Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666

It's Premier Fahie's turn to face questions on $7.2M failed BVI Airways deal!

- Hon Julian Fraser will lead HoA probes into missing funds of the botched airline
Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA, right, is making good on a promise he made during the Tuesday, March 12, 2019, First Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) by making the Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, 'Tell us where the money for the plane went'. Photo: Facebook/File
With the initial $7M investment and the additional $200K, taxpayers had lost a total of $7.2M with nothing to show, this resulted in an alleged cover-up by the then NDP government that became a bombshell scandal. Photo: VINO/File
With the initial $7M investment and the additional $200K, taxpayers had lost a total of $7.2M with nothing to show, this resulted in an alleged cover-up by the then NDP government that became a bombshell scandal. Photo: VINO/File
Former Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, in 2006 had signed $7M ‘give-away’ to the airline, in exchange for direct flights between Miami International Airport and Beef Island. Photo: VINO/File
Former Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, in 2006 had signed $7M ‘give-away’ to the airline, in exchange for direct flights between Miami International Airport and Beef Island. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Third District Representative, Hon Julian Fraser RA intends to make good on a promise he made during the Tuesday, March 12, 2019 First Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA), by making the Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), 'Tell us where the money for the plane went'.

The outspoken legislator, now in his sixth term in the HoA, had famously said that Premier Fahie—at the moment of becoming Premier—was responsible for all actions of his predecessor and as such, will be made to answer questioning for wrongdoings, including the botched BVI Airways project that happened under the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) government.

Failed BVI Airways

“Oh, yea, you are going to tell us where the money for the plane went, oh yea,” were the words of Hon Fraser during the inaugural sitting of the Fourth HoA in March 2019.

Back in 2006, former Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon D. Orlando Smith, had signed a $7M ‘give-away’ to the airline, in exchange for direct flights between Miami International Airport and Beef Island.

After missing three deadlines, it was revealed in the HoA, by then Premier Smith, that an additional $200,000 was added to the ‘pot,’ to open a Special Account.

With the initial $7M investment and the additional $200,000, taxpayers had lost a total of $7.2M with nothing to show. This resulted in an alleged cover-up by the then NDP government that became a bombshell scandal with several proceeding court cases.

“Mister Speaker, for several years the Opposition has been stonewalled and at times downright refused answers relating to  BVI Airways and a related missing $7.2 million of Government funds," Hon Fraser said in the HoA order paper released yesterday, May 14, 2019.

Now, the veteran legislator is wasting no time with regards to the line of questioning that will commence at the Friday, May 17, 2019, Third Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA of the Virgin Islands (VI).

Where is the Money? – Fraser  

"Could the Premier and Minister of Finance please… Provide this Honourable House with the breakdown of those Funds Disbursements to BVI Airways [and] Provide this Honourable House with the breakdown of BVI Airways disposed of said funds,” will be the first line of questioning, according to the Order Paper. 

Fraser at the inaugural Sitting of the Fourth HoA, had further said, “Premier [Hon Fahie] who asked a million questions when you were Leader of the Opposition, I hope that you present those answers to us [Opposition members] when we ask them to you,” he beseeched in relation to the missing funds.

Further, Hon Fraser is seeking an inventory of goods and services acquired by the $7.2 million and wants an update with regards to investigations started by the former Premier.

“Mister Speaker, the former Premier and Minister of Finance told this Honourable House that he had issued instructions to the Attorney General [Baba F. Aziz] to initiate proceedings with the recovery of the $7.2 million from BVI Airways. Could the Premier and Minister of Finance please: Present this Honourable House with a copy of those instructions? [and] inform this Honourable House as to the actions taken by the AG?”

Hon Fraser will further grill the Premier on the names of the shareholders of BVI Airways as well as the names of the Directors and what fees were paid to each of them.

7 Responses to “It's Premier Fahie's turn to face questions on $7.2M failed BVI Airways deal!”

  • musa (15/05/2019, 15:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    up the hill some body going and we know not our new premier …..
  • Quiet Warrior (15/05/2019, 17:57) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The intent of procuring non-stop flight from MIA to EiS was a noble but a poorly executed plan of action. The current government should learn from this poorly executed action; if you rushed the brush, you will surely get darbed. Putting it nicely, BVI Airways, a bruk, bankrupt and broke airline, out negotiated the former NDP government and fleeced the the taxpayers out of $7.2M. $7.2K thrown in the air and declared that whatever stayed up belonged to the taxpayers. Clearly, $0 stayed up. The agreement was poorly constructed with funds too easily disbursed. The disbursing of funds should have been performance based on a time line, ie, certain concrete actions taken before a penny of taxpayers money was handed over to BVI Airways. BVI Airways saw the NDP as an easy prey (taking can candy from a toddler) and it pranced upon and preyed upon it. The preying was so easy that after getting the $7.2M it came back with another sob story pleading for more. It was painful and embarrassing to watch. Though Hon Fahie and VIP is not responsible for the fleecing of the Treasury, it is in power now and must engineer a commission of enquiry for a full and thorough accounting of the people’s $7.2M. The people/BVI needs to be made whole. The budget and executing process must be revisited. For example, budget passed by the HOA, any non-emergency project/procurement over a $100K should go back to HOA for authorizing and appropriating.
  • 911 (15/05/2019, 18:49) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hope finally the NDP con men them go to jail
    • 611 (15/05/2019, 20:35) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ 911...that will a good day in BVI history a message needs to be sent to the politicians of this territory
  • wize up (15/05/2019, 22:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    the only member in the current house of assembly that can justifiably ask any questions about government spendings pass or going forward is the member of the 3(PU) the other opposition members such as NDP or PVIM sat down in lion’s den for 8 years with their colleagues and condoned the mismanagement of the people’s tax money....
  • Why (16/05/2019, 02:51) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    He asking the wrong person ..
  • Anonymous (16/05/2019, 07:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is the governor? Them ndp thiefs are not looked up


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.