British Virgin Islands

Friday, Nov 27, 2020

'Full criminal investigation' launched into BVI Airways deal

'Full criminal investigation' launched into BVI Airways deal

After roughly three years, a criminal probe has been launched into the controversial BVI Airways deal between the airline and the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) government that was led by former Premier, Dr D Orlando Smith.

Incumbent Premier Andrew Fahie made that bombshell announcement in the House of Assembly moments ago.

Fahie made the statement as he presented the House with the long-awaited Auditor General’s report on the NDP government’s financing of BVI Airways’ direct flights to Miami.

“We usually would have allowed a preamble [before laying a document before the House]. But I cannot do any preamble on this one. I can only lay it on the table,” Premier Fahie said.

“I cannot say anything further on this matter as we have been informed by the Commissioner of Police that this is now under a full criminal investigation,” he added.


The controversy

BVI News has not yet received the Auditor General’s report. However, information already in the public domain is that the NDP government gave 7.2 million of taxpayer dollars for the airline to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami, USA back in 2016.

However, operators of BVI Airways missed all its promised dates for the commencement of those flights. And by July of 2017, the airline laid off its staff; claiming that it needed more money to fly.

The two aircraft associated with the airline were then reported ‘missing’. But in February 2020 - exactly a year after the NDP government was voted out of office - leader of the new VIP government, Premier Fahie revealed that both aircraft have been found and are presently operating in Australia.

A lawsuit has also been filed in US District Court of Columbia against government’s former attorney Lester Hyman, who is alleged to have been a director in BVI Airways.

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