Beautiful Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

‘Untold corruption’, ‘drug-pushing officials’ not reflected in COI report

‘Untold corruption’, ‘drug-pushing officials’ not reflected in COI report

The level of corruption among public officials in the BVI that was expected to be found once the Commission of Inquiry (COI) was completed did not materialise in any way.

This was the suggestion offered by Territorial At-Large Representative Carvin Malone when he appeared in the House of Assembly (HOA) recently.

“What was said in that Commission of Inquiry — what it led to; it said that basically, we have corruption untold,” Malone stated. “Public officials were taking money, giving it to the family, giving it to the friends, and distributing it willy nilly. That’s what was purported.”

He said the affidavit that prompted the COI needed to be seen to determine whether the allegations of corruption indeed had true merit.

Malone said some House members have argued that UK MPs don’t have a clue what is taking place in the BVI, yet they have alleged that BVI legislators “are in here taking the stuff”.

“I don’t know of any other member, but I did not use any of it and the records will have to bear it out,” Malone said.

“[They] said we were drug pushing officials. None of the records shows it,” he further contended.

Fahie’s arrest had more to do with COI’s release

Malone suggested that contrary to what was said publicly by the governor, the arrest of former Premier Andrew Fahie on charges of drug smuggling and money laundering had much to do with the earlier-than-expected release of the COI report.

“They said that the arrest will have nothing to do with this Commission of Inquiry. I would beg to differ. We’ll have to see exactly where the proof lies out,” Malone stated.

“An affidavit had to be filed because while everyone here in the Virgin Islands was saying that the arrest on the 28th of April had nothing to do with the early release of the report,” Malone said, “when you look at the reports coming out of the UK, it was a different story.

He added: “The story was the arrest shows and justifies why the Commission of Inquiry needed to take place. So there is a disconnect there as far as I am concerned.”

The first-term legislator further argued that the UK-sanctioned Commission of Inquiry began as the territory was under lockdown during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that instead of receiving millions of dollars in aid, the BVI was gifted with a Commission of Inquiry.


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