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No systemic corruption in VI! Premier says Governor’s statements ‘irresponsible’

No systemic corruption in VI! Premier says Governor’s statements ‘irresponsible’

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has lashed out at recent statements made by outgoing Governor, H.E. Augustus J.U. Jaspert, that in the Virgin Islands (VI), there are pockets of corruption facilitating crime.

The Governor’s statements came during a Tuesday, November 10, 2020, joint press conference with Commissioner of Police, Mr Michael B. Matthews following VI's historic $250M 2,353 kilos cocaine bust on Friday, November 6, 2020.

So far, brothers Liston Davis, 40, a resident on Tortola and Mr Darren Davis, 41, also a resident on Tortola and a serving RVIPF officer, have been remanded to prison and implicated in the crime.

The Governor said that in his view and that of law enforcement, the seizure shows strong evidence of serious organized crime in the VI.

“The investigation is at an early stage but regrettably as you heard the involvement of a police officer indicates that there may be pockets of corruption facilitating this kind of illicit activity,” Governor Jaspert said while gloating over the drug bust.


Darren Davis, left, and Leston Davis at the Magistrate's Court in John's Hole on November 10, 2020.

Message about how law enforcement performed lost – Premier Fahie


Now according to the Premier Fahie in his 2021 Budget Speech of November 12, 2020, while the centre of focus for any announcement of that nature should have been the capability of local law enforcement to make such a historic find, that was not the case in the joint press conference, rather there was focus on corruption.

“This latest bust does not show that our system is corrupt, but rather it shows that our system and our officers stand up for what is right.”

Hon Fahie continued, “So I am calling all those with hidden agendas who are in covert ways trying many different strategies, and using vulnerable opportunities to prevent the Virgin Islands from truly achieving the mandate given by the United Nations in Article 73 of the UN Charter for former colonies to become self-governing, to go and erase the irresponsible labelling of the BVI’s system and our people as corrupt.”


Meanwhile, at least one local journalist has since broken their silence over the alleged restrictive nature of the joint press conference and an unwillingness to be forthcoming with information

Statements irresponsible – Premier


Calling the statements irresponsible, the Premier further said it must be retracted.

He said the statements are a well-calculated attempt to stain the good name of the many hardworking law-abiding citizens, the local law enforcement agencies and the VI economy.

“The irresponsible statement made will not deter your Government from investing in the advancement of our people in all aspects of local law enforcement.”

“So, once again, I am calling on all those who have called the Virgin Islands corrupt to take it out of the atmosphere and share the real truth with the local media, the international media, the United Kingdom Media and even the Twitter media,” Hon Fahie said.

The Premier underscored that the real truth is that the VI people working together, have shown that they will leave no stone unturned and that there are no 'sacred cows' when it comes to deterring criminal activities.


Radio host and social commentator Skelton-Cline has since accused the Governor and Police Commissioner of trying to paint a narrative with an ulterior motive. The man of the cloth said he believes the ultimate motive is to take control of VI's borders.

Hidden agenda & ulterior motives- Claude O. Skelton-Cline


Meanwhile, at least one local journalist has since broken their silence over the alleged restrictive nature of the joint press conference and an unwillingness to be forthcoming with information.

JTV television reporter, Cathy O. Richards, speaking on a November 11, 2020, episode of The Big Story with guest Claude O. Skelton-Cline, said journalists at the press conference were not allowed to dig deep and ask many questions, "For me, you could have come out and made his [Governor Jaspert] statement and done with that,” she said.

Radio host and social commentator Skelton-Cline has since accused the Governor and Police Commissioner of trying to paint a narrative, with an ulterior motive.

The man of the cloth said he believes the ultimate motive is to take control of VI's borders.

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