super yacht. woopy! Shall I address the sarcasm in my statement? How is cayman benefiting from being number one or two on that registry? Ill wait for an answer.

  11. ppm Distress Signal says:

    Reminds of the same globe trotting junkets that Big Mac used to do as Premier that Alden & PPM often complained about. Same mindset no difference in style or substance. Power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Bermuda has a huge Budget for the BDA to do exactly this type of work, and they do it well. Cayman does not, especially in the offshore sector and at some point it is going to come back and bite us.

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    • Mike says:

      Simply put, you cannot fry big fish on a stay at home budget! First you have to be in the right spot, then chum the water, that should be the Caymanian way! This petty criticism every time the Govt. launches a boat is ridiculous and I think is coming from folks who have no idea of what it means to network in the global economy!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Mike I agree to your comments regarding networking to a certain extent. However, what is concerning is the growth this country is seeing at rapid speed whilst certain things are not in place. To name a few, mount trashmore, a defined development plan, envorinmental protection plan, affordable health care, affordable insurance premiums and infrastructure i.e. you have persons (families) leaving home from 5.00 in the morning to get their children to schools and to work on time and is unable to get home until 7 at night every work day. How can this be good for families? Worst yet, with more developments on the horizon (in town) With the same carriage and round abouts, I believe the pie in the sky dream will be short lived. I am certain all the money and business that would would come to our island would expect basic and a variety of products. Have anyone else have been experiencing the lack of products and variety of basic staples in the supermarkets and medicines at the pharmacies? Why is this? Mr. Premier, you can bring all the business to the island but if people cannot even get orange juice on island, I ask you what type of island have you been selling?

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    • Anonymous says:

      So we should spend orders of magnitude more than this amount to be drumming up business constantly, is that what you’re saying? Sounds great, but won’t you be the first person criticising the 10m budget of the CDA, 1/2 of which will be promotion and travel expenses? “Good work if you can get it”, I can hear it already.

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  13. Just a question says:

    Ok, so this is alot of money to be spent.
    CNS, can you find out the hotels all our MLS stay in are they five or four star?
    I completely understand the entertainment side of it, but the hotels are only a bed!

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    • Anonymous says:

      So you want to send your Premier and other government officials and put them up in Motel 6..Nice Image that would portray..This is not a lot of money for all they did on this trip and if they did it well the trip will pay for itself 10 times over..

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      • Anonymous says:

        Absolute rubbish! I love how people make statements such as yours when you can offer no substantiation of the ’10 times over’.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I want to know what class of flights they had. Economy?

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  14. annonymous says:

    What we need o do is to educate our ppl so they stop having children the are not capable of parenting and feeding.

    Its a crying shame that children are going to school hungry. Blame the parent.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    To be a fly on the wall to hear what the UK said after our leaders left the building to head for the airport. At least they are providing comic relief for Britain.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Ours isn’t the only government who travels to promote the country. We might not like it but any high position pays perks like travel, schmoozing so also nothing new there. As for children going hungry, get off CNS and go donate money to Feed our Future, become a Mentor with Big Brother Big Sister, volunteer with NCVO or the Special Needs Foundation. Its always a bunch of naggers on here complaining who do nothing themselves to better their community.

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    • Anonymous says:

      8:52am – We do donate and we look to CNS to hear pathetic comments like yours. CNS is used to send message to our politicians.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And you think politicians sit around reading a bunch of moaning complaining comments and actually take it to heart or are motivated by them to do what ever you are saying they should do. If people got off their computers and took action instead of lying back and expecting the government to fix everything things wouldn’t be so bad.

        Name ONE country where the Government is meeting all the needs of the country………………………

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    • Anonymous says:

      The difference is that these Islands are just a colony and not a country. We are 60,000 people. We are not a major economic force anywhere which is why all of this international travel by the Premier and his colleagues is a total joke.

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      • Anonymous says:

        65,000, largest BOT by population. Third-largest domicile of US govt securities. Monopoly hedge fund jurisdiction. Most popular super yacht registry. Not a major economic force? That must be why the OECD and EU and US Democrats and so on want to shut us down right?

        Muppet Hunter, help me out here.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Mean while back at the Ranch…………….. crime is on the rise, the public beaches are thriving with vendor concessions stands employing foreign labor and not public anymore and the educational system is rated a 5 on a scale of 1-10. Oh and thousands of dollars are being wasted on flying our new toy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What is going on at our University. I thought they fixed all the problems last spring with the teachers? Something is not right with the politics at that place.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Angela Merkel took commercial flight to get to Argentina, in case you missed that. Too bad they sent a repaired aircraft to pick her up. She could have hitched a flight back with Putin to taxpayers money and set an example. I am not serious..but still…

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Must be nice.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Must be nice when you have Caymanian children going to school on an empty stomach in the morning.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman would have NO money if we didn’t invest like this to promote ourselves like this.

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    • Anonymous says:

      and whose fault is that??..we have children having children and a generation that believes the government should take care of them..Maybe if we looked within instead of blaming other people and depending on the government no one would go hungry..

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      • Anonymous says:

        Enforcing child maintenance would scare men instead of them being reckless. Enforcement of child maintenance means less requests to social services.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Typical public sector attitude, ‘It’s not our money so who cares?’

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just lucky Mac and his entourage were not there or the cost would have been a lot more.They has Casino there.

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  22. People says:

    should we be sending our leaders around in rags ?
    what price point would be appropriate?
    for the purpose of representing our nation ,commerce and people these prices are very modest

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    • Anonymous says:

      1. We are not a nation.
      2. Maples represents us (for free) 100 times better than any the government clowns do.

      Politicians should stay at home and ensure our children are fed and educated.

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      • People says:

        Thankfully these opinions will never represent these islands/nation !

        And what opportunity do you think will ensure our children are fed- global investors do nothing huh? If this needs explaining you have no idea what fuels our economy and prospirity

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      • Anonymous says:

        7.14 am 1) I am sure you understood what was meant. 2)Maybe Maples represents you for free, but Maples does not represent “We the people” (Cayman Is Government) for free.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maples represents Maples

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, how I miss the troll button for your multiple bullshit comments.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Penny lost pound foolish! Our poor ppl is starving. How bout distributing funds to the less fortunate for the Christmas.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I would rather they offered opportunities so people could earn money themselves rather than scrounging for handouts.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Those people are lazy. They are on forever handouts. I would rather give these people the opportunity to get themselves out of poverty.

      Oh wait I personally did this and what did multiple of them do? Steal, lie and/or not show up for work, left early. Didn’t actually follow instructions or anything that they were told. Had a bad attitude. Had a terrible look on their face of “I don’t want to be here”. The rest were on their phone the entire time and barely looked up at a customer.

      These people need to be sterilized.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Gotta spend money to make money…or so I’ve heard.

    Jokes and sarcasm aside, I am not particularly outraged by this expenditure.
    Europe isn’t exactly next door and we did send our highest members of office to rather exclusive events and venues.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Ok…..Cayman got money for this but no money for the kids that go to school hungry.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh we have money for both. But it’s not the governments job to feed children. It’s their parents job but seems most local parents didn’t get the memo that children aren’t accessories.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Their parents should feed them or they should not have had them. Birth control is free. There is always the pharmacies for the back up and as a last resort on island is the underground abortion pill market. For those who have the money, fly to Jamaica or Florida for a quick weekend trip to ‘take care’ of the problem.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Money well spent.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    For two weeks and they did all that..sounds like a bargain to me….

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