British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Apr 17, 2021

New ‘MV Searcher’ added to VI’s crime-fighting marine fleet

New ‘MV Searcher’ added to VI’s crime-fighting marine fleet

Acting Financial Secretary, Jeremiah G.A Frett has urged his department to ensure that accidents are avoided and the newest vessel to join their fleet, the MV Searcher is fully maintained.

Mr Frett was at the time delivering brief remarks during the official dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the launching of the new Customs vessel at the Marine Base in Burt Point on March 5, 2021.

Acting Financial Secretary, Jeremiah G.A. Frett has urged his department to ensure that accidents are avoided and the newest vessel to join their fleet, the MV Searcher is fully maintained.


MV Searcher means ‘more secure borders’ – Mr Frett


“This vessel, MV Searcher, will help Customs in their remit. MV Searcher will add to the Customs marine fleet, ensuring that the most precious resources, our BVI community, will realize a reduction in crime, more secure borders and increased patrols,” he said.

“We only ask two things of you, Commissioner of Customs and other end-users of this vessel, keep this vessel maintained at all times and demonstrate good sailing and navigation skills to avoid any accidents on the high seas or otherwise,” Mr Frett added.

Frett said the boat will also be an “essential tool” as they continue to make strides towards building the BVI that “we aspire it to be.”

Mr Frett said the boat will be an 'essential tool' as they continue to make strides towards building the BVI that 'we aspire it to be.'


$$ pumped into marine capabilities of VI – Mr Smith


Meanwhile, Commissioner of Customs Mr Wade N. Smith said millions have been pumped into marine assets since the 2017 hurricanes ravaged their boats.

“The storms of 2017 left us without a vessel. Inoperable and unable to secure the borders. However, within the last year and a half, we have been fully restored.”

“In addition to the recently acquired Midnight Express by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Agencies marine capabilities with high-speed interceptors are second to none in the region. Combined, the replacement value of these assets can be in the vicinity of $2.5 to $3 million,” Mr Smith remarked.

He boasted that the investment to secure the territory’s borders has yielded “significant returns” in the fight against transnational crimes that are intercepted in the Virgin Islands.

Present at the dedication ceremony was also Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who expressed that he was pleased that the government saw it fit to make the purchase that will assist in making the territory a safer place.

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