Cayman: Premier defend island in wake of FIFA scandal

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cayman-islands-premier-alden-mclaughlin.jpgCayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin has defended his nation's reputation in the wake of the FIFA bribery scandal, saying his government takes a "zero tolerance approach to anyone carrying out illicit activities."

The internayional spotlight has been thrown onto Cayman, following the arrest of Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, a vice-president of Fifa and President of the regional governing body for football, Concacaf.

According to Premier McLaughlin, local law enforcement agencies are cooperating with the international investigation into allegations of corruption at world football's governing body.

He also asserted his confidence that the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority was taking "appropriate action" following allegations that some bribery payments were routed through Fidelity Bank Ltd. in Grand Cayman.

He said, "The Cayman Islands has a reputation for engagement and achievement of very robust global standards in relation to the regulation of domestic and cross-border financial transactions."

Against that background, he said his government did not intend "to compromise the hard work we have done over the past couple of decades and the good rating and reputation we have earned."
In that regard, he reiterated that Cayman has had a long history "of cooperating with global, and in particular, U.S. authorities and there is no doubt that we have and will continue to fully assist in the investigation and ultimate conclusion of these matters."

Mr. McLaughlin said government had been monitoring developments since the arrest of Webb along with other FIFA officials, including former Cayman Islands resident Costas Takkas, in Switzerland last week. Webb is one of 14 businessmen and sports marketing executives accused of negotiating bribes in return for television and media rights for international football tournaments.