Communications and Public Works Minister Kye Rymer has confirmed that a BVI Ports Authority’s (BVIPA) Miami-based Limited Liability Company (LLC) has now been dissolved after its discovery first created controversy some months ago.
Rymer said the company’s dissolution documents were filed in August and a copy was received in September.
“At this juncture, the office was dissolved mainly because of the ownership structure,” Rymer disclosed in the House of Assembly (HOA) yesterday.
After reports initially emerged of the entity registered under the name ‘The BVI Ports Authority, LLC’, Rymer sought to quell concerns; expressing that the Miami-based office space was only to provide an outreach location for the Authority to conduct cruise business.
Rymer said it was also decided that the office space acquired by the company could also host the BVI Tourist Board and the BVI Shipping Registry.
While speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday, October 25, the minister said: “The office space in Miami was intended to be a multi-agency office, marketing, and promoting tourism and ship registration.”
He added that it was also envisioned to serve as a support and research base for BVI nationals and residents who are students and conducting business and require assistance while abroad.
Rymer said the company was not registered to engage in any revenue-generating business.
He explained that to establish the company, three directors were required. Those directors were revealed to be Roxane Sylvester — a former Deputy Chair of the BVIPA Board; Kenesha Sprauve, a former member of the BVIPA Board and Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board; and Oleanvine Maynard, the now-incarcerated former Managing Director of the BVIPA.
Rymer said his ministry has had discussions with the Shipping Registry and Tourist Board and it was agreed that having a physical presence in Miami is a good idea as Miami is a hub for international business. He said this enhances the opportunity for air and seaport relationships with international airlines and the cruise industry of Florida.
With the re-establishment of a Civil Aviation Department, Rymer said the territory can also target high net worth individuals who may own private airplanes.
“The collaboration of these agencies means that the territory can now offer a one-stop-shop experience to guests,” the minister said.
The matter is now being put to Cabinet for a formal decision before it can be re-established, if Cabinet desires.