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VI Gov’t was cruel to Delta Petroleum- Bevis A. Sylvester

- said lawsuit could have been settled to avoid millions of tax payers dollars being paid to Delta Petroleum
From left: Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Regional General Manager of Delta Petroleum (Caribbean) Ltd Bevis A. Sylvester, and Commissioner of Customs Mr Wade N. Smith. Mr Sylvester said attempts to settle the matter of the fuel seizure by Government out of court were futile. Photo: VINO/Delta Petroleum
The Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) will have to fork up millions to Delta Petroleum (Caribbean) Ltd after the Customs Department received a big blow at the level of the Privy Council last year Monday, October 17, 2016. Photo: Internet Source
The Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) will have to fork up millions to Delta Petroleum (Caribbean) Ltd after the Customs Department received a big blow at the level of the Privy Council last year Monday, October 17, 2016. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Speaking for the first time to local media in the Virgin Islands since the Privy Council of the United Kingdom ruled in their favour in the case against the Government of the Virgin Islands, Delta Petroleum (Caribbean) Ltd’s Regional General Manager Bevis A. Sylvester said he does not view it as a victory for his company but rather he is “sorry for the tax payers of the Territory.”

He was at the time commenting on the case in which the Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) will have to fork up millions to Delta Petroleum (Caribbean) Ltd after the Customs Department received a big blow at the level of the Privy Council last year Monday, October 17, 2016.

I tried to settled but was ignored- Sylvester

Mr Sylvester said he tried his very best to get this matter out of court, but no one was listening to him. The former Budget Coordinator at the Ministry of Finance with the Government of  the Virgin Islands said he met with government senior officers, “the Premier, the Financial Secretary and Ministers of Government on the matter when it just started but for some reason everyone ignored the case, now it will cost tax payers millions of dollars to settle the matter.”

He insisted that the huge lawsuit and millions to be paid to his company by Government could have been avoided and his heart goes out to the people of the Virgin Islands as it’s no victory for Delta, as he “pays taxes in the BVI too”.

In addition, he said Delta Petroleum was treated “very badly and cruel by the Government” as described by the Privy Council, and there was no reason for this.

Background

The Privy Council upheld the decision by the Court of Appeal in January 2014, which had ruled in favour of Delta Petroleum in the case involving over 240,826.88 US gallons of petroleum which the Customs Department of the VI forfeited from Delta's Pockwood Pond, Tortola facility in September 2012.

It was the Government of the VI through the Attorney General’s Chambers who had moved to the Privy Council back in April 2014, seeking for the Privy Council to overrule the OECS Court of Appeal's decision.

However, in a big blow to the Government and the Customs Department, the UK Privy Council- the British Overseas Territory’s  final court- ruled that they were satisfied that the Court of Appeal arrived at the correct decision. It has not been shown, for the purposes of section 30 (1)(a) of the Customs Act, that goods “subject to duty on importation” have been unloaded or removed without payment of such duty,” the judgement reads.

The UK Law Lords therefore concluded that Government’s appeal must fail. Delta Petroleum was represented by Sir Fenton Ramsahoye SC and the Government of the VI by James Guthrie QC. It is unknown at this time the legal cost that Government racked up.

Let’s address court decision- RGM 

In the original case, Delta Petroleum was accused of off-loading a shipment of fuel without the presence and knowledge of the Customs Department. However, in a statement issued to the media following Justice Vicki Ann Ellis' judgment, in 2012 Delta Petroleum pointed out that the company was advised by its lawyers that the presiding Judge erred in law.

Mr Sylvester said government needs to start negotiating on cost so as to move forward with the courts’ final decision, as he does not wish to return to court to rack up more legal fees again over this matter, as in the end only the tax payers will lose.

See link to Privy Council's Judgement:

https://www.jcpc.uk/cases/docs/jcpc-2015-0043-judgment.pdf

30 Responses to “VI Gov’t was cruel to Delta Petroleum- Bevis A. Sylvester”

  • "New Party Rising" (15/03/2017, 15:41) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
    We already know how cruel NDP can be. First order of our agenda- "NDP MUST GO CAMPAIGN." They have completely played-out their political welcome and costing us a fortune in the process.
  • Cuz (15/03/2017, 16:04) Like (27) Dislike (1) Reply
    Bevis we with you
  • Lord have mercy on us and our grand-children (15/03/2017, 16:10) Like (38) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not in my golden years of my existence living in our Virgin Islands have I ever witnessed soo many lawsuits plaguing one sitting government. I just hope that i wil still be able to receive my little social security money in my old age because i can hardly survive as it is now. Something has seriously gone wrong.
    • An Elder (15/03/2017, 19:31) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
      To Lord have mercy...I feel your pain. My family and I voted for the ndp party. We just have to continue praying for them and hope that they will change their questionable ways. God is our only faith.
      • All that praying (15/03/2017, 20:56) Like (12) Dislike (8) Reply
        @Elder. Ain't gone do a ting for dose wicked set of NDP. Only da money grabbing spirit can touch dem.
  • @New Party Rising (15/03/2017, 16:45) Like (19) Dislike (35) Reply
    Calm down sonny! The last time the BVI people voted based on emotions we got Flax, Dancia, Juggy, Vernon and almost got Zoe. I'm unhappy with certain things NDP has done but I don't see another group ready to take things over despite all the foolish noise. Be very careful what you wish for.
  • vex (15/03/2017, 16:56) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    Millions snd millions wadted ndp again...lets hear funny man spin this
  • Burton (15/03/2017, 18:53) Like (26) Dislike (3) Reply
    How stupid to have a government that pretends to support local businesses but in actual fact they are not really unless it involves nepotism, getting an indirect cut or it make them look good. See pure ignorance going to cost taxpayers millions. VI Airlink and Delta are just the couple that not afraid to let this administration know what time it is. It's time all we get rid of this administration and stop the dam complaining man.
  • weed (15/03/2017, 18:55) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    Delta going broke we
  • Sawda (15/03/2017, 19:39) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    That song what Quito sang back firing on them now, Billions and Billions gone through NDP Door..
  • We Doom (15/03/2017, 19:42) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    Listen ... Listening is a special skill. Hearing is a gift. . People need to start listening,.. not just listen but hear... This is a problem with our modern leaders... 13 of them sit in a meeting and 7 or more Decide the faith of all of us. ..
  • Xxx (15/03/2017, 21:10) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Marlone was right
  • THE ACCOUNTANT (15/03/2017, 22:18) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    The cost of this fiasco will be bank rolled from the $5.5 million which BVI air ways will turn over in their first five years of operation. The Premier can continue to ZZZZZZ but a rude awakening awaits him.
  • Quammie (15/03/2017, 23:56) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    I can't wait until my friend get his 5 mil to help me up hear in Detriot ,the money dishing out in the BvI like water
    • insider (16/03/2017, 07:31) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
      and there are many sutes that were settled and they can't talk about them millions and millons and millions
  • LOL (16/03/2017, 07:39) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Glover Parks spin in 3, 2, 1,.....
  • LOL (16/03/2017, 09:16) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    Mr. Smith to nuff with himself. He costing government to dish out too much money.
  • Scary Mary (16/03/2017, 10:18) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope all these lawsuits and the associated costs to settle them will be clearly detailed in the AUDITED year-end fiscal reports for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 - and not just thrown into a "miscellaneous" fund.
  • Trump (16/03/2017, 10:43) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Hope bevis share the spolis
  • Ralph (16/03/2017, 10:43) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    "don't mind all this blah blah blah"
  • huh (16/03/2017, 12:00) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Vade going broke we?
  • We Doom (16/03/2017, 15:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. Smith acting just like them set of NDPs, all for himself. Why does it have to be so personal. They could have left it alone the first time around but no it's greedy de greedy scepwsssss.
  • ABC (16/03/2017, 17:05) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    No surprise here
  • 911 (16/03/2017, 23:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    this crew fi just lef we make the country implode because that's where it's going with all this lawlessness and corruption.
  • JACK BE STILL (17/03/2017, 00:00) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    National democratic party in action...


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