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Wade N. Smith now Acting Director @ FIA

- agency facing limited financing to carry out 2020 mandate
Former Commissioner of Customs and Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) District 5 Candidate in the 2019 Virgin Islands (VI) General elections, Mr Wade N. Smith, is now Acting Director at the Financial Investigation Agency (FIA). Photo: VINO/File
Mr Smith’s position as the Acting Director of FIA came to fore during the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) held between November 20 and 29, 2019 at the Office of the House of Assembly in Road Town, Tortola and now, the agency may be grappling with limited resources to carry out its 2020 mandate. Photo: SFC Report
Mr Smith’s position as the Acting Director of FIA came to fore during the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) held between November 20 and 29, 2019 at the Office of the House of Assembly in Road Town, Tortola and now, the agency may be grappling with limited resources to carry out its 2020 mandate. Photo: SFC Report
Opposition Members, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) and Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) raised concerns over the limited budget with Mr Vanterpool stating that for such an important agency, the monies should be allocated. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Members, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) and Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) raised concerns over the limited budget with Mr Vanterpool stating that for such an important agency, the monies should be allocated. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Former Commissioner of Customs and Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) District 5 candidate in the 2019 General Elections of the Virgin Islands, Mr Wade N. Smith, is now Acting Director at the Financial Investigation Agency (FIA).

In 2018, Smith resigned from his post at HM Customs to pursue a political career under the Ronnie W. Skelton led PVIM, making the announcement at the official December 7, 2018, launch ceremony of the party.

Mr Smith’s position as the Acting Director of FIA came to fore during the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) held between November 20 and 29, 2019 at the Office of the House of Assembly in Road Town, Tortola and now, the agency may be grappling with limited resources to carry out its 2020 mandate.

FIA 2020 Mandate

According to the SFC Report, from an enforcement standpoint, the FIA will seek to have certain offences in the FIA Act and other related laws that cover matters that fall in the remit of FIA, compounded.

“There is an option to impose an administrative penalty as oppose to penalties being purely criminal. As it stands because the penalties for the offences of the FIU are criminal, all matters have to be referred to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution,” the report detailed.  

With the aim of improving money laundering enforcement, the unit also plans to do more parallel investigations with other law enforcement agencies such as RVIPF and HM Customs, “as the FIU possess the technical expertise in money laundering and terrorist financing.”

It said the Criminal Conduct Act of 1997 also gives the Director and Investigation the powers to that of police officers.

57% increase in Suspicious Activity Reports

It was reported that there has been a 57% increase in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs); however, the agency was only able to analyse less than 4% of the SARs because of limited resources.

“The funds are limited and therefore the agency is left to rely on other agencies for support with specialised training within RVIPF and HM Customs rather than other costly secondments to the agency,” the SFC report said.

The agency requested a $2.4M budget, noting that it is needed in order to make sure that it runs at its full capacity and to make sure that the exercise is completed at a national standard; however, was only granted $1.6m amidst concerns that the amount does not allow the agency to meet its mandate and annual expenditures.

Opposition raises concerns

Opposition Members Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) and Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) raised concerns over the limited budget, with Mr Vanterpool stating that for such an important agency the monies should be allocated.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) promised to do his best to make sure the agency’s request was revisited; however, queries to Premier Fahie from Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) to ascertain whether this was done were not addressed up to publication time.

23 Responses to “Wade N. Smith now Acting Director @ FIA”

  • asking for a friend (05/01/2020, 14:40) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    He still trying to get back his customs work?
  • robert (05/01/2020, 14:43) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    'Foy i dont answer to you, i answer to the queen"
  • big sht (05/01/2020, 14:44) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Ah tell ayo deh blue wave tekking ovah
  • lol (05/01/2020, 14:45) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    jack gone back in he box
  • big question (05/01/2020, 15:30) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wade political career is most properly OVER, he waited to late to run, joint the wrong team and did not help his people while at Customs
  • cgb (05/01/2020, 16:08) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    If was NDP in power he wasn't getting any jobs, that's a fact!
    • george (05/01/2020, 18:40) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Wade is just no good from I see what he did 2 his custom colleagues make them suffer then left instruction for his puppets now in charge to continue to carry out FIA will perish just like custom is ha ha
    • yo lie (05/01/2020, 19:21) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      The VIP machinery tried to block it but big mac showed them who run things at FSC
  • bvi (05/01/2020, 18:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    are they serious?
  • ayo tek dat (05/01/2020, 19:46) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    We know that the VIP don't like this at all but ain't nothing they can or could do about it signed: BLUE WAVE
  • FIA:( (05/01/2020, 22:51) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply

    BVI is now more than sure to get black listed with **** at the Helm. The state of Customs Department says it all. M.A.F.I.A....

  • Hmmmm (06/01/2020, 03:11) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply

    *** is one person you cannot trust he got to many of his rich friend in his pocket

    • Moonlight (06/01/2020, 06:56) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      I have one question since mr Smith is such a good boss and politician why is custom officers always borrowing money to pay Bill's and cant pay back??????????????????????????????
  • wadoo (06/01/2020, 06:41) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    They are not serious about Financial. Investigation in the British Virgin Islands.
  • facts (06/01/2020, 06:49) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr smith is a horrible leader no one under customs have a good salary and living comfortable 18 years in custom and the officers are 18 years behind in life with salaries like their job training while the others in charge now just scrambling 2 secure their own bags while still carrying out the same behavior of mr Smith the saga continues
  • lodger (06/01/2020, 11:47) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Didnt he lose the court case against Delta, costing government millions? Nobody gets sacked here. If he hadnt left to stand for election he would have been moved sideways somewhere, anywhere, anyhow!
  • FIA needs an overhaul (06/01/2020, 14:30) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Pleease update the FIA for electronic communications and record keeping. All communications and attachments have to be printed, as FIA are responding to an International request presumably they have to scan it all back in!! Wrong and multiple communications as they cant keep track of all the paper. Ditto ITA, they moved forward then took a hundred steps back to decimating rain forests and buried under paper for the next Irma to decimate.
  • foxy (06/01/2020, 19:49) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wade for chairman of PVIM
  • Ghost (07/01/2020, 10:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No worries re: him being there..temporary status.. head huncher will be back soon enough..
  • Constable (09/01/2020, 18:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I so.happy wade ain't won election all he would of did was give Ashley jamesy and que all the work it's a reason God didnt bless him with kids
  • Hmmm (10/01/2020, 23:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congratulations Wade! May God give wisdom and guidance in your new role. Trust Him and you will be just fine. never mind the naysayers.


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