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Cayman Island Police Arrest Premier Over Credit Card Use

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush was arrested for misuse of a government credit card and importing explosive substances, the Caribbean country’s police said.

Bush, 57, was taken into custody at 7 a.m. today at his home in West Bay, according to a statement e-mailed by the police. The premier, who took office in 2009 and has been in the legislature since 1984, is known in the assembly as the “Father of the House,” according to his official biography.

Officials with the ruling United Democratic Party are meeting to determine how the government will proceed, the Cayman Compass newspaper reported on its website, citing sources it didn’t name. Deputy Premier Julianna O’Connor-Connolly would serve in Bush’s place.

Police have released Bush from custody on bail after “a series of interviews” and he will return for further questioning tomorrow, Cayman law enforcement said today in an e-mailed statement.

The Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory which has the highest number of hedge funds in the Caribbean, has historically attracted companies such as Bain Capital LLC and Medtronic Inc., which use subsidiaries based there to lower U.S. tax obligations. The country was home to 10,979 funds as of Sept. 30, up from 9,258 in 2011, according to the country’s monetary authority.

Cayman’s Chamber of Commerce said Bush’s arrest demonstrates that police will go after “corruption even at the highest level of political office.”

The group “unequivocally supports all actions by law enforcement officials to root out any unethical behavior that may damage the reputation of the Cayman Islands,” according to a statement posted on its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Sabo in Panama City at esabo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net

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