The Interim Report,* for the second half of 2017 of the Financial Reporting Authority of Cayman Islands Government, shows a curious deviation from the norm. Suspicious Activity Reports, more commonly known as SARs, increased ninety per cent from the same six month period in 2016. One noteworthy statistic: 220 SARs were filed during the month of December, 2017.
The most commonly reported subjects were:
(1) Suspected tax evasion.
(2) Suspicious financial activity.
(5) Money Laundering.
This anomaly may have been caused, say Caymanians, by compliance officer awareness of the 4th round of the CFATF, Mutual evaluation, but there may be another cause. Was the increased SAR activity a response to the pressure of media coverage of what came to be known as the Cayman Gang of Four scandal, which was the theft of a reported hundreds of millions of dollars of assets owned by elderly Canadian pensioners and retired businessmen and professionals.
Although the stress of loss of their life savings caused at least two of the victims to pass away, none of the four Cayman Gang of Four, who were all residents of the Cayman Islands, were ever charged or arrested for their crimes. The Cayman Islands Royal Police Service opened a criminal investigation, and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority made inquiries, but justice was never served. Perhaps the heat from the Cayman Gang of Four scandal served to further sensitize Cayman financial services professionals to suspicious transactions.
*Financial Reporting Authority Interim Report (1 July-31 December