The head of the Cayman Islands government McKeeva Bush has refused to resign following his arrest Tuesday on suspicion of corruption, claiming that the investigation was politically motivated.
Premier Bush was released on bail Wednesday as the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service investigate allegations that he misused his government credit card and imported explosive devices without a permit.
“I would just say that I have done nothing wrong,” Bush said Thursday in a statement, the Associated Press reported.
“I have made a lot of friends and I have made a lot of enemies. There are a lot of jealous people in a very small island.”
The Caymans, a major global financial center in the Caribbean and widely known tax haven, is an overseas territory of the U.K. run by a local government headed by Bush, with a governor representing the British monarchy in a largely symbolic role.
Bush suggested that Gov. Duncan Taylor and other political opponents were behind his arrest.
“We are a British overseas territory and as such it is run by the governor and the commissioner of police. And so I can’t miss that it is nothing but a political, very vindictive political witch hunt,” Bush said, the AP reported.
Taylor has yet to respond to Bush’s accusations against him.
Bush, 57, has been in office since 2009, is the leader of the ruling United Democratic Party, and also serves as the minister of finance, tourism and development.
The Caymans, a set of three islands with a total population of slightly over 50,000, have developed a reputation as a popular offshore tax shelter for wealthy individuals and multinational corporations due to its lack of income, capital gains and corporate taxes.
It is the world’s fifth largest financial center with over $1.6 trillion in banking assets as of September 2011.
Ryan Villarreal reports on foreign affairs with a focus on Latin America. He also covers human rights and environmental issues worldwide....