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Two Allegations of Crime committed in connection with Operation Tempura made

John EvansJohn Evans, the former Cayman Net News reporter who was at the very start of the costly mess into police corruption called Operation Tempura, has filed two letters of complaint alleging crime was committed within the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom (UK).

The complaints have been sent to Commander Allan Gibson, Director of Professional Standards at New Scotland Yard, London, UK.

The complaints cover two matters that took place entirely in the UK and then address a series of events in the Cayman Islands.

The two letters alleging crime are transcribed below in their entirety.

Disclaimer: iNews Cayman accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the claims alleging crime contained in the two letters and neither endorses them. The letters have been sent to us for public record. iNews Cayman accepts no liability for the content of the following letters or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided therein.


On 8 December 2011 an application for legal funding was submitted by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) on behalf of former Chief Superintendent Martin Bridger. The stated purpose of the request was to cover the costs of defending a civil action in the Cayman Islands. Copies of the application and the Strategic and Operational Policing Committee (SOPC) decision to approve it are attached; these were supplied to me under FOIA.

At the very beginning of the application, under the heading ‘Summary’, it is stated that the funding is requested to cover, “his defence costs in respect of civil proceedings commenced against him in the Cayman Islands for misfeasance in public office by Stuart Kernohan former Cayman Islands Commissioner of Police.”

In August 2013 I wrote to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which replaced the MPA a few weeks after the decision to authorise the funding was made, expressing concern about this payment, a copy of the letter is attached. After lengthy delays MOPAC declined to investigate the matter, mainly it seems on the basis that if the money had been incorrectly awarded they had no way of recovering it. No attempt appears to have been to determine whether or not the contents of the application were fraudulent.

While this was going on another civil action involving Mr Bridger went to court in the Cayman Islands. It was the final part of litigation commenced on 28 October 2011, just over a month before the application for legal funding was presented to the SOPC, by the Attorney General (AG) of the Cayman Islands against Martin Bridger. The AG sought to determine ownership of a large quantity of confidential material relating to Operation Tempura that was removed from the Cayman Islands by Mr Bridger. An initial hearing had taken place over 11-13 September 2012 and the matter then returned to the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands where, on 8 November 2013, a judgment was made that the documents were the property of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS).

In fact I believe it was my own investigations that had revealed the fate of these documents, which had supposedly been transferred to MPS for safe keeping. The AG became involved when Mr Bridger rather belatedly tried to introduce them as part of his defence against Mr Kernohan’s claim. The whole ruling on this runs to 91 pages and is interesting reading but the bottom line is that it was a side issue from the Kernohan v Bridger action, which at the time the funding was requested was stalled by this on-going court action.

In December 2011 when Mr Bridger claimed that he needed the money to fund, “his defence costs in respect of civil proceedings commenced against him in the Cayman Islands for misfeasance in public office by Stuart Kernohan former Cayman islands Commissioner of Police,” he knew full well that the legal action, Kernohan v Bridger, was on indefinite hold because of the dispute over the documents and the only action pending in 2012 related to AG v Bridger. In blunt terms the request for funding had nothing to do with attempts to defend a situation where a former officer, “had acted in good faith and had exercised their judgment reasonably,” it related to defending what was later shown to have been the unlawful removal of confidential documents.

Testimony (copy attached) from former AC John Yates stated that Mr Bridger had no right to, “Claim ownership of files or papers from Operation Tempura, or to take copies away with him on retirement, or to retain copies in retirement.” That opinion was supported by DI Anne Lawrence (copy attached) who replaced Mr Bridger as Tempura’s SIO in April 2009.

In his 2011 application for legal funding it was also claimed that, “Mr Bridger will be seeking the attendance of four currently serving Metropolitan Police Officers as witnesses for his case,” However, two years on there is no evidence available to support this claim. In fact at all the hearings since the award was made serving MPS officers and former MPS officers, including Mr Bridger, have been allowed to submit testimony by sworn affidavit – they didn’t have to attend.

Whilst I am confident that MPS acting in good faith in presenting the application as submitted and, because of Mr Bridger’s police experience, felt there was no need to verify the contents I also believe that this trust was abused. Unauthorised removal of confidential police documents is, as recent court cases have demonstrated, a very serious disciplinary matter. As it is an area with which DPS are not exactly unfamiliar I somehow doubt this application would have been supported if the full truth had been revealed. In fact it seems perverse that Mr Bridger, who I understand had investigated theft of MPS documents when he was a DI in CIB3, should feel he was entitled to remove this material – maybe he thought the rules don’t apply in the Cayman Islands?

Whatever his motivation, and this was questioned in court (copy attached), the fact is he took documents that he was not entitled to retain and he then compounded this by failing to make a full disclosure of the facts when obtaining funding to fight the court case that resulted from his actions. I am asking MPS to investigate the contents of the 8 December 2011 application for legal funding in the context of Sections 2 and 3 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Also arising from this unauthorised removal of documents is a matter relating to their continued retention by Mr Bridger.

I understand that David Baines, the current Commissioner of the Royal Islands Police Service (RCIPS), approached MPS last year seeking assistance in the recovery of the documents referred to on page 1 but that no action has actually been taken to secure this objective.

In the 8 November 2013 Grand Court ruling Commissioner Baines stated that the documents, “include sensitive material from named sources who face personal danger and the risk of attack or death were such confidential information to be leaked or otherwise made public.” Those sources almost certainly include myself. Simply based on the material that has already been made public by Mr Bridger it is clear that the records he now illegally holds include details of my involvement in Operation Tempura.

The police forces of the United Kingdom have a duty under ECHR Article 2, as embodied in the Human Rights Act 1998, to protect members of the public from foreseeable threats. Commissioner Baines words identify such a threat so I am asking MPS to respond to this and remove it.

Although Mr Bridger has been ordered by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands not disclose the contents of the documents he holds there is in reality nothing that can be done to stop him copying the documents and handing them over to anyone he chooses. The only realistic way to remove the threat these documents pose to myself and others is to take them away from him.

In making this request I am asking to be treated as a victim of a crime. I hope it is unnecessary to spell out the legal implications to MPS if Commissioner Baines’ concerns about witness safety were to become reality after this request had been filed.


*Editor’s Note: iNews Cayman does not have the “copy attached” where noted in the above.


This complaint is directed to MPS on former Chief Superintendent Bridger’s assertion in his May 2013 complaint that in 2010 Benjamin Aina QC had, “made it clear that any matters relating to the behaviour of the Governor should be dealt with in the UK.” As you will see the chain of command in the acts detailed starts at the Governor’s office so, based on that advice, the first point of contact in any complaint in which the Governor might be involved has to be MPS.

In the complaint I will outline events but, with exception of the Governor, will not attempt to identify individuals or make direct accusations of criminal activity – those are matters for whoever conducts the investigation proper. All I would observe at this stage is I believe that in the UK what I have uncovered could be considered under the terms of Section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 – False Accounting – because it significantly altered the findings of an official audit and therefore allowed the continuation of unsound practices that may have enabled certain people to profit from the deception.

In January 2009 the Office of the Auditor General of the Cayman Islands (OAG) began an audit into the costs of Operation Tempura, which was in part an MPS-led investigation, and phase two of that investigation, which was known as Operation Cealt.

The decision to audit Tempura/Cealt was made by Dan Duguay, the Auditor General at the time, in response to concerns about the lack of expenditure information being released by the Government. In Mr Duguay’s own words it was a ‘value-for-money’ review. This was also a move that resulted in his contract not being renewed in 2010 – in simple terms it got him sacked.

In 2010 I began a review, using FOI, of the way in which the audit had been handled because it was becoming clear that information had been withheld from OAG during their review. Amongst the documents released to me was a memo that showed that the audit had been received with open hostility, serious attempts having being made by at least one senior civil service to obstruct the OAG’s investigations and if possible shut them down.

As a former civil servant and someone who has run my own business I am not exactly unfamiliar with the auditing process. In 1982, after leaving the civil service, I completed basic accountancy training and three years later passed what was then the pre-requisite course for civil service auditors working in a computer-based environment. Based on my experience and training what emerged in the initial FOI disclosures was very disturbing so my investigations continued.

To anyone not familiar with Tempura/Cealt the audit report is a fairly lengthy and complex document but the most significant area of concern is in Sections 8 and 9, which dealt with the employment of private contractors in 2008, so that is what I will concentrate on here. The major problem with both Section 8 and 9 is that the details reported in the audit do not match information that has since either been disclosed under FOIA or more recently appeared in court testimony.

In Section 9 the audit records show that four private contractors were recruited in May 2008 and joined the investigation during May and June 2008. All four, Martin Bridger, Richard Coy, John Kemp and Steven de Burgh Thomas, were former MPS officers. In paragraph 9.04 the audit reported that, “Only the Senior Investigating Officer (Martin Bridger) was previously a participating member of the Metropolitan Police Force and a member of the investigation team prior to their contracts being signed.” I have a copy of the first draft of the audit and that wording was originally, “Only Martin Bridger was previously a participating member of the Metropolitan Police force as part of the investigation,” but had been altered, apparently at the insistence of someone outside the OAG. As will be shown shortly that was a simple but significant change.

In fact this is one of a number changes forced on the OAG whose sole purpose seems to have been a general dumbing down of the findings of the audit. Another removed all reference to the use by MPS officers of business class seats on flights to and from the Cayman Islands, a practice that was explained to me in 2007 as being part of their cover story.

Section 8 of the audit also investigated the recruitment of BGP Global Training and Consultancy, a now defunct company set up by ex-MPS officers in Mar 2007.

According to the audit the BGP contract was entered into by the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) in September 2008.

The only problem with all this is an official statement from MPS, sent to me as part of an FOI disclosure, gives a totally different picture.

That release reads –

However in order to assist you, as required by Section 16 of the Act, I can confirm the following details regarding the employment of ex-MPS officers in the Cayman Islands.

In February 2008 a requirement to support Operation Tempura arose. Suitable ex-officers were considered for this role. With Metropolitan Police Authority authorisation contracts were put in place with two companies to provide the services of appropriate contractors for this investigation. Contractors were successfully engaged under contract to support this operation with all costs reclaimable from the Cayman Islands.

When the first phase of Operation Tempura came to an end Assistant Commissioner John Yates reached an agreement with the Cayman Islands that contractors would be engaged directly by the Cayman Islands rather than through the MPS.

–           and that doesn’t read anything like the version of events given to the OAG.

In November, during Attorney General v Martin Bridger in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, two further revelations were made.

Testimony from Ronald Kemp (who is understood to have been incorrectly identified as John Kemp in the audit) disclosed that he had been sworn as a Special Constable in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) on 26 March 2008 and had joined Richard Coy on the investigation. A copy of his testimony is attached. Again that is nothing like the version given to OAG, which shows Kemp and Coy first joined Tempura in June 2008 when in fact they had actually already been working out there for at least two months.

Another mystery is why the recruitment of Amicus Legal Consultants was never disclosed to the OAG. According to court testimony and statements made to the press Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei were employed as legal advisors to Tempura in August 2008 but there is no mention of this in the audit.

The problem with all these convenient omissions is that it is very difficult to identify anyone who was clearly involved in holding back information. What we have is a situation where it is clear that the value-for-money aspect of the audit was deliberately compromised but it is not obvious who was directly responsible. Only a detailed review of the documentation from the original audit can determine that and that is what I am seeking.

I tried to persuade Governor Duncan Taylor to re-open the audit. He has now left the Cayman Islands but, for reasons which are unclear, always maintained a stance that the 2009 audit had covered all the issues. His legacy is an entrenched position that the audit will not be re-opened.

Here we have a dilemma because possibly he simply failed to fully understand the gravity of the situation or the legal implications of ignoring it rather than engaging in the deliberate and unlawful act of suppressing the new evidence. However, he was presented with evidence of potentially criminal acts but chose to ignore it and that aspect does need to be investigated.



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