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Charges could be laid for spreading rumours about latest COVID-19 victim- Governor

- Says police will investigate if behaviour found in violation of Cybercrime law
Governor of the Virgin Islands, H.E. Augustus J.U. Jaspert has denounced those who would have been circulating false online information about the Filipino woman who is suspected to have died from COVID-19 in the VI. Photo: Internet Source
The Governor was at the time speaking an emergency COVID-19 updated today, Saturday, April 18, 2020, where the government made the announcement that as a result of the death, the Virgin Islands will not end the current 14-day lockdown, rather extend it. Photo: GIS/Facebook
The Governor was at the time speaking an emergency COVID-19 updated today, Saturday, April 18, 2020, where the government made the announcement that as a result of the death, the Virgin Islands will not end the current 14-day lockdown, rather extend it. Photo: GIS/Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert has denounced those who would have been circulating false online information about the Filipino woman who is suspected to have died from COVID-19 in the Virgin Islands (VI).

The Governor was at the time speaking at an emergency COVID-19 update on Saturday, April 18, 2020, where it was announced that as a result of the death, the Virgin Islands will not end the current 14-day lockdown, rather, extend it.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said the rationale behind the move was that the case is being treated as a COVID-19 positive after local testing, even though the Territory is awaiting confirmation of the test results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago as protocols mandate.

Despicable Behaviour - Governor Jaspert 

"I deplore some of the social media circulating about the recently confirmed case, who has since sadly died. This despicable behaviour does not in any way represent the views of the people of the BVI," Governor Jaspert said.

The Governor, commenting on the sharing of potentially false information about the victim, also stated that "it may also be illegal behaviour and the police will investigate should crimes under our Computer Misuse Act have been committed." 

He said the plethora of false news stories circulating in the Territory do not help, rather, "they add fuel to the worries and concerns we all share," and reminded that all official updates come through Government channels.

According to sources, the woman died on April 18, 2020, around 4:00 am, at Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital; however, even before her death, online rumours had been circulating and, according to the Governor, the police may be called in to launch a probe on those spreading false information.

RVIPF warns against sending false info

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) in a press release has since warned the general public against the dissemination of information especially to the extent where the information becomes offensive, malicious or false either in part or entirely in content as per the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crime Act 2014, and amendment (No. 9 of 2019).

32 Responses to “Charges could be laid for spreading rumours about latest COVID-19 victim- Governor”

  • Anonymous (19/04/2020, 08:55) Like (9) Dislike (15) Reply

    Hope he includes when his w....... friends blogging against the Fahie government

  • Eagle Eye (19/04/2020, 08:57) Like (68) Dislike (2) Reply
    If y'all injected her with that no name medicine the premier bought thinking y'all was treating her for covid 19 when asmha and pneumonia have the same symptoms causing the woman's death.someone can be charged yh.
    • @Eagle Eye (19/04/2020, 09:22) Like (25) Dislike (1) Reply
      Never thought about that ! As soon as she went in she died ! Hmm investigate them !
    • @Eagle Eye (19/04/2020, 10:50) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
      Even if they did, they would get away like partner who built the million dollar wall
  • Giovanni (19/04/2020, 09:05) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is indeed disgusting to see personal photos and other personal informations of the lady who died with Covid 19, being disseminated on-line.This is a kind of behaviour that is being in the BVI for a while-spreading other's ppl stuff on social media, even during this type of circumstances.
    At the same time, would be better if some of the information would be investigated by the government authorities. For example, is it true that this lady did actually report herself earlier to the medical authorities and she was sent home although she was having serious symptoms? Will those officials responsible be held accountable?
    Police and government agencies should focus their energies on solving real problems, on investigating the real sharks not few uneducated fools who sometimes populate the internet. The Goverment and the Police should act proffesionaly and be fully transparent and honest. Should that be the case, very few ppl would pay any mind to rumours and other dirty things posted on social media.
    Mr. Govenor, you don't know the views of the ppl of BVI. You just know the views of the Queen and UK Government. You r here on duty. Just focus on performing it properly. Your job and the police job is not combating freedom of speech.
  • Martial Law (19/04/2020, 09:09) Like (82) Dislike (5) Reply
    Didn’t I tell you guys your freedom is being stripped ? Didn’t I say last week that the curfew wasn’t gonna end just yet ? If you can’t see what’s going on then keep on living on in your bubble... and as for this Computer Misuse Act I f there’s misinformation it’s just that “misinformation” as humans we should have a freedom to conversate with our own personal opinions and beliefs, not everyone’s gonna believe in the government because all throughout history they lied to us then apologize 10yrs later if they do at all, but they putting the clamps on the freedom of this country, people can’t even go to a friend house for a meal, can’t shop, can’t go for a drink of water, they rather us starve to death than get exposed to a “virus” do they know starvation kills way more ? If that lil boy had died from thirst most people would of said that he should of go and get a drink of water, we don’t even know if he lives with elderly people who needed that drink ! Starting realize this whole thing is making everyone anti social, no one cares anymore it’s just stay home and everything’s gonna be fine while people are hungry and thirsty, kids starving parents got to give them their last meal... You think when you go back out into the world again things will be back to normal, y’all got a rude awakening ahead...
  • Thank you Sir (19/04/2020, 09:13) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    any update on the unsolved crimes you will quickly be arrested and charge for spreading falsehoods moreover killers still living uncharged between the residents....what is the way forward for persons who supposably In violation of the quarantine guidelines of the territory
  • We in trouble (19/04/2020, 09:14) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
    Lock down to lock up... We in trouble...
  • Intel. Analysis (19/04/2020, 09:17) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    This should have happened a long time ago even before the COVID 19 Pandemic. I strongly believe in the freedom of expression. When the expression is false, is malicious or brings undue harm to others, thats where the line should be drawn. People have been using the media houses here in the BVI to do just that and they to should be held accountable for facilitating this behavior. Sadly, even some of our Leaders have been encouraging this behavior. There are so many positive information that could be shared to help one another. I am amazed of the creativity of some people during this lockdown. People are sharing simple things as recipes (showing off some very sumptious dishes) to complex things as dealing with children who are not accstomed to be confined 24/7 in their homes and who are just itching to go back to school and their friends. Some on the other hand, sit around with nothing positive to do, just wanting for a hint of some rumor and without checking the facts spread it on the media without thinking about the harm their action may cause. Finally the Goverment of the day, whether it is your party or not, and those of us who have been doing what we could to stem the flow of this virus within our community should be commended. I am quite sure they will make mistakes. Let us continue to hold them up in our prayers.
  • Tongue Fu (19/04/2020, 09:48) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    I applaud the Governor's admonition of the wicked and irresponsible persons who disseminated false and presumptuous information without knowledge or care for the facts. One profanity laced voice note targeting Philippines Nationals was indeed nasty and vile. Even persons with positions in Government went on the attack one calling for the immediate deportation of all and the other wanting the building to be burnt to the ground with the rats and roaches. Even though they came back and apologized the damage had already been done. Then there were the persons who sent around her picture without her family's consent.

    Now I am not in support of the Cyber crimes amendment 14a/14b as I believe the fines and sentencing guidelines are too excessive and there should have been a clause to protect the Press in their line of work. Also the act lacks specificity leaving it open to varying interpretations. There is already civil recourse in the case of slander and libel suits that can be an option for offended parties.

    Be that as it may it is Law and it should be enforced. Some people real sweating now.

    Governor needs to go a little further and demand an investigation into the protocols used in this case and whether they were properly adhered to and if they have flexibility for each individual case. I for one believe we are not doing enough testing. Locking down, closing borders ,social distancing all these measures are a waste of time without the requisite testing. Anybody who calls or goes to the hospital with the slightest flu symptom should be tested immediately. We read the scary experiences of the Beacon reporter when she had what she thought was the virus and even though the results came back negative I am afraid I don't trust that conclusion( she should do an antibody test). That was a warning sign that the system is not working and then unfortunately came the death of this young lady and she went through a similar experience only worse as she had an underlying condition and went to the hospital and was given medication and advised to go home.

    Her husband and family deserve answers. The BVI deserves answers.
  • Ground Zero (19/04/2020, 09:54) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    Why u wasn't so quick to investigate, and lay charges for them NDP thieves. Clown!
    • @ Ground zero (19/04/2020, 23:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Good question because he is not genuine and act like a school boy
  • pat (19/04/2020, 10:07) Like (7) Dislike (9) Reply
    The governor is not here to help he is part of the problem
  • oh (19/04/2020, 10:44) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Better things there to do. Govorner
  • old (19/04/2020, 11:29) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP Govement take $7m of the tax payers money to buy a plane, and we need this money right now. This is our phone.
    • @ old (19/04/2020, 19:43) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      U had to bring this thing up; because that plane could have been used all now to fly our people Directly to beef island airport(home): no plane: no money:
  • where (19/04/2020, 11:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This one coming from now I thought that say d boarder closed he doesn't know that is what d midia is all about I tied listen to thing that makes no sense
  • Guilty (19/04/2020, 11:38) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Have you ever thought about this. While on may have underlined illnesses many may be guilty of the added stress they put on this woman by cutting her up with the tongue that deadly weapon. That's added pressure and how we treated her and her family.

    Do you think she put this on her self. be careful it could hit home if one contracts it. That weapon the tongue ask your self am I guilty of that.
  • legal team (19/04/2020, 11:39) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    Once it's about the law,I am on board.

    The Governor is 100% correct,and I must say,this Governor,appointed by Her Majesty,The Queen,is one of the best that the BVI has seen and will see in the future.

    Track down their wattsapp,and charge them criminally,under the [Computer misuse & Cyber act,2014, as amended by # 9 of 2019..

    Get the US-FBI agents and the UK-Scotland Yard detectives,assisted by legal team,to track the origin of this malicious,wicked and dangerous acts,jail them,and for those who do not belong to the virgin islands,deport demmm-aaaassssss..

    It is time for persons who use social media for criminal intent to be treated like real criminals.

    God job Governor.

    Four more years for you from her majesty,and four more years for the VIP.
    • @ legal team (19/04/2020, 16:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      will you pay for these investigations but some agree with your suggestion to deport
  • mr (19/04/2020, 11:53) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Govener with respect this is not d time to talk about a person who is die or the media this is time to forcous and finding those pilipino that excap it will be a help to all of us thank u
  • @Tongue Fu (19/04/2020, 12:46) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Apology! So i can shoot you and say i am sorry and it ok.

    • voiceofreason (19/04/2020, 22:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I did say the damage was already done so they can still be prosecuted but will they be? I doubt it.
  • communism (19/04/2020, 15:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    They trying , Slowly into communism . IT WONT WORK . We will continue to have freedom of speech .
  • Jessica Jones (19/04/2020, 17:42) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Jaspert, instead of talking piss y'all need to look for and find the missing couple who can potentially cause great havoc if they are positive for covid 19.
  • Governor...TAKE NOTE (19/04/2020, 17:50) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    You should be concerned that you failed to keep the people of the VI safe and secure. However,ranting and threatening about cyber facts and info disseminated to some by others does not negate nor does it diminish your lack of excercising proper efforts and responsibility to secure by quarantine those who have now taken flight and are endangerments to our lives. Your effort should be directed at finding these terrorists. We are ,with your consent,
    unable to fully protect ourselves or to assist in finding them since we have not been informed of any identifying attributes of these unknown numbers of potentially lethal individuals.
    Until they are accosted and properly secured,any and all future casualties attributed to Corona Virus 19 in the VI can only be attributed to your neglect and derilection of your assigned duty as Governor of the VI.
    • agreed (20/04/2020, 10:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      GOV Jaspert last words in his speech of March 31 2020 was a reminder to us that Safety and Security is the primary reason for his appointed purpose in the VI,
      Two weeks later our Safety and Security has been breached to its core and as yet he has no response or display of concern.Just making noise about the human response of a frustrated populace being kept in the dark by the elected and appointed Government about pertinent information, adversely affecting their health and their mortality.
  • legal team (19/04/2020, 18:57) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The governor will call on the mother-country UK, to fund any investigations,to eradicate criminal behavior in the bvi.

    Not only should people be prosecuted criminally,but provisions should be made to financial compensation to the victims.

    Go deep into their pockets,when they use wattsapp etc to tarnish people character and good name.

    I can see we are making progress in the bvi with this new law.

    Freedom of speech?

    Go to the bvi constitution,to get the definition of freedom of speech,and the same section will direct you to other subsections,that tells you,if parliament make a law to control your malicious freedom of speech,its an offence.

    Everybody using the term 'freedom of speech' to justify their wicked publication of whatever they want to publish about peoples' private life.

    Ask them where in the bvi constitution,to find the definition,they cannot tell you.

    freedom of speech my ["?????"]
  • facts (19/04/2020, 23:06) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am so disappointed in Gus, he did not lift a hand to investigate the 40 m over run on the ports, or our 7 m plane now he here taking piss about a WhatsApp

    Boss this man need to get on the next flight I am shame of this governor
  • legal team (20/04/2020, 07:56) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why would any one in the BVI call on the Governor to get on the next flight to where?

    The Governor is in the Queen's Country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland [British Overseas Territory-BVI]
    The Governor was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen of Buckingham Palace,to be Her representative in HER-BVI.
    The Governor is a UK-Citizen in a UK-Overseas Territory-BVI.[you people are too out of place]
    All BVI-Citizens are deemed to be UK-Citizens as well,by a UK law made by the UK parliament in may 2002.
    But you are saying to a Uk-Citizen appointed by the Queen,to get on the next flight to the mainland UK?
    In 2020, people in the BVI remained so racist and anti-expatriate,they do not even know their sovereignty.
    A grandchild is telling his father to get out of his grand mother's house.
    It's not the Governor who made the law.
    It's our elected representative,who we voted for,now they become [the legislature] and they made the law,and the governor assent to it on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen,by virtue of his powers under the bvi constitution.
    That is how a bill that is brought to the house of assembly can be passed as a law of the BVI parliament.
    The School children who read your bloggs, will not be misled, but will be educated by legal team.
    Welcome to the BVI Governor.
    BVI citizens are also UK citizens: UK citizens are justifiably welcome in the BVI.
    I thank her majesty,the queen for that opportunity.
  • Hmm really (24/04/2020, 15:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @legal team. Well said

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