Turnbull’s suspicion was revealed during the August 30, 2021, edition of the Umoja Show with host Cromwell Smith aka 'Edju En Ka', where he said the agenda of the British to take over is partly due to the VI’s financial services sector.
“The British do not like our financial services, they feel that we are literally kind of a rich country… we have all this money and all these things and then with drugs, we are heavy into drugs and we are tarnishing their reputation,” he said.
He said the UK’s mission with the CoI is also to investigate whether there is truth behind allegations that the VI’s financial services sector houses monies from organised crime connected to Russia and Mexico.
“This is just a charade, all we are going through is just a show… the report has been written already and one thing I find different, that one commissioner,” he said.
Mr Turnbull pointed to scandals such as the ESHS wall and the botched BVI Airways deal under the previous Dr D. Orlando Smith-led National Democratic Party (NDP) Government and that he suspected the CoI actually started before its official launch date.
Under the previous Governor, Augustus J.U. Jaspert aka 'Gus', the Inquiry was launched on January 18, 2021, however, Mr Turnbull said it might have started before via several audits from the local Auditor General.
“This Commission of Inquiry in my opinion started a long time ago, all we are doing now is formalising a Commission of Inquiry,” he said.
Meanwhile, ahead of Turnbull's assumptions, several social commentators and talk show hosts had warned that any conclusion of the CoI that leads to the UK taking over VI will be opposed.
Honestly Speaking radio host Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline had questioned the motives of the CoI ordered by 'Gus' into the affairs of the Government of the Virgin Islands, pointing to previous CoI’s in other Overseas Territories (OTs) as an example of what could come.
He said the case is often that OT Leaders are either forced out of office or in some cases, the local constitution is suspended, paving way for the UK to step in for a takeover.
Pastor of the New Life Baptist Church in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola, Bishop John I. Cline affirmed that the UK will face ‘stiff resistance’ should they try to take over the territory after the conclusion of the Virgin Islands (VI) Commission of Inquiry.
“We have clearly stated that we do not wish to even go back to what looks like a hint of colonialism [or] pseudo colonialism or you come in under the name of good governance and say you are taking over.”
“For you to come in and say you ready to take over, the UK must know they are going to meet with some stiff resistance,” he said.