Corruption claims in the BVI

Published on January 19th, 2021

The British Virgin Islands are a jewel of the Caribbean, but the region has been suffering since the destruction in 2017 by Hurricane Irma. While the rebuild is underway, COVID-19 has triggered concerning government action toward boaters.

BBC News now reports how a British judge is to run an independent inquiry into corruption claims in the British Virgin Islands. The judge will investigate allegations of misuse of taxpayers’ money, concerns about government procurement, political interference in public appointments and what has been called a climate of fear in public service.

There are also claims a £30m fund for families struggling with COVID-19 has been channeled to politicians’ allies. Other allegations include £700,000 spent on one school fence and a policeman found with cocaine worth almost £200m.

In a written statement Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said “a consistent and deeply troubling array of concerns have been put to the governor by local institutions and the community” and that the UK was “extremely concerned.

“The UK Government is responsible for ensuring the security and good governance of BVI. We have a constitutional and moral duty to protect the interests of the people of BVI – we cannot ignore such serious allegations.”

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