Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 545-3572; ads call 440-6666                               Sittings from House of Assembly are carried live on 90.9 FM the Caribbean superstation or follow live online: www.cbnvirginislands.com

Was Premier Smith truthful about owners of BVI Airways?

- Premier Smith never mentioned Shaun David Munro as one of the owners, or a Luke Aaron Smith as a Managing Director, but both appear on trade license
According to a Trade License obtained by our newsroom, Mr Shaun Munro is an owner and partner of BVI Airways and Luke Aaron Smith appears on the trade license as a Managing Director. Photo: Team of Reporters
BVI Airways was to provide direct flights between Miami International Airport, Florida, USA and Terrence B. Lettsome International on Beef Island, Virgin Islands; however, this has not materialised some two years after. Photo: Airways Magazine
BVI Airways was to provide direct flights between Miami International Airport, Florida, USA and Terrence B. Lettsome International on Beef Island, Virgin Islands; however, this has not materialised some two years after. Photo: Airways Magazine
From left: Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) and CEO of BVI Airways Jerry D. Willoughby. Photo: VINO/File
From left: Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) and CEO of BVI Airways Jerry D. Willoughby. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The saga of the BVI Airways dba ‘BV Airways’ and tax payers $7.2 Million give away continues. Our investigation has uncovered some information that we will report in a series of articles, including about a Minister of Government’s close involvement to the BVI Airways deal.

The Government official, who we will name, even lent his title to letters of recommendation. We will also reveal the role of Sachkia Barnes from Barnes PR, who had denied a BVI Beacon reporter access to the pubic open house the airline hosted, and other local players.

Background

In December 2015, the government of the Virgin Islands (VI) entered into an agreement with BVI Airways and injected into the foreign company $7 million, which Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D Orlando Smith (AL) signed and said that it will be given incrementally over two years to help the company get off the ground.

In exchange, BVI Airways was to provide direct flights between Miami International Airport, Florida, USA and Terrence B. Lettsome International on Beef Island, VI.

To date, the deal has collapsed as flights were to start in October 2016. However, within six months, not two years, BVI Airways had the full $7.2 M in hand with an increase of $200,000 fees for an account. According to the contract, the $7 million was supposed to act as a guarantee that BVI Airways got an annual return on investment of 20 percent in its first three years of existence.

Dr Smith did not tell all

At a House of Assembly (HoA) meeting in 2016 former Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), in a series of questions about BVI Airways, requested the names of all the company’s investors, but Dr Smith declined.

“I am not able to provide the names of all of the investors in BVI Airways, as these would have various ownership stakes in the venture that do not require disclosure,” Dr Smith said at the time according to HoA records. “However, what I can do is provide the names of the main principals of the venture. These individuals have made full disclosures so that the requisite due diligence would be conducted.”

Two new names!

Dr Smith named BVI Airways Director Bruce Bradley, CEO Jerry Willoughby, Acting Executive Vice President Pauline Jones, Director Scott Weisman, Chief Operating Officer Scott DeLacy, and Project Director Shaun Munro as principals.

However, according to a Trade License obtained by our newsroom, among many other documents on the scandal riddled BVI Airways, it shows Mr Munro is an owner and partner.

It is unclear why Mr Munro was named by Premier Smith in his 2016 response to questions in the HoA at the time, long after the trade license was approved, as just a “Project Director.”

In addition, there is a Luke Aaron Smith on the trade license as a Managing Director who was not named in Dr Smith’s responses.

It’s important to note that Mr Luke A. Smith was a part of the first BVI Airways that pulled out of the Territory’s Terrence B. Lettsome Airport in 2014 claiming they were bankrupt and left owing the BVI Airports Authority some $100,000 in fees. However, Mr Smith was back with the new BVI Airways dba BV Airways, as its Managing Director, and it appears no one saw this as something to challenge.

30 Responses to “Was Premier Smith truthful about owners of BVI Airways?”

  • ccc (23/04/2018, 17:06) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    but still no one will go to jail
  • right (23/04/2018, 17:19) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    It was a former governor who call this deal a scam
  • vinoleak (23/04/2018, 17:30) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    GOT HIM!
  • enough (23/04/2018, 17:41) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    Governor get up and do your work please. Have this foolishness investigated right away.
  • Why (23/04/2018, 17:43) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why isn't this matter not under a full investigation? The NDP really corrupt.
  • VG (23/04/2018, 17:56) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    Just do me a favor remove this @#^&$$ eye sore from VG PORT .A sign announcing the arrival.of this service.It gets me teed off man.pls remove it .It's bad for a first impression.

  • But who? (23/04/2018, 17:57) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am just wondering who is going to wear the silver wrist bracelets behind this scam.As a tax payer, I just want my money back in the form of a cashiers check.
    • yes (23/04/2018, 21:14) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Yes, I also want a cashiers check for my tax money they F%=/ed uped. I can almost bet this will be swept deep under a carpet with padding.
    • Yeahsure (23/04/2018, 22:33) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
      As a tourist I can promise you I pay more in taxes during a month visit than you pay in a year. But that is ending soon. Other places calling.
  • too secretive, too quiet, (23/04/2018, 18:08) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    and too deceitful. Bad deal from start to finish. Now we will be treated like unruly children by ?. The truly sad part, however, is that taxpayers and generations to come have to foot every penny of all these bad deals and wasted by these elected political leaders. Elections and vote choices matter. For country or personal interests- that is the question in our next upcoming election. It is not too late to start doing the right thing, or we can continue with the same ole and race towards the deepening debt/cliff together.
  • Just Woke (23/04/2018, 19:09) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    I blame the 6 back benchers for all of these problems... Period!!!. In a constitution where numbers is power. How can 5 have more power than 6.. Back benchers are ineffective..
    • hah (24/04/2018, 00:33) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      Back Benchers don't matter when they just official yes men and women for their party. They automatically voting yes without even knowing any details. They don't care pay check will be on the bank on time. Its not their money or life they screwing up.
  • W blower (23/04/2018, 19:30) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    My assumption also that these documents have been lick by civil servants. Hope my assumtion is correct.
  • tola (23/04/2018, 20:18) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    It’s quite evident that the battle against corruption is being lost but the powers that be are singing a different tune . Sometimes I wonder if they’re living in the BVI.
  • @@@@@ (23/04/2018, 20:23) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Usual craziness in the House of Assembly with half truths. This type of thing is getting too normalised now.
  • you know (23/04/2018, 21:27) Like (7) Dislike (7) Reply
    My son is a third year bioengineer student in the US, he thought about moving back after college but I told him not a good idea for the sample fact that if he comes back here and he get a job he will be paying back money the Government messed up. He can get a good job in the US, pay his taxes and get a tax refund at the end of each year.
    • @You know (23/04/2018, 22:37) Like (32) Dislike (2) Reply
      The average student loan debt for college grads in the US when they graduate is $37,000. It is a loan that does not go away not even in bankruptcy. There are senior citizens whose soc security benefits are being garnisheed. Your son had a free ride on His Gov but u feel he should not pay a measly tax to his country, Hope his morals are better than yours. And he more than likely,by the way, will be paying heavy taxes in the US so don't bank on a refund. Reality will face him when he leaves college and decides to live in the US and perhaps find work. Maybe you will have him mooch living accomodations also. Large numbers of college grads in the US are unemployed.
      • You know again (24/04/2018, 12:59) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
        You are such an IDIOT. That is all I have to say to you. You have a wonderful day filled with peaches and cream.
    • LOL (24/04/2018, 02:33) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

      Hush your lying @$&!

  • Was Premier Smith truthful about owners of BVI Airways? (23/04/2018, 21:50) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Does the Roman Catholic church have more than 3400 sexual abuse cases filed against their priests since 2004? The answer is obvious.....
  • on (23/04/2018, 22:31) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Look up up gus
  • jack (23/04/2018, 22:37) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    A set of thief and millionaire over night
  • Forbidden Truth (24/04/2018, 05:37) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Straight talk. The government is corrupt.
    We in the Virgin Islands need to adapt a culture where corrupt people fear the incorruptible people and not the other way around. If you call here home loan, let's fix this once and for all or swim in the bowels and excretion of this government gang.
  • List 521 (24/04/2018, 06:37) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    In times like these we miss John Duncan
    • @ liat 521 (24/04/2018, 13:30) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      please he wait until the last month to give us the melee on the corruption ...let he stay where he gone
  • Hmm (24/04/2018, 09:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    This runs really deep there is a linkedin article on BVI airways, y'all should look it up.
  • Boo (24/04/2018, 18:38) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is the world flat? ROFL we all know the answer!


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.