Interpol arrest warrant issued for developer in TCI corruption probe

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands, Friday July 13, 2012 – Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant (a Red Notice) for the arrest of Dr Cem Kinay in relation to ongoing corruption investigations in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

The issue arose in 2009 when a “confidential donation” of $500,000 made by Kinay to former premier Michael Misick shortly before the 2007 election was uncovered during the Commission of Inquiry’s public hearings.

Kinay claimed that the payment was a political donation and moved to the TCI Supreme Court to have references to himself and his Dellis Cay development redacted from the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry.

Due to an apparent oversight, however, it was found that the report in its redacted format could be restored electronically to its original form.

A court injunction preventing publication of the unredacted report was subsequently lifted on the grounds that an unofficial version of the full report was in the public domain and continuing the ban on publication served no useful purpose.

Kinay subsequently filed a civil complaint in the United States against the TCI Journal weblog, alleging that unidentified contributors “intentionally and maliciously published defamatory statements” about him and his companies.

He also obtained a court order requiring Google to turn over information that might identify the anonymous authors of the allegations.

Kinay’s company, Turks Ltd, halted construction on Dellis Cay some years ago, having reportedly missed an interest payment on its debt due in August 2009. Efforts to renegotiate financing with the lender, Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation, failed and the property went into receivership.

The resort was to have included a hotel, condominiums and villas, all managed by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.  Among those who reportedly bought villas at the resort were movie celebrities Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.

In a press statement on Wednesday, Kinay said: “After 35 years of successful tourism and real estate investment experience, I have encountered a new experience today. I learned that a Red Bulletin is issued for me to be taken back to Turks and Caicos Islands. I have been fighting my political and legal struggle with the Turks and Caicos Islands government since three years.”

“My companies have invested in Mandarin Oriental Dellis Cay and Joe Grant Cay projects since 2005 until August 2009. We were the largest investor of TCI history. The total investment was going to be around $1 billion. I believed that the unique nature of my development would contribute to the cultural development of the islanders who have embraced me with much interest,” he continued.

“The perfectly legal political donation scheme that existed in the islands for many years was turned into a corruption scandal. To prove Misick is guilty, we were chosen as targets. I am a victim of politics, and I am innocent. I did not receive any benefits for any of my political donations. I will continue my defence in the international level,” Kinay concluded. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)