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Lies & secrecy surround tax payers $7.2M payout to BVI Airways

- Questions cannot be answered in the House of Assembly, according to Premier Smith, because they are ‘commercially sensitive’; Premier Smith tells more lies about the agreement
After many missed deadlines, including that of December 2016 as stated in the agreement with the Virgin Islands government, BVI Airways is yet to begin direct flights from Miami, Florida to Beef Island, Virgin Islands. Photo:
It was on June 13, 2017 in the House of Assembly that the Opposition Leader and First District Representative Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, left, grilled Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, on the controversial BVI Airways deal. Photo: VINO/File
It was on June 13, 2017 in the House of Assembly that the Opposition Leader and First District Representative Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, left, grilled Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, on the controversial BVI Airways deal. Photo: VINO/File
The agreement between BVI Airways and the Virgin Islands Government is to provide direct flights from Miami, Florida to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island. Photo: VINO/ Leo A Daly
The agreement between BVI Airways and the Virgin Islands Government is to provide direct flights from Miami, Florida to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island. Photo: VINO/ Leo A Daly
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The controversial BVI Airways tax payers bail out with $7.2M is grabbing headlines again. It was on June 13, 2017 that the Opposition Leader and First District Representative Honourable Andrew A. Fahie fired more questions in the House of Assembly (HoA) on the deal, which is to provide direct flights from Miami, Florida to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.

Honourable Fahie made clear that he supports direct flights between the Virgin Islands (VI) and mainland USA and understands the impotence of airlift, but it was a "bad deal with many questions."

One of the many questions asked by Hon Fahie was for the Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) to inform the people why the funds were disbursed to BVI Airways by the Government of the VI earlier than the dates set forth in the agreement schedule between both parties.

To this, the chief lobbyist of the bankrupt airline’s tax payers funded agreement, Premier Smith said, “conditions for the release of funds to BVI Airways were primarily based on timelines that were adjusted by mutual agreement, as conditions on the ground changed, and were related to the extended anticipated time for getting approvals from the regulator and various challenges faced in the acquisition of the aircraft required to provide the service.”

None of your business how your tax dollars was spent!

When the Opposition Leader pressed Dr Smith on whether the Government of the VI has received from BVI Airways an account of how the money received by the airline from Government was spent and if not, whether government requested such information and if was received and further if not, whether government would be requesting such information.

The answer took the public by surprise.

Primer Smith told the HoA that the information relative to the above questions “are commercially sensitive and I therefore cannot discuss these at this time.”

In addition, when Hon Fahie asked again about the ownership of the planes and the matter of lease or purchase planes, to establish who actually owns the aircrafts that the tax payers funded, Premier Smith said “as the airline is now currently in negotiations that are of a commercially sensitive nature, with respect to other operational issues it would be prejudicial to further discuss these matters”.

More Lies from Premier Smith

Another answer that shocked the public was when asked by Hon Fahie, if BVI Airways was in compliance with the contract, Dr Smith answered “yes, BVI Airways is in compliance with the contract signed between BVI Airways and the Government of the VI.”

In fact, the Premier was again misleading the public with lies, as some three portions of the agreements have been already violated.

The agreement stated that the $7M tax payers’ money will be given over three years; however, that was violated and given over 6 months. The agreement stated that flights should have started by October 31, 2016 and has not, while some three other promised flight dates have passed and still no direct flights between Miami and Terence B. Lettsome International Airport.

The agreement stated that the amount to be paid out by Government as an “investment” in the BVI Airways venture would be $7M, although an extra $207,000 was paid to BVI Airways to open an account, another violation. Premier Smith claimed there was cost sharing of this amount but provided no evidence to support his statement.

In addition to the many violations, the agreement stated that if there were no flights by December 2016 government could terminate the contract. To date there have been no flights on the paid for route or no discussion of contract termination.

27 Responses to “Lies & secrecy surround tax payers $7.2M payout to BVI Airways”

  • Hmm (16/06/2017, 09:50) Like (45) Dislike (1) Reply
    The hole them boys (NDP) dig for themselves wayyy pass 6 feet.
  • A pattern (16/06/2017, 09:56) Like (43) Dislike (1) Reply
    of lies and secrecy. Nothing new here from these white-collar NDP gangsters.
  • First district (16/06/2017, 10:11) Like (30) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yes call them out on their BIG FAT LIES
  • Jaigon Jumbie (16/06/2017, 10:47) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply

    Plain out lie and wicket. My goodness. Took tax payers money, invest it and the people cannot know what's taking place. What fricking sensitive nature this man taking about. If anyone had tell me that Dr. S would have treated his own people this way, I would have tell them no. Look how this man entered politics and cast away all his credibility

    • dog (16/06/2017, 11:18) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      we have leased planes but they can't fly here yet, so the owners (investors) have a deal with Haiti/ cuba to lease over there. who is making the money? The rich belonger?
  • YAWN (16/06/2017, 10:47) Like (6) Dislike (28) Reply
    This plane will eventually fly, people will utilize it despite their complaints right now and the noise will stop thereafter. NEXT!
    • @ yawn (16/06/2017, 11:17) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
      For our sake and that of tax payers i pray it flys
      • yes (16/06/2017, 12:10) Like (12) Dislike (24) Reply
        Yawn is right. The pier park was the most corrupt thing but now they can't keep from in there. BVI people are all talk and trying to make everything a big deal. The plane will fly, they will fly on it, they will brag about it, everyone will be happy and then find something else to bitch about.
        • Hmm (16/06/2017, 15:19) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
          STILL corrupt! Why are you speaking in the past tense? Haven't you seen the English men filtering in 1 by 1? No coincidence! They're coming with BROOMS too; but I see that you're wearing the NDP blinders! "No matter how long moonlight run..." you know the rest!
        • job (16/06/2017, 16:34) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
          @ yes, and it is still the most corrupt thing. A lot of people needs to be behind bars for that pier park.
        • traitors (16/06/2017, 18:59) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
          You people can and will accept anything from your party as long as they continue to line your pockets.
      • Joe Rudi (16/06/2017, 12:41) Like (3) Dislike (9) Reply
        just start flying BVI airways that will keep the critics quiet
    • Hey yawn (18/06/2017, 13:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I will bet you my weeks pay to a doughnut that this thing never gets off the ground or if these planes ever do fly it will not be on the routes promised
  • Political Observer (PO) (16/06/2017, 12:22) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! What is commerciallly sensitive about this agreement between BVI Airways and the VI government. Please do not piss on us and tell us it is raining. $7.2M of taxpayers dollars is given away to a defunct and bankrupt airline (BVI Airways) and now taxpayers cannot get any information about their money. Sad. Come on homies! We have to get engaged and agitate for the greater good. Staying docile hoping that others who are hoping the same thing means nothing gets done and nothing will get done. Silence give government license that it can do whatever it wants, how it wants, where it wants, when it wants and why it wants. The March, the 1949 March, brought increased representation and revival of the legislature.
    • Tax Payers??? (16/06/2017, 15:59) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
      Taxpayers in the BVI? LOL...remind me how much taxes people pay in BVI? You mean the Tourist them? Aren't they the ones that are being taxed every time you turn around?
      • @Tax Payers (16/06/2017, 20:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        @Tax Payers, really! Your keyboard needs to be confiscated to save you from yourself. Chiren need to stay out of grown people conversation. Your playing checkers while others are playing chess.
      • Boo (18/06/2017, 13:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Open your own business.ire some staff..then check how much money you pay to the Government each month and come back again from chatting piss!
  • open wide (16/06/2017, 18:54) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yet, another episode in the "you can't make this stuff up" series, starring the Premier and his government .
  • pat (16/06/2017, 19:06) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is unthinkable that Mr. ZZZZZZZ would dare go there on the agreement many violations , but that may be precisely why he's likely to...
  • Hmmmm (16/06/2017, 20:22) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I don't know who is the stupidest folks here. The Ministers or the people who elected them.
    • Jacperlance (17/06/2017, 09:15) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's sad to say but we the people who elected them are the fools here. We continue to suffer while their pockets getting fatter
  • wize up (17/06/2017, 13:23) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    The Normal trend: is to subcerdize an airline that Flys in and out of your country: this airline have no scheduled fight operations in and out of the British Virgin Islands so why this airline is being given any for subsidy) subsiby usually offsets the emmpty seats per sector) the government gave this airline the people tax money before or after that fact when they fully well no that the airline have operational in and out this county in that(it takes money to run an airline....the same set of people who demonstrated to us in the that that they have no money by simply by owing our county alomsot 100.0000.00 in the past: right back on the door step and gone with 10 millions dollars( some saying 7!mill I sticking with my 10 mill figure)....think about he pier part
  • 1 (17/06/2017, 18:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oh BVI
  • UK (18/06/2017, 08:31) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Does anyone knows what makes an airport an international one, why do they keep referring to this bird nest here as an international airport, people this is not an international airport, it only has the name, it is incorrect and misleading.
    • answer (19/06/2017, 06:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      UK an international airport is any airport that has customs facilities and has flights from another country arriving and departing. It does qualify to use the title

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