Woman wanted for murder was granted work permit

| 19/01/2023 | 37 Comments
Deported from Cayman Islands

(CNS): Ashley Williams (20) from Denham Town in Kingston, Jamaica, was on a work permit in the Cayman Islands when she was arrested and then deported earlier this month due to allegations that she and another man had murdered David Rowe (47) in Jones Town, Kingston, in November. The RCIPS said she was arrested and sent back to Jamaica on 5 January. Several weeks after CNS contacted the authorities about how Williams secured a permit, officials said she had no police record when the application was made.

In a short statement released Wednesday evening, WORC said a Caymanian small-business owner had applied for a temporary work permit on 15 December for the woman, who at the time had a clean police record. The permit was approved on 28 December, and Williams arrived in Grand Cayman on 1 January.

The Jamaican authorities contacted Customs and Border Control on 2 January with an arrest warrant for her under a nickname, but no full name was provided at the initial point of contact. On 3 January, they came back with the name of the suspect. CBC then contacted WORC and issued an advisory, and immediate action was taken to revoke the temporary work permit.

The Caymanian employer holding the temporary work permit also decided to formally cancel the application on 3 January, preceding the suspect’s arrest, detention and removal from the island within 24 hours of her arrest.

WORC Acting Interim Director Jeremy Scott said WORC and CBC would continue to work together to ensure that individuals fleeing criminal prosecution do not enter or remain in the Cayman Islands.

“WORC and CBC remain focused and resolute in effectively strengthening our border protection measures, ultimately protecting our community against risks associated with national security and public safety interests,” he said.

“Our departments continue to work effectively on varying strategic and operational initiatives, inclusive of other local law enforcement and government departments, yielding positive results in detection of crimes and assurance of compliance across varying laws. This case was just one example demonstrating our effective networking ties which permitted us to respond and act quickly upon confirmation of the suspect’s identity, facilitated by Jamaican authorities.”

Border Control Minister Chris Saunders commended the agencies for what he said was swift and strategic action. “We must take a very strong stance and clearly demonstrate that the Cayman Islands does not welcome or provide a safe-haven for individuals absconding from the law in their home countries,” he said, “We will continue to ensure that the Cayman Islands remain one of the best and safest places to live and work.”

However, there are persistent concerns in the community that the authorities do not exercise sufficient due diligence to check on those coming into the islands, especially those on temporary permits. While employers complain about the time it takes in some cases to clear annual work permits, temporary permits are seen as a weak link as there is very little scrutiny of those permits, as well as those taken out for low-paid positions such as helpers and hairdressers.

Since returning to Jamaica, Williams and Jovanie Thompson (22) have been charged with murder. The victim was killed during an intense argument that escalated into a knife-wielding brawl, according to the Jamaica authorities. Williams is accused of stabbing Rowe multiple times, while Thompson opened fire, hitting Rowe several times before the couple fled.

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Category: Border Control, Immigration

Comments (37)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Jamaican criminals outsmarting our First-Class Immigration service. I wonder how many more are here that we do not know about. I panic having to drive on Eastern Ave because of Little Kingston. FED UP!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      And when has anything happened to you driving down Eastern Avenue, other than getting stuck at the lights? You’re being panicked by the thought that there may be Jamaicans around is more than a little paranoid and bigoted.

  2. Elvis says:

    My point exactly for years now.
    No system of background checking from a certain jurisdiction ore two.
    Murderers and rapists living among us.

    Just another day in paradise

    Someone somewhere isnt doing their job i always say

  3. Anonymous says:

    The most surprising bit about this is that someone managed to obtain a TWP in 7 working days. Over Christmas. Who did the business owner know at WORC?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Laughable cases if not so serious.
    Murderers come to Cayman haven.
    Dead man passport uses.
    No immigration fingerprints.
    Use of cousin name and identity.
    Get status and “Adopting” numerous children.
    All imported crime and poverty.
    Cayman far gone!

  5. Anonymous says:

    What job was she granted a work permit for that a Caymanian couldn’t fill?

    • Anonymous says:

      any job

    • Anonymous says:

      They,”caymanians”, are not going to work for the same wage as expatriates, but they will stop them outside their workplace and jack them up for e few dollars to buy food and beer. I know what I’m talking about because it has happened to me, and when I refuse they cuss me out. SO THERE.

  6. Patricia Bryan says:

    Interpol background check here the same as is (or used to be) done for PR and CS applicants could be time consuming and costly but may be worth looking into, Customs and Border.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s free. The red notice databases and latest sanctions lists are available to anyone that knows how to use the internet. Not enough it would seem. JCF did not have as a flagged fugitive at their own international airports. She was able to check in as a passenger in Jamaica as someone on the approved CAL flight manifest, clear Jamaican international security checkpoint, board the plane, and pass through CBC at Owen Roberts. A lot of people beyond Worc should be answering some questions. But also Worc, because as someone stated: by what magic do you get a temp permit that fast over the holidays?!?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Obviously jamaica is lagging behind on getting all the facts on murderers and other violent persons In their data base. That is understanding considering the amount of such crimes going on up there. If anyone doubts this and is paying attention they should see the various Youtube channels as well as the newspapers to understand what the authorities are grappling with. Therefore I am imploring that the Cayman Islands government put a hold on all new permits, whether temporary or long term effective immediately It is horrific over there and considering the uptick in crimes on this Rock I believe the authorities should implement all means necessary to prevent our homeland from going the-way of Jamaica. Please bear in mind it does not bother me one iota what you all might think of my comments. This is my homeland! This is where I was born, this is where I raised my children and this is where my grandchildren are growing up. We all deserve better! Do not wait until the horse has bolted before closing the barn door!

  8. Anonymous says:

    a stop needs to be put on jamiacan permits. get more philipinos.

    • Anonymous says:

      oh please! The fish and lobsters are crying out for a chance to mature.
      Stop bringing in the third world.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The same way that a Jamaican who had not been charged with a crime was allowed to come here and work is the same reason why Caymanians out on bail are able to leave the Cayman Islands. Corruption is everywhere and no country is exempt. As long as there is some official willing to turn a blind eye people will get away with any and everything. This is not unique. It occurs in even first world countries. Lest we forget the current King of England’s charity took money from known persons on international blacklists.

    • Anonymous says:

      What blind eye was turned, exactly? As you say, she had not been charged when the permit was granted. What do you want – a crystal ball for WORC?

  10. Anonymous says:

    As long as Work Permit fees remain as one of government’s top source of dollars, then the proper due diligence, on those granted WPs, is “at best ineffective and at worst an embarrassment” to the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      What amount of due diligence would be able to tell you that a person with a clean police record *will* be charged with a crime at some date in the future?

  11. Nautical-one345 says:

    Meanwhile I listened today to the CoP, in Parliament, argue and use “government-speak” to paint a picture that increasing fines to alarmingly high amounts, and adding or increasing jail time for selling and (most concerning, buying numbers) will eradicate serious crime in our Cayman Islands. He’s totally out of touch if he really believes that!

    • Anonymous says:

      Death penalty for drugs importers and dealers worked in Singapore.
      Here we elect them as MPs…geddit..?

    • Anonymous says:

      Our fines are a joke. Like the KYD$250,000 fine and boat confiscation for marine park violations…even those caught red-handed are released with a warning, don’t even get prosecuted! The RCIPS Traffic Unit has three leaflet-sized pages of ticket able fines, and they can’t even. CoP needs to be sent back to Ireland, and someone put in place that will do the duty.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is exactly why crime is out of control! The top cop actually believes “numbers” which has been happening in Cayman for decades is all of a sudden to blame for crime he should be replaced immediately as he’s clearly delusional. The mentality and social fabric of Cayman is being eroded and that is what is the main problem now, and will be a bigger problem in future for this island. The next big project government will announce is another prison.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “Why is it when a man kills another man in battle it’s called heroic BUT when man kills another man in a heat of passion it’s called murder?” Al Bundy in Wayne’s World

  13. Anonymous says:

    I thought you needed a Police clearance certificate for a work permit?

    • Anonymous says:

      yes, and a police clearance looks for PAST criminal charges, not charges that are pending

    • Anonymous says:

      Didn’t have a criminal record at the time of the WP application – do try reading before posting.

    • Anonymous says:

      The new police-clearance certificates that forecast future charges haven’t made it out of beta yet sadly

  14. Anonymous says:

    Adman is already Jamacia.

  15. Anonymous says:

    A little late to “continue to ensure” given the level of violent crime already at work in Cayman in the last year. Maybe Worc should adopt a policy of rechecking home country police records, red lists, and Interpol records again at 6 months, to plug the fugitive temporary permit blind spot. DCI should attach a flag note to the file of Caymanian employers who “errantly” hire wanted felons to track for recurring hiring patterns. Pull their T&BL on two strikes.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If she was wanted for murder, why did Jamaica allow her to simply fly to another country? Why did her passport not flag an alert at the airport when she tried to leave?

    • Anonymous says:

      I dunno if you are familiar with how jamaica works. that would require a competency that isn’t common place. it’s great for a lot of things you need to get away with, but unfortunately it seems murder is one of those things as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure in the UK or US you could prohibit someone from leaving the county before you had issued a warrant for them.

    • Anonymous says:

      $100usd is all it takes to get that passport stamped for departure.

      Question: Who is the small business owner ? Was he or she aware that she was effectively fleeing the country to come here after commuting murder ? Surely they knew each other ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly. You get a copy of their passport, and then you Google them before putting in a temp – unless you are already acquainted, or are under instructions to hire them. There’s more to this story.

    • Anonymous says:

      Guess what airline she flew?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they only issued an arrest warrant after she had already flown?

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