Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Feb 22, 2024

Chief Immigration Officer blasts BVI News for false, unverified reporting

Chief Immigration Officer blasts BVI News for false, unverified reporting

Local online news tabloid BVI News has found itself in yet another false reporting scandal. This time it is over a report alleging that detainees under the purview of the Immigration Department had overpowered security at Hotel Castle Maria early last week.

The erroneous article titled “Detainees reportedly overpower security personnel at Castle Maria” and published on January 27, 2023, alleged that the detainees started a ‘small riot’ at the Castle Marina facility where they also attacked security personnel.

Local online new Tabloid BVI News.com has found itself in yet another false reporting scandal, this time, over a report alleging that detainees under the purview of the Immigration Department had overpowered security at Hotel Castle Marina.

Report false & unverified- CIO Ian B. Penn

Chief Immigration Officer, Mr Ian B. Penn, speaking to ZBVI 780 AM on Friday, January 27, 2023, blasted the news website for its false and unverified reporting.

Mr Penn labeled the article as ‘false news’ and questioned the journalistic integrity of the tabloid’s staff.

“I do not support that story, that story is false news. I don't know who would have gone and reported a story like that in the news without even conferring with the Department or the Chief Immigration Officer,” Mr Penn told ZBVI’s Zan Lewis.

He said the circumstances surrounding the incident is that one of the detainees asked for a phone call and was told to report back in his room but gave a ‘little problem’.

“He opened the door of the other rooms; however the head of the security firm came down… he asked everybody to go back in their room and one gentleman who gave a little trouble had to be dealt with and put in his room.

BVI News is owned by UK national Julia Donovan.


No attempts to escape - Mr Penn

“There was no attempt of anyone trying to escape. There was nothing about security being overpowered or any matter like that. The situation was calm and dealt with by security in a matter of seconds,” Mr Penn added.

The Chief Immigration Officer reiterated that what was being portrayed in the news was far from reality, as neither was there a riot as reported by BVINews.com nor issues with security being overpowered or trying to escape from the facility.

BVI News has a high staff turnover and a long history of false and inaccurate news reporting, along with multiple legal threats stacked against it.

On many occasions, the website has had to issue apologies for falsehoods peddled.

BVI News is owned by UK national Julia Donovan.

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