Corruption case wraps up with 3 more convictions

| 01/11/2019 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service
Department of Immigration

(CNS): Three women, one of them a former immigration officer, were all convicted of corruption related offenses Thursday, wrapping up a long-running case into bribery at the immigration department relating to English language testing. After three Grand Court trials, nine of the twelve charged in the bribery conspiracy have been convicted, including several former immigration officers. A gag order on the names of those involved and their convictions has now been lifted.

Six immigration officers were charged with taking bribes of $600 per English test to ensure that work permit candidates would pass, regardless of how poor their English was.

They were Marcus Alexander, Diane Dey-Rankin, Kathy-Ann Forbes, Pheadra McDonald, Sherry Lee McLaughlin and Carlos Robinson.

The six civilians accused of finding the candidates, taking the money and a cut of the bribes were Santo Castro Castillo, Marlenis Perez Mata, Mariel Maleno Suriel, Katerine Montero Paniagua, Carolin Nixon-Lopez and Angela Suyapa Rodriguez David.

McLaughlin was the only immigration officer to be acquitted. Paniagua and Mata, who had been charged with helping to find the candidates to pay the bribes, were also found not guilty.

The defendants were all charged with slightly different corruption offences and their particular role in the conspiracy, which was said to have taken place between August 2015 and June 2016. Prosecutors had laid almost three dozen charges on the original indictment, ranging from a breach of trust to fraud.

But the charges were eventually consolidated and all of them denied the allegations and went to trial, with the exception of Maleno Suriel, a Dominican national living in George Town who pleaded to a fraud conspiracy charge.

The case presented significant challenges because of the number of defendants. As a result it was split into three separate trials, and to prevent potential prejudice, gag orders were placed on the identities of the defendants. Eventually, the first case resulted in several convictions but the second trial collapsed when the crown offered no evidence.

The third case wrapped up Thursday with a second conviction for Dey-Rankin, a former immigration officer, and Nixon-Lopez. Angela Suyapa Rodriguez David was convicted for the first time in the conspiracy.

The corruption case was opened after some immigration officers became suspicious of how the English-language tests were being conducted. After an internal investigation, the department handed it over to the Anti-Corruption Commission. When the case came to court, prosecutors pointed the finger at senior immigration officer Marcus Alexander as the ‘ring-leader’ of the conspiracy who roped in other officers and coordinated the rigged tests.

All nine of those who were convicted have been released on bail to await sentencing. However, a date has not yet been fixed in the case that first opened in the court in January of this year.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (25)

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  1. Sucka Free Cayman says:

    Anon 910am and 321pm a very bold,accurate and truthful statement and if we the Cayman residents can see it why can’t this ridiculous government or the UK for that matter not see this Mafia type of corruption plague that has no descended upon this place and us .It is also no coincidence that their nationals have now completely inundated the immigration Department and CBC for obvious reasons. Wake up Cayman you are now being robbed of your identity very rapidly and as that happens the future of our children is seriously being jeopardized and destroyed. The balance that has always kept Cayman level is now being undermined by greedy political cohorts and perverts and their sick sexual appetites.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are you blaming this on expats? All the names mentioned in the article are Caymanians and have been with the department for many years. These ppl are your own! Stop trying to throw your bad apples on other nations.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who paid the bribes? Where are they from? What are the nationalities of the police charged with investigating, and the prosecutors charged with prosecuting?

      • I Papi says:

        Expats contribute these folks are not here to contribute a single thing .They have come here for the sole purpose to make $$ and sell and traffic drugs/guns plain and simple.. We should never ever delude ourselves about that. Our no use politicians in return for ignoring or turning a blind eye to this terrible situation, get their little sexual fantasies fulfill.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Deportation orders?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Seems like this has been going on for years…..I remember going for a pedicure a few years ago and telling the lady giving me my pedicure that the water was too hot. She didn’t understand a word I was saying, and I remember wondering how in the world she had passed the English test.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cayman being destroyed by Central American and Jamacian corruption; business as usual.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Disgraceful …. Sad when your own destroys your homeland and not foreigners …
    There’s no need for this cause they can make their salary in overtime work!
    As usual:- GREEDINESS CHOKES PUPPY!
    And now gonna have a criminal record & is an embarrassment to family & community!
    As a single parent I had tough days BUT I learnt really quickly how to set priorities and to make lil extra cash for Christmas go & get a part-time job!
    As always there’s other options other than becoming a thief!

  6. Anonymous says:

    More Honduran business as usual.

  7. Anonymous says:

    No wonder I can’t understand anyone on this island.

  8. Anonymous says:

    …i would rather starve than do anything dishonest….i make sure in my employment, everything i do is by the book….

    • Anonymous says:

      1:50 Sadly, you’re in a very small minority. These islands had reached the point where kickbacks were a way of life when I first came here in 1992. Since then I’ve worked in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, so when I came back it was pretty much SOP for me. At the end of the day everything has a price, all you need to do is find out who you need to pay off. I can haggle for pay offs in at least seven languages and being able to do it English here is so much more convenient.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Tip of the iceberg?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey Roper, how many foreign nationals have been arrested, charged, convicted, fined, imprisoned and/or deported in relation to paying these bribes or benefitting from them?

    Paying bribes is serious stuff, isn’t it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Use a little respect (if you know what that means) and address your spurious complaint to “Mr. Roper”.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Agree. Governor Roper is also acceptable. We have to remember that everyone is not guilty of any offence until convicted.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, everyone who commits an offence is guilty of it.

        • Anonymous says:

          OK. Could Governor Roper please explain how it is possible for significant numbers of foreign nationals (or anyone for that matter) to pay bribes to Cayman government officials, and not face immediate prosecution and imprisonment?

          The question is asked in the context of him assuring us how safe and law abiding Cayman is, and how robust and effective the agencies under his watch are.

      • Anonymous says:

        Raglan?

      • Anonymous says:

        What was that adage about respect being earned? Perhaps he can do some more to ensure the quality and robustness of policing (that he is responsible for) improves. When there is some excellence, he can be His Excellency. Not seeing it yet.

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