ACC to become a law enforcement agency

| 09/11/2022 | 45 Comments

(CNS): Changes to the Anti-Corruption Act (2019 Revision), which are expected to go before parliament next month, will make the current team of Anti-Corruption Commission officers law enforcement agents. In the past, the commission’s investigators have worked with the police, but amendments to the bill will “confer additional powers”. The legislative amendment comes just over a month after officials confirmed to CNS that “some” members of the current ACC team were working “remotely while an internal HR matter”, which we understand relates to bullying, was under review.

As well as giving the ACC investigators more powers, the bill aims to clarify the circumstances under which the commission will take up a case. But the main purpose is to designate the Anti-Corruption Commission as an official law enforcement agency in the Cayman Islands, on a par with the police, coastguard, border patrol and customs.

According to the bill published on the Government Gazettes pages this week, the amendments to the existing act are needed to clarify the ACC’s role because some overseas law enforcement agencies have raised questions about the official status of the commission when ACC officers have sought information or assistance from other crime-fighting partners.

Several new sections in the law will pave the way for an ACC investigating officer to search someone after arrest and to search their home or office without a warrant. In future, these officers will also be able to obtain communications data from service providers during an investigation. The new bill also reclassifies the offence of abuse of office as an indictable offence and increases the penalty to five years in jail.

Over the years the ACC has had mixed results in its investigations, and last year’s annual report highlighted the need to review the legislation.

According to the statistics, in 2021 the ACC team had eleven active investigations and interviewed 46 suspects and 39 witnesses over the twelve months. During the course of the year, two people were arrested while four people in total were charged. In the courts, the ACC secured three convictions, two of which related to a driver’s licence fraud by a former Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licencing (DVDL) employee.

Six people were awaiting trial at the end of 2021 and two cases were awaiting a decision by the director of public prosecutions. So far this year the ACC has seen the conviction of Canover Watson and Bruce Blake in the decade-long football corruption case. Both men are awaiting sentencing. So far this year, another two people have been arrested and one person has been charged.

Three members of the ACC Investigation Unit are on some form of semi-suspension from duty. Responding to question from CNS, officials said that those three had been assigned to carry out their duties remotely while an internal HR matter was being reviewed. While CNS has been unable to confirm the details, sources have indicated that it relates to allegations of bullying.

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Category: ACC Investigation, Crime

Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The disturbingly mute, and unsurprisingly undiverse ACC is comprised of 7 people, only one of whom is a woman. It’s loaded with former partners that thrived and prospered in no rules frontier-era Cayman. 3 of this tiny committee can’t be trusted to work with others without bullying, are all to be given summary power to raid homes and confiscate property, presumably to secure evidence before other untrusted arms of enforcement can’t interfere or destroy? Looking at this committee’s multi-year truck record of adding no measurable value, how can we be sure this ACC aren’t setting out to market themselves as those with the power to destroy evidence first?

    • Anonymous says:

      That should be the concern that there is secrecy around this pseudo- suspension. Why the silence? What are they trying to hide?
      Let’s hope the truth comes out!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The world’s most successful anti-corruption entity is the Independant Commission Against-Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong.

    it is truly an Independant entity and that is the reason for most of its success.


    Hong Kong ICAC – About ICAC – Brief History

  3. Anonymous says:

    “some” members of the current ACC team were working “remotely while an internal HR matter”

    For a start, that sentence doesn’t even make sense and secondly, what a steaming pile of ordure! 3 UK expats suspended because they don’t play golf. If you know, you know.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good article CNS, thanks. Good comments as well, mostly. People are paying attention…but what?

    Politicians don’t pay attention to the public commentary anyway, just dealing with keeping their 200 voters “covered”.

    As much as the majority of comments on this forum might suggest the general sentiments of the public, we will allow the passage of this without question.

    Most Caymanians are too passive and politically immature. The latter is the real reason we vote as we do.

  5. Moi says:

    More police officers than any town or city of over a million. We are only 70,000. Can’t
    work! can they make it safer? Please!n

    • Anonymous says:

      No, It won’t change……. Too much sloth involved. There’s just too much hanky-panky going on!

  6. Moi says:

    Let’s all hope that it is without the lodge members, otherwise… This is moot. Only one at the top of RCIPS is not a member of them. The rest?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Will this power only be granted to the ACC investigating officers or does it also extend to the ACC Commission members?

    Who are the Commissioners?

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is to quell all forms of public dissent. Very heavy handed and should not pass without public consultation and review of the amendments.


    How many officers involved in Operations Tempura and Celt are still employed by CIG?

    This is a very dangerous position to allow any officer of the law to search a home or office without a search warrant.

    There are no terrorist organizations or cells operating in Cayman. What is the justification for these broad powers?

    These powers are usually reserved for national security matters not anti-corruption investigations. What is the justification for Cayman?

    ACC will now have more power than the RCIPS based on the amendments.

    The principles of due process seem to be thrown out the window and the concept of innocent until proven guilty is subject to further abuse.

    This law and amendments is rife for abuse and political manipulation.

    Do they have a similar type of law and amendments in related legislation in the UK?

    This is not good governance and it will be abused as there no checks and balances in place.

    I hope all the MP’s that support these amendments are the first ones to feel the consequences of the law.

    This is a dangerous road to travel and too much power for an agency to be given that is answerable only to the Office of the Governor.

    • Orrie Merren 🙏🏻🇰🇾 says:

      Very good points.

      Amongst other things, the ‘entry, search and seizure’ functions without a search warrant issued by the Grand Court seems incompatible with fundamental privacy rights (contrary to ss.9(1)-(2) BoR taken together with ss.9(3)(d), 24, BoR), which are very strong and have broad scope, therefore, likely to be irrational, disproportionate and unlawful (ss.19(1), 24, BoR).

      • Anonymous says:

        Good points Orrie. They do not care about the Constitution. Many in the civil service openly ignore it with impunity. Their ability to do so is but one facet of the corruption that pervades. Unequal and arbitrary application of rules and standards. The targeted destruction of lives and livelihoods. All with the (hopefully unwitting) approval of a Governor who has the wool pulled so far over his eyes he cannot distinguish day from night. Just a few more months…

        • Orrie Merren says:

          Constitutional supremacy (not parliamentary supremacy) obtains in the Cayman Islands (s.59(2), Constitution read together with ss.59(1), 124, Constitution).

      • PBoy says:

        Orie . Read the Penal Code. Search of premises after arrest without a warrant has been in there for years.
        Know the Law before you spout off.

  10. Anonymous says:

    No problem but the removal of the governors politically handpicked compromise board is essential for this change to the ACC to be effective and impartial law enforcement body. We cannot have corrupt or compromised commission members directing who is going to be investigated or prosecuted as is the case now. Where certain connected officials and their high society associates and their corrupt acts and misconduct appear to be beyond reproach or have blanket immunity from even being reported or even followed up. Using FiFA minor league players for show, whilst other major players and co conspirators go about their business as usual on boards and advisors to top government and law enforcement officials is a terrible injustice and a disgrace. It’s a Joke and a total Farce to see the bullshit that takes place and going on right here under our dear Governor oblivious gaze or peripheral view. Corruption has never been compulsory Cayman but you would know it in Cayman .

  11. Anonymous says:

    and civil service keeps on growing……zzzzz
    just another useless agency that will deliver little

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ooooh, now I’m scared. Might I have to give my status grant back? Mac said it was irrewocable.

  13. Anonymous says:

    these amendments have the potential to clean up much of the governance corruption.

    For the ACC to be effective, they also need to be independent from the Legal Dept. to have their own prosecutors. Too many Lodge and other conflict of interests.

    See the Singapore and the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is a welcome development. One of the major benefits here is that now the police are capable of being investigated/charged by someone other than themselves. That isn’t to say that the police are incapable of investigating themselves currently; but, it definitely adds a level of accountability to the entire RCIPS.

    Thank you for reporting on these matters CNS.

  15. Aino Justice says:

    Is this some kind of joke? Everyone knows that our Anti-corruption people have NEVER done anything concerning theft and other wrongdoing.

    P.S. And I don’t believe there ever wil be!

  16. Anonymous says:

    A 10 year investigation? Really! result or no result how much did that cost the people of Cayman and how was it allowed to drag out that long? I hope new legislation brings in new management, I can only guess this is another one of those seriously aging retired uk police officers sat in a post that pays good money for doing absolutely nothing other than dragging a case out for 10 years!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Somewhat ironic that the government’s integrity unit is being totally non- transparent in what’s going on with its staff! ‘Semi-suspended’ ??

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is long overdue!

  19. Rod says:

    (investigating officer to search someone after arrest and to search their home or office without a warrant), I got a problem with searching a home or office without proof being provided to a judge for the search!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hope the officers have higher IQs than the whole RCIPS combined and any expat officers don’t favour their own people. I guess the Ombudsman’s office will have the over watch?


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