Daggaro begins work despite appeals

| 12/01/2021 | 124 Comments
Cayman News Service
Filling of the turtle kraal, Cayman Brac

(CNS) UPDATED WITH NATIONAL TRUST COMMENT: The mysterious aviation company, Daggaro, that has been given approval to create a helicopter-pad and related buildings near to the airport on Cayman Brac began work on Tuesday, deeply upsetting local residents owing to the destruction of an important natural heritage site. Even though appeals have been filed against the permission granted at the end of last year, the turtle kraal was filled today and heavy equipment began clearing the site, which conservationists believe may well have killed a number of Sister Islands rock iguanas in the process.

It is not clear why Daggaro moved so quickly, given that appeals have been filed by the National Trust and neighbouring landowners to the approval by the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Development Control Board late last year.

The destruction of the turtle kraal was one of the serious environmental concerns about the project that activists were hoping to prevent, but this has now happened even though residents on Cayman Brac have yet to hear from local leaders how this project will benefit them.

Numerous questions surround the mysterious project, which was approved by the DCB despite objections and has the backing of Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, who is the MP for the district of Cayman Brac West and Little Cayman. In addition, and unusually for any development, it has been given approval by the governor.

Residents are extremely suspicious and don’t see how this project, which the owners say is a regional air ambulance and search and rescue operation, can be viable. It appears that Daggaro, which has said it will be using military Black Hawk helicopters for these missions, has also been given clearance to use drones, which calls into question what activities will actually be done on Cayman Brac by a company that admits it does do military intelligence work.

Daggaro has posted a list of frequently asked questions on its website outlining what it says the plans are for the US$10 million project and has invited people to ask more.

But regardless of what Daggaro eventually does from this helicopter base, the focus now is the loss of an cultural heritage site and the clearance of an important habitat for the endangered Sister Islands rock iguanas.

Department of Environment officers were present Tuesday as Daggaro was clearing the site. But it is not clear that they had been given much warning and whether they were in fact able to save the iguanas on site at the time, as had been agreed at the time the project was approved.

CNS has submitted questions to the DoE about how many iguanas have been lost and whether any were rescued and we are awaiting a response.

Residents on the Brac who witnessed the filling of the kraal and the clearing of the area on Tuesday told CNS that they had spotted several iguanas at the site when the clearing was going on but did not see the DoE officers manage to take any away.

Martin Keeley, a well known conservation expert, said people are truly upset and disappointed that their concerns are just being ignored. He said that the DCB was scheduled to meet today but the meeting had been cancelled because one member was unwell. As a result, those objecting to this project were unable to raise their concerns or get the minutes from the last meeting when the Daggaro project was approved, which they need for the various appeals.

Following news that work had started the National Trust released a statement saying the members were was saddened to learn of the destruction of the Turtle Krawl which was a piece of Caymanian history beloved by many that has now been lost.

“We recognize there are places like the Turtle Krawl that we are unable to purchase for conservation due to limited funding and the high cost of land purchase,” the Trust said. ” As such, we continue to strongly appeal to the Planning Department and developers to take into consideration our environmental and cultural heritage when accessing development on the three islands. Sustainable development benefits us all when we show a healthy respect and love what makes our Islands unique and to benefit future generations.”

See documents regarding this development in the CNS Library.

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Category: development, Land Habitat, Local News, Science & Nature

Comments (124)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This proves the state of affairs of this government, who could easily fund the National Trust, and seek out these historical sites, and purchase them for future generations. It would cost less than most surveys they do, and jobs for locals to maintain. Government also need to amend certain laws, and include the people on major decisions like this. We have not heard from either of our two representative’s; and rumor is Moses Kirkernell is all for it. The fact that the site is being cleared before objections are dealt with, is disturbing to say the least. We put all of you politicians in office to do the people business, the Brac people were left out on this project, and we are rightfully angry, and sad that things could go this way; shame, shame. I would resign if I had disregarded my people like this, time for serious change in these islands

  2. Blacklisted Caymanians says:

    When u have a company doing business with a politician who gets special mention in one of the Western Hemisphere’s biggest drug traffickers memoir and you have a sitting Governor approve it No Caymanian should ever complain about making it onto any type Blacklist anywhere.This is an indictment on everyone who lives in these islands! Where is the due diligence in that Cayman???

  3. Anonymous says:

    Listen all Grand posters….lets not waste time on this topic…come May, the Brackers will vote them right back in. Lets stay focus on removing the Speaker and the rest of his cronies.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is quite clear that this is a front company for clandestine services. That’s why there is so much mystery, as well as so much irregular favor (with the support of Moses K. and the Governor).

    Wonder whether this is the intended site for bringing in MI-6 and CIA operatives or what the relationship with the new Regiment will be.

    Does this not pose constitutional threats to the Cayman Islands? How is this going to benefit the Cayman Islands? How many Caymanians are being hired?

    This is all very suspect. Perhaps Caymanians should start our own military supply company.

    This is definitely something very bad for the Cayman Islands. Do not trust it.

    • Anonymous says:

      WTF is “our” Governor doing? He certainly should NOT be backing this robbery! Maybe we should contact the queen!

    • Anonymous says:

      Much like Eric Brimer and the ZEDES saga Roatan is currently going through, Mr. Newlove literally said he won’t/can’t hire any Caymanians due to the “requirements’ surrounding this operation. And in the usual fashion citing “experience” being the mitigating factor. And ya’ll still asking ????? It doesn’t seem like we will ever get it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Um Daggaro, if you are looking for a local who is experienced with black ops sites/private security contracting (europe, asia, central america, africa) then unna do your research and lets talk.

    I am not hard to find, I live on the Brac, and everyone knows my generic background from living overseas.

    So if you are really and truly into military intelligence my phone should be ringing within a few minutes after you read this.

    Unicorn without a Horn

  6. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have documentation that this site was declared a historic site?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I smell personal ministerial interest here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How does Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control supervise a private militia landing zone, fueled by mysterious secret international mission contracts when it’s situated on a private no trespassing 5 acres in the middle of the scrub? Did anyone think through the optics or headline risk on this? Who got paid to hold their nose and stamp the approval? I wish this was surprising.

  9. NIMBY says:

    The Brackers have refused to have a Development Plan since forever. So they haven’t got a leg to stand on when facing developments that may not be in the island’s best interests.

    • Anonymous says:

      Having a development plan would’ve done nothing to control or regulate over development. Look at grand cayman today for example. Do You see any evidence of structured, sustainable development anywhere ?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have one question! Who owned the land before and if it was so important to say why didn’t the (DOE) buy the land so no one else could damage it ?? Kid of too late to be arguing about what we lost when or own did nothing from the start to prevent something like this from happening

    CNS: The DoE is a government department that performs research and acts as an advisory body to the government. It doesn’t buy land. The National Trust does buy land to preserve it but is severely limited by lack of funds, which is needed in order to purchase something.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Chief Officer Bodden (same one for the port business) seemingly encouraged this by rejecting their attempts to set up at ORIA but instead suggesting CKIA. Perhaps we should hear from him?

  12. Anonymous says:

    What’s good for Kel Thompson must be good for Daggaro.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cayman law allows development to continue pending CPA appeals. When will CIG change this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because if CIG loses appeals, they would be sued for costs and losses to developers and I guess CIG never have a good enough case to take this risk.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not government that brings appeals; Government grants approvals and people appeal. Government defends the approvals before the appeals tribunals. It stands by every decision of both planning authorities in that way. The Attorney General’s Chambers sends a Crown Counsel to argue for why Government got it right. And if you object to planning permission or appeal a grant of it, you are using your legal rights to do so, and cannot face a claim based on that alone. A developer can’t sue you and say ‘you got my project cancelled with your good arguments!’ So your answer is not correct.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  14. mikey says:

    Call the new Coast Guard recruits to save us from this mess

  15. Anonymous says:

    Do you think they were laughing maniacally when they wrote they had to fill it for safety concerns?

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is a Chinese funded operation. Amalfi Coast is a Chinese hedge fund that owns Daggaro.

    • Anonymous says:

      Selling our to China

    • Anonymous says:

      Daggaro has HQ in Switzerland and in office building in GT…(search Daggaro)
      The Chinese hand out very generous commissions ..ask Gov Taylor about CHEC.
      See what Daggaro does and then ask, “Why Cayman Brac?”
      Follow the smell of money .

    • Outsider says:

      The Chinese own Daggaro? I don’t believe that!

  17. Mr Tibbs says:

    Big Money big money thank you brother Moses and welcome Daggaro tell the naysayers to suck $#!@ they will be spending the DOSH$$$

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Tibbs, you are the lowest of the low….. unless that definition belongs to our scumbag leaders who approved this sellout. It appears that our untouchable leaders will do anything for money. Does anyone wonder how much will be pocketed from this sellout?

    • Dang good tea boi... says:

      What a sad little man 😂
      Sorry to say you won’t be seeing a lick of that cash from Daggaro. Wish you the best of luck when they slap those greedy lil grubby hands of yours and tell you to scram!
      What did you think would happen? 🤣 Maybe you should start hassling them to make good on those pretty little lies of theirs. Good luck. Just don’t pout and fuss when you get sent with your tail between your legs.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is quite clear that this is a front company for clandestine services. That’s why there is so much mystery, as well as so much irregular favor (with the support of Moses K. and the Governor).

      Wonder whether this is the intended site for bringing in MI-6 and CIA operatives or what the relationship with the new Regiment will be.

      Does this not pose constitutional threats to the Cayman Islands? How is this going to benefit the Cayman Islands? How many Caymanians are being hired?

      This is all very suspect. Perhaps Caymanians should start our own military supply company.

      This is definitely something very bad for the Cayman Islands. Do not trust it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay, Mr. Tibbs or should I say Mr. Freemason. Note that he said “brother Moses”.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I guess by now, that Ju Ju is changing the oil in her paving equipment.

  19. Cbrac Contractor says:

    USA going down! China is Rising get onboard guys you need to start learning Chinese Mandarin Tek Dat you CBrac tree hugging idiots! I making big $$$ from this Project so i can feed mi and da crew!

    • Anonymous says:

      True dat. All the USA haters best get your chopstick practice in

    • Blood in the water says:

      Make sure you put some aside to jump ship when they start treating you like a dog on a leash and you get fed up…

  20. Anonymous says:

    How cruel were these turtle kraals? Taking a sea turtle from the wild and into a stagnant pond. Lets not get started on the turtle farm. From what I have seen, it is simply a hole in the ground on private property.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody you talk to in the Brac remembers anything about this being a kraal. Seems to be stagnant water that would get nasty quick if turtles were ever put there. “Historic” Slave walls and turtle kraals are another DOE tactic for opposing whatever development they can.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize 60 years ago things were a lot different?

  21. Anonymous says:

    It’s just a sinkhole. And “kraal” is not Caymanian. It’s crawl a/k/a corral.

    • Anonymous says:

      Personally, I don’t care what it was or what it is, but I don’t want some unknown force taking over my home or any part of my island.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is how the Chinese investment companies do it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Maybe tRump will be renditioned there.

  24. Anonymous says:

    una better be careful…govt soon run una outta una house

  25. Anonymous says:

    Can tell you aren’t even from here. It was used to raise young turtles in the same way you Americans raise chickens and cows – except this was a natural containment decades ago where we had to survive on our own and not rely on a factory.

  26. Anonymous says:

    They wanted to clear to kill the appeals – it’s not for safety reasons and claiming so is embarrassing. Walkers Law Firm is representing Dagarro and has sent threats to the activists.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Can any of the readers explain why the bulldozers were in deforesting the mangrove trails in Patricks Islands/Prospect, around the Matilde Ponds? Looks absolutely hideous now.

    This seems to be happening too much now, there’ll be no greenspace left at this rate, we’ll be just an ugly looking concrete block in the middle of the ocean. Most of the new build properties now look like Ikea prefab cupboards – awful.

    Think this is another for @AustinHarris – but as before, I’m not sure he’s ever been to Prospect.

  28. Anonymous says:

    What happen? Run out of space in Grand Concrete?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Above the law.

  30. Cayman Bush Master Flex says:

    Sad sad day for these islands but Moses K and his henchmen always get what they want ? I guess we should be happy they are destroying Cayman BRAC instead of what they had plan for the Mastic Trail aaaah Cayman what if our leaders has just a little integrity eh!

  31. Anonymous says:


  32. Anonymous says:

    It was a public display of fake care. The mission of Daggaro is clear and will be executed with impunity from the jurisdiction of Cayman Brac.
    Kirkconnell has assented to this move and therefore get used to hearing helicopters.
    How does it feel, Moses?

    • Anonymous says:

      What IS the mission of Daggaro..?

      • D. says:

        Two things will happen….. Certain Cayman government figures will get a LOT of money and I don’t know what Daggaro will do…… but it won’t be what they are lying about doing.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Setting the wrong precedent. What next? The blue iguanas at the Botanic Park or the Selena Reserve? These areas are national treasures threatened by development. What’s to stop them from placing military bases in these areas as well?

  34. Messenjah says:

    You really think govt, including the brac pair care about conservation, turtles or anything local besides the cay dolla?
    Obviously if its clouded in secrecy, then its not good. If it was good they would tell us about it. Typical govt behaviour. You are not worthy to know but I want your vote in May 21. I am really sorry for the people that live in the Brac as your quality of life may decrease, especially as overseas investors learn that a para- military operation was approved by the ci govt. Transparency at its best.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Precisely. What is baffling about cayman brac is that most of the heritage sites are in private Caymanian ownership. And these people are ready and willing to sell their land to the highest bidder then call the talk shows weeks later complaining the foreigners are taking over. (Rebeccas cave etc.. ) For years the entire eastern tip of the brac has been listed for sale (198 acres) which contains the cayman brac lighthouse. The Hanson store, one of the oldest buildings in the entire cayman islands was demolished recently. The owner citing the building too expensive to restore. It is the actual caymanians that has put a price on their history.

  36. Anonymous says:

    That’s your representatives that you have on speed dial for everything else. Call them now.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Cayman people wake the hell up . Now that the uk is out from the Eu. They need a military and base in the Caribbean sea to control their assets and run mission from . Stop making politicians sell you shit .

    • Anonymous says:

      Control their assets. What assets? Run missions. What missions? This has about as much to do with Brexit as well, nothing. Lighten up on your conspiracy reading. Seriously.

    • Anonymous says:

      What on earth are you talking about?! It says clearly this is an American-funded operation. What operations would the UK be running that they don’t already? The EU never had any control over the military anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      What the hell does the EU or UK have to do with this? Dear God.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a globalist operation. One World Order, One World Religion.
      Obama and Pope Francis.

    • Anonymous says:

      What else do they sell us?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Great, now can we stop hearing from fanatics and get development going in Brac. We’ve been subsidizing them too long.

  39. Annoymous says:

    What I think is an important point to note – that due process was not followed. The appeal process was not complete. However you feel about this project, that is not right. The government should not have allowed this to move forward without the appeal process being complete. At some point in the future, you may be in the same position. If this company has disregard for the law of the land at this point, what is to stop them in the future? Maybe they had permission? If they did, then the government has disregarded their own process. If this company has put aside the concerns of the community now, what will be the future? If they truly want to make their home in Cayman Brac, why would they not have worked with the community’s concerns? They could have easily done this.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Government learned from the port process, didn’t they? Give the people a chance to speak their will and organise, and the people might decide they don’t want it.

      So this time, they didn’t give us a chance to protest. Just ram it down our throats, because we’re too dim to EVER be able to assess whether it was good for us or not.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Good riddance to a blight on Cayman’s past. Turtle krawls would be considered inhuman and illegal today!

    • Anonymous says:

      Piracy, another foundation of Cayman’s past, would also be considered inhuman and illegal today.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:17 – What a stu..d comment. So hooking a fish by the mouth and dragging it up 50′ and gutting it for your dinner is humane??? If in fact this was a turtle corral (I doubt)it would have been no different – raising turtles for food.

  41. Anonymous says:

    When the legal arm comes down (hopefully soon), the same rights “landowners” have should hold the same jail sentences and fines to the nth degree. No attorney spinning should unhinge the lion’s jaw.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hope the DCB isn’t anything like the CPA here..Al’t would have had that rubber-stamped already..

    They just have to pay the $500 and apply for after the fact approval now.

    Cayman has just gotten so corrupt. It’s terrible the way we allow these politicians and their underlings to continue to take advantage of them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is corrupt because we were all indoctrinated into a sin all week then pray to the sky fairy for forgiveness on Sunday (or Saturday? who the fk knows) mentality, and all will be washed away.

      What a mess

  43. Anonymous says:

    Word is that Moses is getting ready to get out of politics and getting all of his ducks in a row before getting out.

    Big player on the Brac is DART and now Daggaro. Moses has tons of land on the Brac but the problem is it isn’t worth anything so other means must come to bear..

    Brac Power and Light and now Daggaro blackhawks..Brac informatics next…Watch all the private flights landing on the Brac and ask questions or watch and see where they go and who they meet up with?

    Watch this space for further revelations..

  44. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope that the Brackers don’t run off these investors.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Run them off? How? The Brackers would have to actually know talks were being made in order to discourage any new overlords from “investing”. These “investors” have already purchased land and gotten planning approval.

      The Brackers aren’t privy to such information any more than we are! We are just informed what fate government has chosen for us. NO representation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you mad?

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol, investors. Spooks more like.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Far too often people stand in the way of progress. Roll on!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Apparently even the seller of the land is complaining! So why did they sell it? That should have given or sold it to the National Trust if it was really a “heritage” site. Collect the money then complain- give me a break!

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe he did not know what it would be used for?

      • Anonymous says:

        Or who he/she was selling to. I know another well known person that bought several pieces of land around me and they used different company names. The people had no idea.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh stop it. You all know exactly who was/is buying the land and the purpose. You were only concerned about a quick payday to compete with your neighbor who sold his or her’s birthright a few weeks earlier. But remember Caymanians, you won’t be able to eat or digest Audi’s, Apartments or airplane tickets.

  47. Anonymous says:

    There was ONE iguana at the site for a while watching what was going on. No machinery was used to clear the path to the hole – it was all done manually to insure that no iguanas could be harmed. That hole in the ground was NEVER a turtle kraal. There is no way a sea turtle could have lived in that stagnant shallow water hole, plus there was no way to get in or out of it as the sides were about 7 feet from the bottom. I call BS on the claims that was a kraal. How or why would anyone carry a 400 pound turtle to a hole in the middle of nowhere?

    • Spill the tea again says:

      Your scrawny behind may have trouble but Caymanian people had a way of making the impossible today seem easy. Have you looked around you lately? Think you could lug rocks from the beach to build a wall on your property? Cut timber for your home? Have patience? Try again.
      The Kraal was tidally influenced not a “stagnant shallow water hole” and it was not proven if storms had caused blockages over the years or not. It happens even in blowholes. The color of the water is due to leaf litter steeping like tea and releasing tannins. Educate yourself.
      One iguana is what you noticed? Bet you still didn’t think twice. How many were in their underground homes when they were buried alive? Go find your pacifier and come off your keyboard.

    • Anonymous says:

      These old expats come here and want to take over. What they know about Turtle Kraal, THERE WAS NEVER A TURTLE KRAAL THERE.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m a little confused. If a turtle kraal is basically just like a chicken coup why tf does anyone care about it. Literally a hole in the ground. If I build a house with a chicken coup today and 50 years later it’s abandoned and unused I wouldn’t give to cents if it got knocked down for something else.
        And while the whole turtling thing may have been historical it’s frankly embarrassing for this country since the practice virtually made the turtles extinct in these waters. Wildly unsustainable and only undone by recent conservation efforts. Keeping a kraal intact should be at the absolute bottom of anyone’s priority list.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah yes, the Brackers must be wrong about their heritage because you can’t imagine how it could be done. Caymanian turtlers were so attuned to the ways and wiles of these creatures that Archie Carr came to Cayman in the 1950’s to learn from them. But you probably knew that, being an avid herpetologist and historian yourself. Just because you don’t have broad enough shoulders or a strong enough back to do it, don’t presume to use yourself as a basis for comparison against our forefathers.

    • Anonymous says:

      A 65+ year old prominent Caymanian who lives a road down from it confirmed last night that it was used back in the day to raise turtles from a very small size. No one backed 400 lb grown turtles through the bush to there.

    • Anonymous says:

      66 year old from West End. It was never turtles there in my lifetime. Turtles were raised a mile up the road in a split behind the Scotts.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like your officials have been bought off. No stoppage, no recourse, do as they wish, just like Balboa Beach… Ruin everything, then ask for the proper paperwork.

    Cayman CIG is a total train wreck. Very sad.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Good for Daggaro.

    • Yo mama says:

      Indeed, then they can sell off in a few years and all Caymanians, if any, within their company can go back to square one.
      Check Newlove’s history, not his first rodeo.
      Now that Daggaro has set the example, more is soon to come.
      Where will you be when your yard is taken over?
      Good luck 🙂

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