British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Jun 17, 2021

Vibrant cocaine & human trafficking ring fuelling illegal guns- CoP Matthews

Vibrant cocaine & human trafficking ring fuelling illegal guns- CoP Matthews

Commissioner of Police, Mr Michael B. Matthews has pointed to a vibrant cocaine smuggling trade as well as human smuggling in the Virgin Islands (VI), as fuelling illegal gun possessions.

The Commissioner was at the time speaking on the topic of gun crimes during a Wednesday, October 7, 2020, edition of The Big Story with host Cathy O. Richards on JTV Channel 55.

Drugs trade vibrant in VI

Speaking on the local drugs trade, he said: “We hear the denials, saying it's not as bad as that, you know we’ve got a very vibrant cocaine smuggling trade here, we all know it, we've seized 126 kilos of cocaine in one house just two weeks ago.”

“You can’t tell me we don’t have a problem with the drugs importation or smuggling network,” CoP Matthews went on to say.

He said, as a result, the need for guns is greater, given the criminal networks and a demand for protection.

“They have to protect their assets in their eyes, even though the assets are completely illegal… and so the drugs trade, the human trafficking trade, all of that adds to the criminals' desire to carry a firearm to protect their assets,” he said.

The Top Cop said as a result of the trafficking in persons and drug trade, the demands for guns in great given criminal networks would need protection.

Gun culture & outside influence

Speaking on the Caribbean and US influence on VI young men to freely carry guns, he said the territory is indeed vulnerable to adopting the gun culture of those regional countries.

“I hope and pray the government of the Virgin Islands never weakens its gun laws here. I hope if anything, it strengthens them,” Mr Matthews said.

He added that the only way to stay safe is to completely stamp out firearms in the VI, pointing to the US Virgin Islands' high crime rate involving guns as an example of why the territory should not make firearms freely available.


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