Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

BVI Airways Operators wanted Locals forced out of jobs- Audit report

- Requested leadership changes @ Immigration, Customs, Tourist Board, BVI Airports Authority; Made numerous demands but nothing on promised $6M injection in project, Instead bled tax payers out of $7.2M
From Left: Former Commissioner of Customs, Mr Wade N. Smith; former Director of Tourism, Mrs Sharon P. Flax-Brutus; former Managing Director of BVI Airports Authority, Mr Denniston S. Fraser and Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Mr Ian B. Penn. According to the Auditor General, Operator parties of BVI Airways wanted the leadership of BVI Airports Authority, Customs, Immigration and the Tourist Board to be replaced accommodate their small (yet to be launched) private venture. Photo: VINO/File
Chief lobbyist of the BVI Airways deal and former Premier Dr D. Orlando Smith, left, along with former Financial Secretary under the Dr Smith Administration, Neil M. Smith. Photo: VINO/File
Chief lobbyist of the BVI Airways deal and former Premier Dr D. Orlando Smith, left, along with former Financial Secretary under the Dr Smith Administration, Neil M. Smith. Photo: VINO/File
The controversial and failed BVI Airways deal continues to bring much embarrassment to the National Democratic Party (NDP) who are responsible for the Territory being hoodwinked out of $7.2M. Photo: BVI Airways./File
The controversial and failed BVI Airways deal continues to bring much embarrassment to the National Democratic Party (NDP) who are responsible for the Territory being hoodwinked out of $7.2M. Photo: BVI Airways./File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Auditor General Ms Sonia M. Webster, in her report on the BVI Airways’ taxpayers $7.2M deal, has made some more shocking revelations.

She noted on page 15 No. 78 that in July 2006, the BVI Airways Operator parties “incorporated a BVI limited company ‘Colchester Aviation Ltd’ which was owned 50\50 by Jerry Willoughby and Scott Weisman. The role of the BVI Company in the venture has not been made clear, as neither it nor BVI Airways made any public offering of shares in the BVI during the course of the venture.”

In 2006, the National Democratic Party (NDP) was in power [2003-2007] with Dr D. Orlando Smith as Chief Minister.

However, all through the 2015 agreement, the Operator parties promised to inject $6.0M into the project as the former Premier Dr D. Orlando Smith and his Cabinet agreed to $7.0M of taxpayers money to be applied to the project in exchange for direct flights between Miami, Florida and Beef Island, Virgin Islands.

Where is the BVI Airways Operator parties promised investment?

According to the Auditor General; however, on page 13 No. 79, “At the time the agreement was terminated, the $6.0 million private investment anticipated from the Operator parties never materialised, nor had the public offering to encourage BVI shareholders.”

Despite this, Government invested in the upgrade of Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, including “planned works for repaving the apron to ensure adequate parking, especially during the peak season.”

The report stated on page 17 No. 94: “In keeping with the agreement, the Customs Department was instructed to ensure that fuel surcharges and import duties were not applied to BVI Airways operations.”

Despite the huge investments by the BVI Airports Authority at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, “The upgraded facilities were never put to use by the airline,” according to the report on page 17 No. 95.

Locals must go; BVI Tourist Board, Immigration, Customs, BVI Airports Authority- BVI Airways

Another bombshell unearthed in the report is that the Operator parties of BVI Airways “continued to insist on other changes by the Airports Authority, the Tourist Board and Government departments, including, but not limited to, replacing the leadership of the Airport Authority, Customs, Immigration and the Tourist Board to accommodate their small (yet to be launched) private venture,” as per page 17 No. 95.

After the Dr Smith-led NDP administration was under pressure locally from the political Opposition and the press, they hired the law firm of Martin Kenny & Co Solicitors (MKS) to carry out an investigation. MKS “determined that the planes were resold to Tronosjet in Canada. One of the aircraft was subsequently acquired by Neptune Aviation in February 2018 and the other by Cobham Services in Australia in December 2018.” This is found on page 32 No. 191 of the report.

Project collapsed; NDP shamed

With egg on their faces the NDP regime “on 31 October 2017, issued notice to Bruce Bradley that failure to commence service by 30 November 2017 would render the Framework Agreement terminated. No services were commenced,” according to the report on page 32 No. 191.

Finally, it’s important to note that, according to Ms Webster on page 32 No. 197, “The Operator parties were required by the terms of the Framework Agreement to submit quarterly financial statements. This did not occur. The one set of statements received by the Government for the pre-operational period appears to be inflated and misleading. If accurate, the submitted statements show disproportionate spending on salaries and professional fees and indicate a misrepresentation of the information submitted to the Inland Revenue Department.”

The Auditor General concluded that “Notwithstanding, despite the Government’s investment of $7.2 million there is to date no accurate accounting of how the amounts were applied” as per page 32 No. 197.

Editor’s NoteThis is the fifth of 5 articles breaking down the ‘Auditor General’s Report on Government's Financing of BVI Airways’ Direct Flights to Miami’.

Article 1: A tale of corruption, deception, no regard for Cabinet decisions: BVI Airways Report

Article 2: BVI Airways report: Was the VI Government scammed?

Article 3: Ex FS Neil M. Smith under fire; Conflict of interest role- BVI Airways Report

Article 4: Was BVI Airways deal a Ponzi scheme?- Auditor General’s Report

40 Responses to “BVI Airways Operators wanted Locals forced out of jobs- Audit report”

  • Ghost (08/06/2020, 09:25) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
    Lawd Jesus. this is smelling more stink as the days go by.. to me they all need to be locked up.. all of them. all we’re hearing More and more is how they squandered our monies.. will we ever see a red cent of this money back?.. they need to be locked up. That mortar is “thick” esp Re: submitting financial statements.. all this makes my flesh rage .. my only consolation is that God sees and He repays and delivers justice.. SHAMEFUL..The good doctor and his inept team should be ashamed of
    themselves. how do any of them sleep at night.. Hmmn ..
    • voter (08/06/2020, 10:45) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply

      Is this a science fiction novel?? $7 million and they were demanding people be fired! What is going to be demanded for the SSB $40 million??? Craziness

    • mad (08/06/2020, 12:21) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      Leave them man alone and send home them island people
      • @mad (08/06/2020, 15:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        Think, Do you know why you keep posting those blogs? I wouldn't tell you but just lets say you cant stop.
  • Like wise as always (08/06/2020, 09:26) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Nothing but a bunch of dirty scoundrels.
  • Rubber Duck (08/06/2020, 09:26) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
    Sounds like a huge screw up. How could BVI Airways commence services by November 2017 when the airport was closed at that time because of hurricane Irma ?
  • Hmm (08/06/2020, 09:26) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    The small men shouldn’t be the only one punished them ndp members who had something to do with it should be held accountable
  • yess (08/06/2020, 09:29) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    The one reason I wanted Andrew as premier to solve this airplane case.. all involved need to be arrested
  • SHAME (08/06/2020, 09:29) Like (18) Dislike (8) Reply
    Now y’all got the island people laughing at us.
    • @ SHAME (08/06/2020, 11:38) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
      Is those fake a$$ white boys you all like. Lips spewing milk and honey with lies. Is them you all does embrace. Laugh at you all yes....
  • grace (08/06/2020, 09:30) Like (8) Dislike (10) Reply

    Lock up funny man too 

  • Theory (08/06/2020, 09:31) Like (2) Dislike (12) Reply
    All of them black, criminals. BLACK LIVES DO NOT MATTERS
  • Ghost (08/06/2020, 09:35) Like (13) Dislike (6) Reply
    Hmmn.. also imagine they wanted to replace our “local” people.. you know give some of them a chance they will even today.. they’re still trying to enslave us but we will never let this happen..God’s face isn’t against us.. He is Always with us and He sees All.. we Are a strong race of people and no one is better than us and that’s why we need to educate ourselves so that we could hold these
    “high” positions.. set of good for nothings.. Always trying to keep their knee on our necks. #BLM- Black Lives Matter..
    • God (08/06/2020, 10:36) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      Leopold II of Belgium look him up find out where your god came from, where this silly belief was instilled in your ancestors minds as the whip stung, you are still enslaved....
  • facts (08/06/2020, 09:41) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    3 of our 4 of them no long their position and it wasn't during NDP in powere when it happened. Just saying.
  • YBM (08/06/2020, 09:42) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    "Locals must go; BVI Tourist Board, Immigration, Customs, BVI Airports Authority- BVI Airways", I wonder who they were gonna replace the LOCALS with? I know it could never be "Down Island People", Maybe Up Island People? Lol This story is too much jokes.
  • HLSCC (08/06/2020, 10:18) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    I checked the website and the director you featured in one of your early stories stills sits on the board of HLSCC How is this possible? He has a lovely mansion here
  • The TRUTH (08/06/2020, 10:42) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ayo hear the cross. This thing deeper than rap.
    • Unbelievable (08/06/2020, 10:59) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Wow unbelivable but true white collar crime. I will never be impressed by what ppl have anymore. SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!
    • Local (08/06/2020, 11:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • blame the governor (08/06/2020, 10:50) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    Yes, all of you who vex because the Governor keeping his eyes open on corruption in high places,you can now call for independence from great Britain,so that these greedy corrupt politicians will sink the bvi ship.
    We continue to curse her majesty representative who must be there because the constitution say there must be a governor sent by the queen of England but we have a problem with the governor doing his job.
    Look how money can fool you people,to get rid of our local leaders in position,even though they too have their faults and shortcomings,but look at the depth of this corruption in the know what?
    Blame the Governor for that too.
  • xxxxx (08/06/2020, 11:04) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    We should have a march to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the USA. Thanks to all the races of people who are helping in the struggle. We must never let our guard down.
  • Distraction (08/06/2020, 11:14) Like (12) Dislike (12) Reply
    Don't let this distract you from the fact that this curfew needs to go. We are not animals.
  • Rasvill (08/06/2020, 11:39) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    All you good
  • white power (08/06/2020, 11:58) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply

    FCO doesn’t pay for Governor. We do. We pay for a ra*** big** to rule and under***e us. Why no black Governor? You telling me no blacks in uk civil service?!! Wake up, we’re paying to be enslaved. Again!!

  • flash back (08/06/2020, 12:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    what about the big set of outstanding fees rightfully due to the airport authorities was told those funds were waved but small business owner will be taken to court for 2 thousand dollars or even less where is the love ❤️
  • What? (08/06/2020, 13:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wanted locals out of work in their own country..What? Now thats Criminal...Lots of that going on here..
  • Ghost (08/06/2020, 14:18) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lord, Lord,
    Why did You make me Black?

    Why did You make me someone
    The world wants to hold back?
    Black is the color of dirty clothes;
    The color of grimy hands and feet.
    Black is the color of darkness;
    The color of tire-beaten streets.

    Why did you give me thick lips,
    A broad nose and kinky hair?
    Why did You make me someone
    Who receives the hatred stare?
    Black is the color of a bruised eye
    When somebody gets hurt.
    Black is the color of darkness.
    Black is the color of dirt.

    How come my bone structure’s so thick;
    my hips and cheeks are high?
    How come my eyes are brown
    and not the color of the daylight sky?

    Why do people think I’m useless?
    How come I feel so used?
    Why do some people see my skin and think I should be abused?

    Lord, I just don’t understand;
    What is it about my skin?
    Why do some people want to hate me
    And not know the person within?
    Black is what people are “listed”,
    When others want to keep them away.
    Black is the color of shadows cast.
    Black is the end of the day.

    Lord, You know, my own people mistreat me;
    And I know this just isn’t right.
    They don’t like my hair or the way I look
    They say I’m too dark or too light.
    Lord, Don’t You think it’s time
    For You to make a change?
    Why don’t You re-do creation
    And make everyone the same?

    (God answered)
    Why did I make you black?
    Why did I make you black?
    Get off your knees and look around.
    Tell Me, what do you see?
    I didn’t make you in the image of darkness.
    I made you in the Likeness of ME!
    I made you the color of coal
    From which beautiful diamonds are formed.
    I made you the color of oil,
    The black-gold that keeps people warm.
    I made you from the rich, dark earth
    That can grow the food you need.
    Your color’s the same as the panther’s
    Known for (HER) beauty and speed.
    Your color’s the same as the Black stallion,
    A majestic animal is he.
    I didn’t make you in the Image of darkness
    I made you in the Likeness of Me!
    All the colors of a Heavenly Rainbow
    Can be found throughout every nation;
    And when all those colors were blended well,
    Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool
    Such a humble, little creature is he.
    I am the Shepherd who watches them.
    I am the One who will watch over thee.
    You are the color of midnight-sky,
    I put the stars’ glitter in your eyes.
    There’s a smile hidden behind your pain
    That’s the reason your cheeks are high.
    You are the color of dark clouds formed
    when I send My strongest weather.
    I made your lips full so when you kiss
    the one you love they will remember.
    Your stature is strong; your bone structure, thick
    to withstand the burdens of time.
    The reflection you see in the mirror…
    The Image looking back at you is MINE!
    -by RuNett Nia Ebo
  • VIslander (08/06/2020, 19:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    They are traitors against their own people...
  • Watchers (08/06/2020, 20:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I never liked the NDP government. The people voted them in and once they got in they never even wanted to talk to people. They to full of themselves only a special selected could talk to them. Hope they never get in again. Lon g reign VIP
  • Tea (08/06/2020, 21:02) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    A lot of those lawyers in those trust companies and law firms, most who are expats and frequent white establishments feel that way about locals. They have their cliques and mostly what they do is have a calling down locals soiree. Every new expat that land, they haul them into their herd and regurgitate the same lies about locals. Meanwhile they themselves from captain to cook aren't the brightest tool in the box. It was so bad with those companies that they would turn away locals saying there was no vacancies, but next week they hire some english expat to do the same work, purely administration and paper pushing with big title. And the time keeper who gets in before everyone else, checks how long who did what, incidentally blacks, chat with their other white colleagues about non essential, non work related business, surf the internet and really not working an honest day. These are the first to call blacks lazy and unqualified. Remember when the previous government said they can not protect locals in the BVI job market? Besides being an unwise statement to make for that is every leader's job - secure your people, where do you think that thinking came from? Mostly those same expats in those companies, blacks and whites.There are some ok expats with decency who don't subscribe to that kind of thinking.
  • ReX FeRaL. (09/06/2020, 00:04) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    One immigration agent they couldnt handle how they wanted was the hill man. He was a total immigration agent, total Virgin Islander and incorruptible. All of them knew that.
  • ?? (09/06/2020, 09:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Folks, this is no time for criticism about our wayward brothers who fell for this multi-million dollar deal and that they should be arrested. The arresting authorities are a part of the Lodge and is the fox. There is a take down going on and its throughout the Caribbean and right before our eyes. The strategy is DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Befriend you, then divide you. Be wise as serpents!
  • GG (09/06/2020, 12:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Y'all act so surprised. The people behind BVI Airways did this before, they are doing it right now to another small nation. This is how their owners keep in the money for so little work.
  • Diaspora (10/06/2020, 11:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    As a. Virgin Islander, it makes me sick to the core and ashamed and embarrassed to read about the “lessness,” ineptness and incompetence of this gang of bungling fools. No sooner that the words were out of their mouths wanting changes at Immigration (Guy Hill), Customs (Wade Smith), Tourist Board ( Sharon Flax- Brutus).....etc than they should have been put on pause, shown the hand and put on a row boat out of the territory, if they were in the country. If they were out of territory, the negotiations should have been shelved. This less crew got ran through the car wash a few times and got their clock cleaned. Their performance makes you weep. We must weep for the VI.
  • Yes (10/06/2020, 15:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @@ Rex Fe Ray I agree with you a million times it's no joke he was nascent person for real that man Guy Hill

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.

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.