British Virgin Islands

Friday, Oct 23, 2020

Gov't names persons who were BVI Airways shareholders! Some are BVI residents

Gov't names persons who were BVI Airways shareholders! Some are BVI residents

Premier Andrew Fahie has revealed the names of persons who were shareholders in BVI Airways; some of which are residents in the territory.

Answering questions posed by Opposition legislator Julian Fraser during Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Assembly, Premier said Pauline Jones who is a UK citizen and a resident in the BVI owned 31 percent shares in the airline.

Fahie said Bradley Goggin -former BVI airways pilot -owned 20 percent, while an aviation company in Delaware, USA owned the majority of 49 percent shares.

That company was reportedly operated by Gerry Welby and Scott Wiseman -both of whom Fahie said were responsible for the day-to-day running of BVI Airways.

Fahie said the government was advised that Wilby, Wiseman, Jones, government’s former attorney Lester Hyman, chartered accountant, Ryan Geluk, Robert Cisella, and US citizen Bruce Bradley were all BVI Airways directors back in 2017.

Premier Fahie said he was advised of this information through Martin Kenney & Co Solicitors — a government-hired law firm that handles fraud and asset recovery.

Large sums paid to Directors

In the meantime, the Premier informed the House that according to ongoing investigations, the directors of BVI Airways were to be paid $10,000 compensation on appointment.

Thereafter, they were entitled to $2,500 for each meeting attended, Fahie said.

The Premier also said that in the case of Geluk, he was appointed to the board on the recommendation of the previous Dr D Orlando Smith administration.

$$$ breakdown

Premier Fahie further said the government-commissioned probe revealed that part of the $7.2 million that was given to the airline was utilized to purchase two aircraft in 2016. Another part was used to pay other associated expenses such as hiring pilots and a crew, marketing, and obtaining regulatory approvals.

The said planes, which were believed to be sold twice, have now been found to be operating in Australia.

“BVI Airways is currently subject of arbitration proceedings in New York and pre-action disclosure proceedings in Washington DC against the government’s former attorney Lester Hyman,” Fahie said.


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