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Former Cayman Health Services chairman and YCLA winner arrested

Canover WatsonCanover Watson, the former chairman of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) board and the 2007 recipient of the Young Caymanian Leadership Award was arrested at his home on Thursday (28) and released on bail until next month.

According to a statement from Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commissioner David Baines, the arrest was for suspicion of breach of trust contrary to section 13 of the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Law, as well as abuse of public office under section 17 and conflict of interest contrary to section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Law.

In addition, Watson was arrested on suspicion of money laundering contrary to section 133 of the Proceeds of Crime Law [2008].

It would appear Watson’s arrest was in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation into the Cayman Islands hospital contract for a swipe card payment system.

No details have been provided concerning the money laundry allegation.

Watson has denied the charges and released this statement from his lawyers:

“The allegations are denied. In due course, at the proper time and in the appropriate forum, I look forward to setting out my position in greater detail. For present purposes, since the police investigation is ongoing, I have been advised by my attorneys that it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment.”

The swipe system known as Carepay was installed at the George Town hospital whilst Watson was chairman and approved by eight other persons on the technical committee. It cost $11M dollars and was awarded in 2010 to Advanced Integrated Systems (AIS).

AIS Cayman Ltd is part owned by Douglas Halsall, the chief executive officer of Advanced Information Systems Ltd (AIS) of Kingston, Jamaica. According to its website, AIS is a leading transaction processing service provider in the health insurance and financial services industries and the largest processor of online, real-time, and paperless, health claims in the region.

The eight other persons on the board that gave approval to AIS were:

Jenifer Ahearn, CO of MOH

Mervyn Conolly, Commissioner, Health Insurance Commission

Scott Cummings, Chairman Cinico Board

Dale Saunders, Chief Information Officer HSA

Heather Booth, CFO HSA

Frank Gillippe, CFO Cinico

Greag Hoeksema, Medical Director HSA

Carol Appleyard, General Manager Cinico

The Carepay system has been seen not to work as well as intended and Government’s Finance Committee raised questions about it. AIS received 4% of the value of every insurance claim made through the cards given to CINICO patients.

Only one other company, CMS Cap Management, put in a bid that was considered by the Finance Committee. A third bid by CBCA Administrators, Inc, was rejected, as they had not provided any prices.

Watson is Managing Director of Admiral Financial Services, part of the Luxembourg Maitland Group that provides cross-border legal and tax advisory services to private and corporate clients. Admiral is listed as “a leading investment fund administrator based in the Cayman Islands serving over 250 investment funds with assets under administration in excess of $ 25 billion”. (source:

On the Maitland website Watson is listed as Director of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, Deputy Chairman of the Immigration Review Team, and a member of numerous community organizations [that includes Treasurer of the Cayman Islands Football Association, serves on the CONCACAF Finance Committee and is the fourth Vice-President of the Caribbean Football Union].

He joined Admiral in 1997. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Stetson University in Florida where he earned his Masters and Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting.

HSA, CEO Lizzette Yearwood, speaking on local television CITN/Cayman27 said the HSA were, “Unaware of any inappropriate actions taken by Mr. Canover Watson during his tenure as chairman of the previous HSA board.”



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