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.
“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.”
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.
“If no one had an army, armies would not be needed. But the same can be said of most lobbyists, PR specialists, telemarketers, and corporate lawyers. Also, like literal goons, they have a largely negative impact on society. I think almost anyone would concur that, were all telemarketers to disappear, the world would be a better place.”
― David Graeber, Bullshit Jobs: A Theory