The ex-governor’s statement had angered Virgin Islanders, who were already perturbed over his statements on reparations and preserving names of landmarks honouring perpetrators of slavery, statements some considered racist.
As recent as Sunday, February 14, 2021, cocaine worth up to £184 million was seized in the UK after it was imported from Colombia in a consignment of bananas.
According to several UK publications, including PA Media, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said the seizure of around 2.3 tonnes of the Class A drug is believed to be one of the largest ever in the UK.
Ten men, aged between 21 and 56, were arrested following an armed raid at an industrial estate in Tottenham, north London, on Thursday, February 18, 2021, after the delivery of 41 pallets.
Dramatic footage, according to the UK publication, shows firearms officers, wearing helmets and gas masks, smash down the door before raiding the building, which contains stacked boxes of bananas.
The cocaine had already been removed by Border Force officers at Portsmouth International Port on Sunday after the consignment arrived on a cargo ship from Colombia the previous day.
The NCA, which carried out the investigation with the Metropolitan Police under the Organised Crime Partnership, said the drugs could have been worth £184 million if sold on UK streets.
The Met’s Detective Superintendent Simon Moring said: “This operation is a great example of partnership working between the Met, NCA and Border Force, which resulted in one of the UK’s biggest ever seizures of cocaine – around 2.3 tonnes.
“We know there is an inextricable link between drugs and violence – that is why tackling the importation and supply of drugs is a crucial part of our work to reduce violent crime in London,” Moring said.
John Coles, head of specialist operations at the NCA, said: “The numbers here speak for themselves; this is a massive seizure which has denied organised criminals hundreds of millions in profits, and is the result of a targeted investigation conducted jointly by the NCA and Met Police.
“The NCA is focused on disrupting the organised crime groups posing the most significant risk to the UK, which includes those involved in class A drug supply.
The historic drug bust in the UK reminds of the more than a tonne of cocaine, worth £100 million, found hidden in a shipment of banana pulp in Essex back in November 2020.
According to the UK publication, Evening Standard, the 1,060 kilograms of concealed cocaine were discovered hidden in a shipping container as part of routine inspections by Border Force at the London Gateway depot in Essex.
The discovery on November 12, 2020, had marked the second-largest shipment of cocaine to be discovered at the Essex port in the space of two months.
Meanwhile, many believe the labeling of the Virgin Islands as having systematic corruption after the drug bust in November 2020 was part of Mr Jaspert’s scheme to try to justify calling the Commission of Inquiry in January 2021, mere days after he demitted the Governor’s Office.
Just like when the drug bust was made, detailed information about the Commission of Inquiry was splashed menacingly across newspapers across the UK, even before the local media was able to get proper information.
Many saw this as an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the Virgin Islands on the international scene and to get UK’s Government and public support to intervene into the governing affairs of the territory.
According to political pundits, the main reason behind the CoI is because the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government of Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has been pushing a narrative of independence at a time when the territory is due for constitutional review and the CoI is a tool to keep the colonialist status quo.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the seizure of around 2.3 tonnes of the Class A drug is believed to be one of the largest ever in the UK.
With the ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert late last year labeling the Virgin Islands (VI) as corrupt following the discovery of some $250m worth of cocaine on Tortola in early November 2020, the question continues to be asked what would the controversial UK civil servant label his own country, since cocaine busts are not strange there.
The discovery of cocaine at a port in Essex, UK, on November 12, 2020, marked the second-largest shipment of cocaine to be discovered at the Essex port in the space of two months.
Just like when the drug bust was made in the Virgin Islands in November 2020, detailed information about the Commission of Inquiry was splashed menacingly across newspapers across the UK, even before the local media was able to get proper information. Even the Government and Financial Services were caught off guard.