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Hon Turnbull peeved @ being searched @ TB Lettsome Airport

- said elected members on Gov’t business should not have to go through such embarrassment
Photo not of search conducted at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. Second District Representative and Opposition Member, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka ‘Mitch’ believes it is a ‘load of nonsense’ that he is subjected to security search even as an elected representative on official government business. Photo: The Cheat Sheet
Second District Representative and Opposition Member, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka ‘Mitch’ is not happy that certain elected representatives are not exempted from being searched by security personnel at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. Photo: VINO/File
Second District Representative and Opposition Member, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka ‘Mitch’ is not happy that certain elected representatives are not exempted from being searched by security personnel at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Sharing that he was somewhat embarrassed after being randomly selected for airport security search at the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport on Beef Island while departing the territory recently on official government business, Second District Representative and Opposition Member, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka ‘Mitch’ is planning to bring the matter before the Committee of Privileges to address.

According to Hon Turnbull, no elected member on official government business should have to be searched in such manner and pointed to other islands where he said members of parliament on official travel are exempted from such searches.

Speaking under ‘Any Other Business’ at the continuation of the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on September 2, 2019, Hon Turnbull said he wants to bring the matter to the Committee of Privileges to consider as it has the right and the platform to address it.

Relating his experience, Hon Turnbull said he was passing through the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Government assigned duty to travel to Trinidad in July 2019 with some of his honourable colleagues.

“Mr Speaker, I was randomly selected to be searched.”

Noting that he doesn’t have a problem with being searched “because I am not going to carry or do anything in contradiction to the office in which I was sworn in,” however, the Opposition Member believes certain respect is due to Members of Parliament travelling on official duty.

‘A load of nonsense’

Hon Turnbull pointed out that he is still familiar with a lot of the “employees” at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport “because I used to, in my past life, manage their finances and their investments,” but even now as an elected member he is subjected to searches.

“So even after being elected, I would go through, and they would say take off your belt and your shoes and there would be no problem even though I know at that time that wasn’t the case but I would just comply because it was the thing to do.

“But Mr Speaker, I have no problem with the search. What I have a problem with is, here I am, not travelling on my own behalf, travelling on the Government’s behalf, having to have my suitcase opened in the general public and searched, in front of everybody passing and I [am] like ‘this is a load of nonsense.’”

Hon Turnbull said he wishes to bring up the matter before the Committee of Privileges as he doesn’t wish for any of his colleagues to experience what he did.

“I tried to stay, and I did stay as calm as I possibly could but I want to bring it up now so that you know that it is something that we need to address because there is a list out and only the Premier and the Governor are on that list of exempted members, that is what I was told,” Hon Turnbull stated.

27 Responses to “Hon Turnbull peeved @ being searched @ TB Lettsome Airport”

  • lol (04/09/2019, 17:58) Like (12) Dislike (14) Reply
    Lol lOl LOL LOl LOl Lol..dem serach the man who is qualified to speak about God in Hoa??!!Shame on airport security
  • Goodsense (04/09/2019, 18:07) Like (47) Dislike (2) Reply
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely...
    • @ goodsense (05/09/2019, 07:49) Like (10) Dislike (55) Reply
      You go sit down with your craziness the man is right he should have never been search they are out of order, it must have been a island security guard
  • Wha? (04/09/2019, 18:28) Like (101) Dislike (3) Reply
    Who TF this guy? He thinks he is better than the people because they have chosen him to represent them? He thinks he is above the law? Random searches are random for a reason. If he has nothing to hide what's his issue? If he thinks that searches are embarrassing why does he allow them to be conducted on the people who elected him or the people who bring income to the economy in such a way? This is wrong.
  • Hmmm. (04/09/2019, 18:51) Like (78) Dislike (2) Reply
    As far as I know your ticket doesn’t say government business on it. Go sit down Trunbull you’re dunk with power.
    • @ hmmm (05/09/2019, 13:17) Like (0) Dislike (21) Reply
      We don’t want to hear anything from some of you who does not understand protocol. Hon. Turnbull and others must continue to demand respect.

      The people have spoken at the polls on Feb. 25, 2019
  • WHAT!!! (04/09/2019, 18:59) Like (80) Dislike (0) Reply
    Got news for you , you ain’t more special than the rest of us.
  • So why not ? (04/09/2019, 19:01) Like (71) Dislike (2) Reply
    Sorry Mitch. Before you somehow got sworn in years ago. Quito’s was having a black and white party that would go to 6am for some reason it got cancelled. And it was VERY LOUD . . I replied how happy I was. You told me there was a road into CGB and a road out and I should take the road out even though I have lived here over 25 yrs. I feel like if I want to hear loud noises I will go to,the bar. I don’t feel that I should have to listen to,them in my house . My opinion has not changed. Thankfully Quito has changed all this. So,why should you be treated any differently than any other person flying in and out. I have been pulled aside frequently and have no,issue with this. It’s their job.
  • Guest (04/09/2019, 19:08) Like (71) Dislike (2) Reply
    Glad to know he considers the searches an embarrassment. But when non-big shots like yourself go through it what is it then? Some of the wealthiest here are probably the most dirty so I believe in searching all. In the world some of the best criminals are politicians.
  • blah (04/09/2019, 20:02) Like (10) Dislike (43) Reply
    He is right. Not a supporter of his current and former party. Not that he is above the law but there should be some preferential treatment especially when it comes to accessing government institutions and facilities. We have a habit of not respecting our members of Government and leader. We give 1st class treatment to foreign leadership and treat our own like regular Joes.
  • Winston (04/09/2019, 20:11) Like (63) Dislike (1) Reply
    He can't be serious. Firstly , what says the officers involved recognize him ...or care ? They are trained to randomly screen people and I am more comfortable knowing the are doing their job, regardless of his ego.
  • Security (04/09/2019, 20:57) Like (37) Dislike (1) Reply
    Airport security standards are dictated by some of the destination countries. They want guarantees that aircraft coming into their airspace are safe. They do not recognise BVI leaders as different, nor should they. This man is still a man just like the rest of us regardless of his office.
  • SMH (04/09/2019, 21:42) Like (7) Dislike (32) Reply
    It’s really sad to see in this day and age how ignorant and uneducated some of our people continue to be. All elected officials of This Territory are afforded certain courtesies and privileges. I won’t blame the airport security though. Someone in the Office of the House of Assembly did not their job #Clerk and should be reprimanded!
  • teacher john (05/09/2019, 00:31) Like (7) Dislike (35) Reply
    I am with Mitch on this one they were out of order
  • vi (05/09/2019, 01:04) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Members of the house want to chastize public officers for doing their jobs. Securoty for searching and Immigration for not processing them through arrivals first, but no one is informed when they are travelling. If officers are doing their jobs as they should, they dont always see these honourable men and women in line. I guess they are expected to be looking out for them.
    ... ..
  • Ignorance (05/09/2019, 04:12) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    Ignorance is really ignorance. In any Country I have traveled and I have traveled the entire Caribbean, USA, UK & Europe and elsewhere. There are protocols in place for exceptions for elected Members, Diplomats etc. I have said it for years, I never understood that. What is needed is a proper Protocol Office. But what are we complaining about, it is the same with Tourism. We want to excel in Tourism, but we have the worst service known to womankind. Wake up and start getting things rights.
  • we the people (05/09/2019, 07:47) Like (6) Dislike (28) Reply
    Hon Turnbull you are correct do not mind the fools who hates you blogging foolishness and donkey droppings

    The elected members deserve respect just like the judges are given
  • stop (05/09/2019, 08:43) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    Lead by example, or step down. Sure, it's a pain, and sure perhaps you're above board (just how most of us honest folk feel when we've been singled out for whatever reason), but random searches are necessary in this day and age. Was the process in any way disrespectful? If he is traveling on official government business, there is surely nothing to hide. Let the security people do their job, praise them (if they did it well), and smile. Use it as an opp to show how even the mighty have to follow the rules, instead of the more usual "it does not apply to me because I'm important". Seems to me someone forgot to engage brain before putting mouth into gear after getting upset for being singled out in a security line. Nobody else likes it either.
  • VI Gyal (05/09/2019, 09:16) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    But yet still Buju and his entourage drove right through. Govt Ministers and Members should have certain privileges.
    • @VI Gyal (05/09/2019, 17:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Buju was on a private aircraft. He did get searched also Mitch if flying on a commercial flight they have different rules to follow.
  • VirIs (05/09/2019, 09:33) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    His head is too inflated. Who de hell he think he is. He should be speaking about carrying self and s-other about in dignified attire before talking about being treated more dignified if he looking to address a embarrassing something.
  • ... (05/09/2019, 13:19) Like (1) Dislike (9) Reply
  • @...... (05/09/2019, 17:43) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
    Those white people use the services of IAM and other handlers to take care of the headaches. If Mitch doesn’t want to get search he can use that service.
  • jah know (07/09/2019, 19:48) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    That goes to show how the let power go to their head and not because you're an elected member means you don't have intentions of transporting illegal goods.
  • Agree/Disagree (09/09/2019, 14:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have been witness to this search that they are discussing and while I agree that everyone should be available to a random search I do not agree with the method that it is done.
    This search is done in a room which is open to be viewed by any passenger passing thru the departure lounge. I do not think that someone's luggage should be taken out from the checked baggage and then opened in that area for then what is the customs officer at the destination job after they are searched before leaving here? The "Random" search is mainly for the personal effects that you are passing thru the departure lounge with not your checked baggage.
    I do not know where the B.V.I. has gotten this protocol from and I think that it should be revised for that type of treatment is invasive and insulting. In that view I think that the Hon. Turnbull is correct to feeling that it was embarrassing to have it done but if this is the protocol of the B.V.I. then so be it I think that they need to set it up in a better fashion so that it does not seem so embarrassing.
    However, as I stated earlier usually this type of search of your checked baggage would usually be done at the destination point not the departure point and I will ask the question... Who at that point would have know who Hon. Turnbull is?

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