British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Aug 01, 2021

Rotarians allegedly calls for Ryan Geluk to step down due to involvement in BVI Airways fraud

Ryan Geluk’s appointment as Rotary’s Assistant Governor for the BVI 2020/2021 is under fire following daunting revelations about his role in the BVI Airways project gone bad, and surprisingly the heat is allegedly coming from within the Rotary family.
The “4-page” letter reaching our newsroom stated, “fearing inaction” by the District Governor-Elect Charles Sealey, concerned members made a formal complaint and called to action, the immediate retraction of Mr. Geluk as it threatens the credibility of the organization.

The letter penned to senior members stated “our sole purpose is to ensure that Rotary’s reputation in the British Virgin Islands remains unblemished.

Therefore, we are of the opinion, that Past President Ryan Geluk’s appointment as the Assistant Governor for the BVI 2020/2021 be retracted on the grounds that he is a Director of BVI Airways which is accused of perpetrating a massive multi-million-dollar airline scam in the British Virgin Islands.”

This follows Premier Fahie’s revelation that the BVI Airways project is now under a full criminal investigation.

The 47-page report by the Auditor General, whose office is completely independent of political influence, lays out in detailed fashion all the details of a one-sided agreement between Government and BVI Airways, the failed attempt of BVI Airways to establish direct flights to the US mainland, the ill-advised actions of Government in relation to the BVI Airways operation, and the subsequent abandonment of the operation by BVI Airways.

One conclusion was that “The manner in which the project was introduced and progressed suggests that the operator parties were attempting to take advantage of the Territory’s existing airlift issues by providing a solution that would guarantee them above market returns without the financial risk.”

Despite at the time serving as one of the Directors of BVI Airways, Mr. Geluk was contracted to do an accounts evaluation under BDO, an accounting firm where he was then positioned as the Deputy Managing Director, a major conflict of interest.

Within the BVI Airways report, Ryan attempts to isolate himself from the fraudulent allegations claiming that he only attended one meeting with the heavily-implicated former Financial Secretary, Neil Smith, further highlighting that he was not brought up to date with information.

Mr. Geluk said “the only set of financial statements received were unaudited and for the 15-months pre-operational period from the commencement of the venture to 31 March 2017.”

Fearing that the Premier will leave no stone unturned in this investigation, the concerned Rotarians further stated “We are deeply troubled by the turn of events as criminal charges loom.

We worry that the good name and image of Rotary will also be on public trial through Past President’s Ryan serving in such a senior and prominent position as Assistant Governor.”

The members are also outraged at the silence of District Governor Delma Maduro and Acting Governor Lorna Smith who recently condemned a local female Rotary President because of her sister’s altercation in the club. The letter said “Why the double standards? Are we not all equals in our beloved Rotary?”

In closing they reiterated Rotary’s Code of Ethics which states that “I will Act with integrity and high ethical standards in my personal and professional life’.

Being a member of Rotary means you are a person of integrity and honor, not only in your business or chosen profession, but in your personal life too.”

The perturbed members which span across the Rotary Club of Tortola, Rotary Club of Road Town and the Rotary Club of Sunrise Road Town are now asking for Ryan Geluk’s appointment to be retracted until the matter is resolved.

Questions have been circulating about the veracity of the letter emailed, on whether this is an actual Rotary member or a persona created to reflect the feelings of members of the organization.

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