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Stonewalled! No paper trail in $7.2M BVI Airways deal

- Premier Andrew A. Fahie in disbelief as no protest made even as key project files either missing or deleted
Standing in disbelief that he must now answer for the defunct $7.2M BVI Airways and subsequent deal that crumbled under the previous Premier, Dr. D. Orlando Smith’s, left, National Democratic Party (NDP) administration, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, dropped a bombshell that even as the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is now at the helm of government, little to no information can be found on the botched project and missing funds. Photo: VINO/GIS/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was at the time speaking at the Friday, May 17, 2019, Third Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA of the Virgin Islands (VI), when responding to questioning from the Representative of the Third District, Hon Julian Fraser, RA (in photo), he revealed that the files on BVI Airways have either been deleted or have gone completely missing from both the Ministry and at the Premier’s Office. Photo: VI HoA
Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was at the time speaking at the Friday, May 17, 2019, Third Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA of the Virgin Islands (VI), when responding to questioning from the Representative of the Third District, Hon Julian Fraser, RA (in photo), he revealed that the files on BVI Airways have either been deleted or have gone completely missing from both the Ministry and at the Premier’s Office. Photo: VI HoA
One of the planes on the BVI Airways Fleet before the airline went defunct. Photo: Facebook
One of the planes on the BVI Airways Fleet before the airline went defunct. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Having now to answer for the $7.2M BVI Airways deal that crumbled under the previous Premier, Dr. D. Orlando Smith’s National Democratic Party (NDP) administration, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) dropped a bombshell that even as the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is now at the helm of government, little to no information can be found on the botched project and missing funds.

Premier Fahie was at the time speaking at the Friday, May 17, 2019, Third Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA of the Virgin Islands (VI), when in responding to questioning from the representative of the Third District, Hon Julian Fraser, RA, he revealed that the files on BVI Airways have either been deleted or have gone completely missing from both the Ministry and at the Premier’s office and an investigation has been launched.

NDP Cleaned Tracks – Hon Fahie

“Mr Speaker, since taking office I have tried my best to get this information requested but have been stonewalled at every attempt, I do however Mr Speaker intend to be persistent with my attempts to get the information as requested and will provide this Honourable House with the information once received,” the Premier told to the House.

Hon Fahie was answering inquiries from Hon Fraser for a breakdown of fund disbursements to BVI Airways and to provide the House with the breakdown of how BVI Airways disposed of said funds.

While the Premier was unable to furnish the House with deep insight into the spending, he pointed to some personal research and existing information supplied while as a member of the Virgin Islands (VI) Opposition under the NDP’s 8-year rule.

Hon Fahie revealed the payments to BVI airways were as follows; January 22, 2016 - $500,000; March 11, 2016 – $2,400,000; May 5, 2016 – $2,100,000; July 15, 2016, $2,007,000; and August 26, 2016, $200,000, bringing to total figure to $7,202,000 expended into the project.

“I have asked for more information on this because the information to answer this question, came mainly from myself in my record… most of the information from the Ministry either missing or was on a hard drive and was deleted and I’ve asked… to get that backup,” he explained.

Surprise & Disbelief

The premier further revealed that he saw a $200K contract to a new company signed by the NDP on the eve of the February 25, 2019, General Elections to look for the missing $7.2M funds. “I don’t want to blacklist any company, but I’ll just say it raised a red flag. But to date, they ain’t find the money,” he said. 

“This is not a joke, I’m surprised nobody have no plaque card marching about the $7.2M, I am utmostly surprised this just disappeared in thin air,” Premier Fahie said in response to a question posed by Opposition Member Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3) during the Third Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on May 17, 2019.

“But as you ask me... I am going to give you the answers but I want to tell this Honourable House I had enough.”

While the premier noted that some figures were available, the majority on the project is completely missing, “The extra information to it [figures provided], that it was paid outside the payment schedule… The question I’ve been asking for years is how come, who authorised and why?” the Leader of Government Business implored.

Hon Fahie questioned what terms and conditions were met before each payment were issued, while noting that according to data no conditions were ever met, yet “they gone with all the money.”

“So I get confused when I hear a big thing over a Premier new Jeep for $115,000 and $7.2M gone and nobody marching, nobody angry and everybody singing Hakuna Matata,” Hon Fahie said.

Another NDP Cover-up?

The deal started in 2006, when former Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr Smith signed the $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 Dr 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 absolutely nothing to show.

With an investigation on the way, according to the Premier, Hon Fahie’s new revelation in the HoA has only but confirmed that the NDP may have orchestrated yet another cover-up of corruption that has plagued their history as a political party and Government in the Virgin Islands.

11 Responses to “Stonewalled! No paper trail in $7.2M BVI Airways deal”

  • Bull Dawg (20/05/2019, 09:45) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Wow......
    That's some mystery.
    In another country someone would have gotten locked up a long time.
    So different here.
    That's why most countries run in a deficit.
    Hope they get the answers soon.
  • Lettsome/Smith/Lennard/Rabsatt/Lennard (20/05/2019, 09:49) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    I hope Hon. Penn will make an attempt to give valuable comments/answer questions to this unsolved mystery...
  • Transparency (20/05/2019, 10:21) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    let them go protest this a set of rats and roaches we want to see where the money gone
  • asking for a friend (20/05/2019, 10:39) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    so Malone is the biggest hypocrite in the house, how come he is not talking about his $8M sewerage money or our $7.2M plane money??????
  • mad (20/05/2019, 10:52) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hon: Fahie, You mention there was not a march about the $7.2 lottery millions Dr. Smith give away to some scammers but in fact there was one with Mr. Burnette from Tola Radio where Nolan Davis was holding up a sign about it and you were not in the march so you could not have seen it.
  • Put them to the TEST! (20/05/2019, 11:33) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Marlon, Alvera are strong representatives and firmly abide and agreed to everything their party did! Put titi Man back in there and let them furnish this Honourable House with the covered up/ missing documentations and prove to us the people that you truly had our best interest at heart!
  • Damon (20/05/2019, 12:47) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Shameful!.. Premier, when will there be accountability for this?..so shameful and they wanted us to vote them back in!! Hmmn so shameful.. SMH..
  • strupssss (20/05/2019, 12:48) Like (7) Dislike (22) Reply
    All VIP doing is trying to get the talks about Mark and speaker issue, body guards issue etc off them so they detouring it onto the NDP ayo sickening
  • Anonymous (20/05/2019, 12:55) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    not one man gone Jail for the 7.2M and the 40M over run and Malone here asking and talking pig droppings struppz
  • hello (20/05/2019, 15:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Marlon
  • @hello (21/05/2019, 12:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    He is a Malone to and so is Natalio Wheatley.


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