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Thursday, May 19, 2022

RVIPF admits to taking civilian to USVI & back on powerboat

RVIPF admits to taking civilian to USVI & back on powerboat

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has broken its silence over allegations they were engaged in human smuggling.
Allegations


The allegations were brought to the public by commentator Claude O. Skelton-Cline on his Honestly Speaking show on ZBVI 780 AM on April 5, 2022.

“I understand this past Friday, I don’t know if it's Immigration or Customs… but they stopped the Royal Virgin Islands Police (RVIPF) boat from taking somebody out the country, didn’t clear them here, clearing them into St Thomas and bringing them back,” he alleged.

Mr Skelton-Cline had also expressed concern that maybe the matter is being covered up.

The RVIPF’s side of the story


The RVIPF, in a statement today, April 7, 2022, from its Media Liaison Diane L. Drayton, said the incident actually took place on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

According to the brief statement, “officers of the RVIPF travelled to St Thomas on official business on-board the Midnight Justice. A prospective officer, who applied and successfully fulfilled the requirements to join the Force but was not yet sworn in, travelled with the team on that trip to St Thomas.”

According to the statement, no other civilians were on-board the vessel.

“Present inquiries are ongoing into whether that prospective officer followed required Immigration and Customs procedures for exiting and entering the Territory.”

The RVIPF said it is cooperating with Immigration and Customs officers.

Spotlight on RVIPF


The spotlight has already been on the RVIPF following recent allegations that they were using police vessels to do bar hopping in late January 2022.

Commissioner of Police Mark Collins had said it was a legitimate operation of familiarising colleagues new to the Virgin Islands.

“I can assure you this wasn’t a social event. It was a planned familiarisation visit for some colleagues new on Island. And I am very happy and confident about this operation,” Mr Collins told our newsroom.

Collins had also claimed that the officers were doing patrol and several boats were stopped; however, there were questions raised as to why the officers would do such an operation in civilian clothing.

The allegations of human smuggling by the RVIPF were brought to the public by commentator Claude O. Skelton-Cline on his Honestly Speaking show on ZBVI 780 AM on April 5, 2022.


The spotlight has already been on the RVIPF following recent allegations that they were using police vessels to do bar hopping in late January 2022.

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