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‘We have nothing against anyone from Caribbean islands’- Premier Fahie

- but said keeping money transfer services closed part of ‘economic concept’
The Government of the Virgin Islands, led by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), 3rd from left, has come under criticism following its decision to keep money transfer services closed in the first reopening phase of the Virgin Islands economy. Photo: VINO
Western Union remains closed in the Virgin Islands in the first phase of the reopening of the economy. Photo: Internet Source
Western Union remains closed in the Virgin Islands in the first phase of the reopening of the economy. Photo: Internet Source
Moneygram in Road Town, Tortola. According to Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), the decision to not include money transfer services in the list of essential businesses allowed to operate during the reopening phase of the Virgin Islands economy following a month of shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic was part of an economic concept. Photo: VINO
Moneygram in Road Town, Tortola. According to Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), the decision to not include money transfer services in the list of essential businesses allowed to operate during the reopening phase of the Virgin Islands economy following a month of shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic was part of an economic concept. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- With money transfer services not included in the list of essential businesses allowed to operate during the reopening phase of the Virgin Islands economy following a month of shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, heaps of criticisms were thrown at the Government of the Virgin Islands by a large number of persons on social media.

"The economy has been shut down for almost a month now. In this first phase of the reopening of our economy, only businesses that will directly contribute to national flow of income to the internal economy has been allowed to reopen first," Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) told Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) in an invited comment on April 29, 2020.


Some of the sentiments since expressed on social media in response to the decision are that Government is insensitive to the needs of persons from the Caribbean islands, knowing they are the majority of persons who use money transfer services to support their families back home, and that the move is to force those persons to spend their monies intended to be sent out of the country to help boost the local economy.

Premier Fahie; however, has since responded to the critics, letting them know that “it’s a democratic country” and everyone has a right to speak as they see fit; however, it was a decision made on sound economic standing.

“And the sound economic stance is that we are going to do a soft opening and allow certain businesses to open, continue to reassess every couple days or into the week and then make some more decisions to allow for more businesses to reopen, which we have done and we will continue to do,” Premier Fahie stated in an interview with JTV Channel 55 on May 1, 2020.

No hate for expats from Caribbean islands

Hon Fahie added that the Government has a responsibility to the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) and a responsibility to make sure the economy starts to flourish.

“We have nothing against anyone from the Caribbean countries…and that is ludicrous,” Premier Fahie said in response to critics who have been stating that the decision to keep money transfer services closed was out of hate for expatriates from the other Caribbean islands.

“Those who are using that now were on the other side of the argument when we were regularising persons from the Caribbean islands who were here for 20, 25, 30, 35  years. They were against it. Now they [are] on this side saying let's open it because you are trying to be negative to those persons from those areas and somehow they want to attach that once you sending money from Western Union you are poor.

“Those are things that have no statistical basis. They sound good.”

Western Union & Moneygram will reopen

According to Premier Fahie: “Western Union will open, Moneygram and the money services all of them will open but we have to make sure that we kick-start the economy again by making sure there is an internal flow, a rebooting of the economy because it is a new normal.”

Asked if there is any truth to the suggestions by persons that he is keeping the money transfer services closed so people who were looking to send out money will be forced to spend it in the VI, Premier Fahie it was just a decision based on an economic concept.

“We want businesses open first that will allow the circulation of money in the Territory. It has nothing to do with money services. It is an economic concept and nobody reopens their economy where the first thing they are doing is making sure that all the areas that export monies are the first thing that happens.”

Hon Fahie emphasised that he respects everyone’s views and that money transfer will reopen eventually, “but they also have to respect that we have a country to run in the best interest of the people of the BVI.”

He explained that there are a lot of social measures being put in place and it was not practical for those to be done if every place opens one time as it ran the risk of undoing all the hard work that was done to contain the virus that causes COVID-19.

“So there is not a hatred bone in my body for anyone but at the same time we leading a country where we have to do things that are in the best interest of the country. Some of them are not going to be popular. What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular,” Premier Fahie said.

56 Responses to “‘We have nothing against anyone from Caribbean islands’- Premier Fahie”

  • jj (03/05/2020, 06:32) Like (26) Dislike (11) Reply
    You just need to stop listening and reading gossips. Where in the world any government do as public say. The government said what they're doing and that's final. They never come back to the media or read blog.... this just do what they have to do. Every government run their country how they see it's fit.
    • @jj Wow.. (03/05/2020, 08:09) Like (7) Dislike (13) Reply
      U have a dictator controlling mentality.. sorry, This is not your home it doesnt work the way you want it..The Government work for the peole... I cn tell you are not well informed... Every country in the WORLD have daily Corona briefing....
  • Nothing is what it seems (03/05/2020, 06:47) Like (43) Dislike (6) Reply
    What if the people in charge doesn’t have our best interest at mind ? So my question to you is if we were being deceived on a global scale would you be able to recognize it ? Just something to think about
    • @ Nothing is what is seems (03/05/2020, 08:13) Like (28) Dislike (2) Reply
      Yes...We are been deceived...We are getting our instructions from an Organization whos Credibility and honesty are in doubt...
  • We in trouble (03/05/2020, 08:09) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Speak for yourself..
  • Hmm (03/05/2020, 08:20) Like (20) Dislike (17) Reply

    Honorable premier you don’t have to explain nothing to them, do what you have to do. Period other countries could make rules for their people so why not you. We with you!!

  • Local (03/05/2020, 08:22) Like (14) Dislike (25) Reply

    Strupes them need to have a seat fahie do your thing If they was in the US they couldn’t of said nothing.

  • Send us help (03/05/2020, 08:23) Like (5) Dislike (27) Reply
    Hey premier we know you are not against the Caribbean people it's business as usual nothing personal
    So keep taxing dem until they gone and we have no more need for western union and the gram
    Thumps up
    • U have no sense (03/05/2020, 15:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well what about the business that sent money.everything will get expensive..
  • Agree (03/05/2020, 08:24) Like (18) Dislike (11) Reply
    Mr premier why are you even entertaining these people if they don’t like your rules they can leave the beautiful BVI when borders reopen.
    • st thomas (03/05/2020, 11:55) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
      When the borders open since you want island people to leave don’t come in the us to shop stay Tortola for everything build what you want you can’t even contribute to the solution all you one sided
  • Creque (03/05/2020, 08:26) Like (7) Dislike (35) Reply
    When the govt decide to send some home they going complain too. Don’t explain nothing to them premier
  • island man (03/05/2020, 08:42) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Maybe you premier but a lot of vi islanders do so what you want to go back in so you have to side them or they vote against you it might be better to tell we to pack and go
  • Brainless People (03/05/2020, 09:41) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Educate your self people and stop being negative for every thing the Premier and Cabinet bring forth. Before Money Gram your Grand Mother, Grand Father, Mother, Father, Uncles, Aunts etc used the Post Office and Banks so go back to them and they use to pay way less to send these funds out than what Money Gram and Western Union is charging. Therefore, stop steering up trouble and be wise strups man.
  • Rubber Duck (03/05/2020, 09:52) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Get yourself a bank account. Pay your salary into the account. Get a debit card. Send a debit card to your dependents. They can then draw money from your bank account and pay for services . No western Union 5%. No BVI government 7%.
  • Smith T (03/05/2020, 10:06) Like (7) Dislike (10) Reply
    These island people can’t vote do tour thing premier
  • Foolish (03/05/2020, 10:32) Like (18) Dislike (13) Reply
    our people will never learn. You all forget after irma and Maria how you all was begging expats to help and why we running away. Bvi would not survive without expats. So keep pushing us away. One day you will regret
    • Norris Turnbull (03/05/2020, 12:20) Like (5) Dislike (17) Reply
      No body was "begging Expats" for no dam help. Be truthful. Its the other way around. A number of Expats asked me for work. Stop being malicious and ignorant.
    • max (03/05/2020, 12:46) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
      @Foolish: schupps. You all is going one place so long as you getting the US dollar.
    • eyes (03/05/2020, 15:46) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply

      Shut your trap people was glad to come eat up the US dollars no one beg a soul. Man come say Mason when all he was a labourer. When the border open all who not working should jump on the plane there is no place like home.

  • Gringo (03/05/2020, 10:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    Free up the money agencies alot of ppl have received a check since lockdown and his running low on cash

  • legal team (03/05/2020, 10:54) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    I would like to join with the right-honourable Andrew Fahie esquire,soon to be inducted into the hall-of-fame, to say:- [" (We the people) of the British Virgin Islands have absolutely nothing against anyone of our fellow brothers and sisters from the Caribbean islands"]

    We want the taxes to run the Country. That is good governornance.

    Actions speaks louder than words,and the actions of the bvi people to welcome other Caribbean people with open arms,is testimony to that statement for over 60 years in bvi history.

    And in recent times,the honourable Premier,introduced a bill to the HoA,as an amendment to the immigration and passport ordinance to fast track,belonger status for our former brothers and sisters,who departed british colonization, and british rule, because of their countries' of birth becoming independent,in sovereignty.

    The British Nationality Act,of 1981,informed all the Caribbean people of the following.

    ["Any person born within the United Kingdom and any of the United Kingdom and Colonies,between 1st January,1949 and 31st December,1982 [under british colonial rule] were classified as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) and could hold a passport at the time, until that end"]

    Persons born in most of the Caribbean countries,before 1949,were called "British Subjects".

    So many Caribbean people residing in the BVI were british subjects,long before some of us were born.

    Andrew Fahie,being a teacher by profession,would know all about british colonization of the west indies.

    We the people of the virgin islands,and the people of the Caribbean,must come together,as [former citizens] and unite on that basis with the people,including our UK citizens residing in the BVI.

    We should not poison the minds of our young people with the mentality of ethnic racism,because there is no racism in the bvi. We love our UK-appointed Governor,and we show love to white tourists.

    All this talk about bvi people don't like island people is a BIG LIE and a BIG FAKE.

    Because actions speaks louder than words.

    Four more years for Andrew fahie-Forward ever backwards NEVER.
    • @legal team (03/05/2020, 16:09) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      While it appears that you have some basic knowledge of the law, you do not know the history of the BVI. I will guess that you are not a BVIslander and that you did not come here before 1990.
      • legal team and bvi history (03/05/2020, 22:00) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        BVI history before 1990 and after 1990. Legal team knows bvi laws better than the QUEEN.

        The BVI is a british overseas terriory, of the UK, FORMERLY called, A BRITISH DEPENDENT TERRITORY, with a uk appointed governor,as the queen's representative in the islands.Her Majesty,the Queen,is the MONARCHY.

        For many years expat come to the bvi, and they live and worked there,pay their rent and taxes etc like any other tolian.some expats save their money in bvi others send their money home,nothing wrong with that.

        Expats pay social security,and like all other citizens,if qualified can get an age pension or job-injury pension from bvi SSB.and marternity money,and job-related injury money.

        Expats can become permanent residents under section 18 of the Immigration and passport ordinance and be exempted from work permits,under the labour laws.

        Expats can bring their underage children and spouses to reside in the bvi with them,and expat children can attend school in the bvi,as a fundamental right to free primary eduction under the bvi constitution.

        Expats can become belongers by virtue of section 16 of the Immigration law,enacted under section 2 (2) of the bvi constitution order, 2007, and can register to vote etc, in bvi elections.

        Expats who become citizens of the bvi before may 2001,auto matically became uk citizens in 2002,and there onwards, can now become UK citizens by virtue of an act of the UK parliament in 2002, called the british overseas territories,act,2002, which supersedes the British Nationality act,of 1981,

        And expats who become belongers after 2002,can apply to the secretary of state uk, through the Governor, via passport office bvi, to become full UK citizens and to get a uk passport,with rights of abode in uk.

        There is not enough space,to say what good the bvi has done for expats,during its bvi history.

        The BVI does not do any harm to any expat in the BVI. The only harm done to expats is from expat themselves.

        When an expast commit crimes in the bvi,the law section 40 of the immigration ordinance, say to DEEEPORT DEM AAassss from the bvi and send dem back as a criminal,according to bvi law.

        But all expats who are in the bvi displaying good behaviour and respecting the laws of the bvi, are treated with love and appreciation for being among us in the bvi.

        TEK-DAT and smoke in the faces of all expats in the bvi talking foolishness about the bvi people hate expats?

      • legal team is back (04/05/2020, 12:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Someone has accused the ["Legal Team"] of being an unemployed lawyer? Oh, Now I understand society ,only lawyers to know law? Laws were made for everyone to read,understand and interprete,and to construed.

        And only police should know your rights and abuse your rights, and only the DPP and Magistrates or Judges should administer justice? And only them should know how to abuse justice?

        What about the classes of persons in society, we call the ["Ordinary man"] who live in society and are not in a financial position to pay lawyers to lie for them, and to bribe public officials to pull string for them, while others suffer and those with money beat the system?

        Legal Team is not a lawyer but a ["freedom fighter for justice"] like Nelson Mandella.

        Legal Team is not supporting expatriates and legal team is not supporting citizens/belongers:

        Legal Team supports the facts "applied" to the law.

        When legal team applied the facts surrounding EXPATS in the bvi, to the bvi Immigration laws and the bvi Constitution, legal team conclude, there is no Immigration statutory law in effect right now in the BVI,made by parliament under section 71 of the BVI Constitution, which is discriminatory to cause racial-hatred to EXPATS.

        The amendment to the Immigration Ordinance [fast track law] was to favour expats.To give expats the same rights as other belongers.

        That is evidence to show,that the government and the good people of the bvi LOVE human beings like expats in the bvi and appreciate the contribution of expats in the bvi.

        People in the UK are reading these bloggs and forming their opinions and misjudgement of the bvi people.

        Legal team will blogg and blogg based on the laws to dispute these LIES misinformation about ethnic hatred in BVI.

        This is 2020,it's time to stop these lies and deception about my bvi people. I can take an oath,and make a sworn affidavit in a court of law,to say [" My BVI people, Do NOT hate expatriates in the BVI"]

        This case is closed,let's go and blogg on the next topic; Legal Team is an unemplyed legal advisor,without borders

    • @ legal team (03/05/2020, 22:19) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Your dissertations are becoming a nuisance! I can't imagine you are a lawyer. If you are you must be an unemployed one; commenting on all these articles with the goal to confuse and sway public opinion.
      • public opinion????? (04/05/2020, 11:56) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        yes,leave the writer -legal team- expose the benefit exparts getting in the bvi territory in the bvi law. i know now of all the benefits extended to expats in bvi, they getting the same rights like us,so how we hate them? glad I read it from legal team,who might be a lawyer from bvi law and history, and glad you read it....public opinion should be based on facts and law but not on misinformation. a country that making law to benefit expats cannot be against expats, continue legal team we want more laws and more history
  • ... (03/05/2020, 11:01) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am against the closure but I support the VIP all the way
  • Charley Rose (03/05/2020, 11:32) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I would like to congratulate the Hon. Premier for his leadership of the territory in this difficult time. God has placed him there at an opportune time because we do not know what would have happened if it was someone else. I guessed we could recall what happened in 2017 hurricanes where we saw the leader left us and went to England and beg for help. Hon. Fahie did not leave but he stayed with us. A good leader is one who listens to his friends and foes in order to plan for the future. Not all of your enemies are your adversaries and not all of your allies are your friends. So I would like to urge the Premier to press forward in the best interest of the people who he was elected to serve. For those who dislike his strategies I am sorry. At the end those persons who are criticizing him will see the brighter picture.

    The sentiments expressed by some individuals are done with an intention to divide the population and the perpetrators are doing so for political gains. I would not call any names but those are cheap political shots. I want to make it abundantly clear that despite all the detractors I will vote for the VIP in any future election.

    I do have need to send money for my children and relatives abroad, however, I will wait patiently until the money transfer services are open to do so. I was very glad when the government of the BVI granted me the opportunity to come to the territory and work which enables me to earn a livelihood. For that I would like to express my profound gratitude to BVI. As long as I continue to live in the territory, I will dedicate my energies towards the development of this territory. For those who disagree with me I want to express my sympathy.
  • Who can (03/05/2020, 11:48) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    Why you dont put extra on them that does go st Thomas and shop groceries, clothes and all them other stuff. Ain't that monies leaving the territory also. Up the custom fees then.
  • island man (03/05/2020, 11:50) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    All ayo hate island people but the man. Them want them the bvi cannot do nothing on their own
  • ReX FeRal (03/05/2020, 12:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I read this article half way and stop.
    • island man (04/05/2020, 06:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      U don’t have to read it it’s the truth tell me what u produce
  • guy hill (03/05/2020, 12:28) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.
    • A Few foolish people (03/05/2020, 13:31) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      This island man talk is coming from just a few foolish people, this doesnt represent most BVIslanders...These few bad ones are making it difficult for the good ones.. Lots of Employers in the BVI has Xpats back ground some will be thinking why hire these people with this kind of mentality... Stop it. Maybe U R just the under the tree smoke up ones... That dont want to work...
  • GTFOH (03/05/2020, 12:34) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    Premier: Starts to fast track the granting of belongership and resident status to expats
    Expats: The man is sent by God, he's such a wonderful man, We love him to death
    Premier: We will charge 7% for MoneyGram and Western Union payments
    Expats: The Premier is the devil, he hates expats, uno $uck yu m0mm@
  • mr premier (03/05/2020, 13:04) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply

    You will learn.
    Nothing beats them when it comes to ingratude and milkingyour cow dry. Cursed . They dont care about the Vi you or its people. They care only about what tgey can take and as close to free as possible. You hire them and pay them goid money. They then could feed their own but they telling theycome here and working for free. Yet nstill they worry about moneygram. You have to start the tax implementation on more things,like their groceries and the pampers.

  • expats (03/05/2020, 13:20) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply

    Don't send home monies , send yourselves home instead .

  • Hey Racist Idiots (03/05/2020, 13:52) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
    Reading your cowardice comments (hiding behind pen names) spewing hate sickens me. I am a white Texan who's been working in St. Thomas. I have worked in Mexico, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Ghana. I assure you people are people. We all bleed, we all cry, we all laugh, and we all hurt. Only one can judge us and he's not walking the Earth these days. I LOVE the Tolans. Please stop your hatred for others. Especially your fellow islanders. And you arrogant white puritans American and European) STOP. The secret to surving anywhere is respect. Respect for local people and local customs. Stop demonstrating your ignorance and feeling of superiority. Nobody is better than anyone else. There is no place for your negativity and ignorance. #positivevibesonly. Peace up. Big Slick Willie
    • Norris Turnbull (04/05/2020, 02:44) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Hey Racists Idiots... You are not from Texas. You are hiding behind a fake monika for name also. Come out. I dare you. At any rate, you are not Texan and I'm not a "Tolan"
      • Big Slick Willie (04/05/2020, 11:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Uh oh. Looks like I struck a nerve. See you around. But in the meantime. Drop the negativity. It's really unattractive. BSW with the Texas Longhorn tats wrapping the left bicep. Just enjoy a cigar and relax.
  • pop (03/05/2020, 14:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    We all need to stop give those people your attention that born hare leave them alone let them say that want to say talk is cheap that's d only way we can get rid of the hate crime but let them sent us home remember we are not going in a rent house that's d beauty about the hold thing d hottest word u can give some one eggno
    • e (03/05/2020, 15:55) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      You going back to live with Mommy and Daddy cause you ain't got shit for your self else you would have gone a long time don't envy us because we doing something to secure a future . Right now you only occupying space pay your rent you parasite.
  • Expat (03/05/2020, 15:53) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    You ppl dont like us make rules yes but not on our money we work for we work so leave is alone o listen how some of you talk and remember this world is not our own we are only passing by
  • Expat (03/05/2020, 16:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank god for lif
  • Not only sender (03/05/2020, 16:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    What about others who received money
    I have my kids here they dad sent money monthly to help us financial
    I now have friends who want to send money to me !
  • @norris Norbert (03/05/2020, 17:27) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    How quickly you forget, remember 2017 -18 bvi were begging for skilled workers. Bvi set up a fast track for expats to come so please stop it. People were asking for you to do permit but we too wanted them that’s why thousands of men came in and they were needed so stop being so ungrateful.
  • legal team (03/05/2020, 21:23) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply

    Is something legal team always know in true life. someone might be doing something to you that hurt you but because of the person love for you and your love for the person, you stay in love:

    Go to immigration office, daily, and see how expatriates walk in there and get good friendly service from Mr.Penn and his staff. all this nonsense about bvi people don't like island people and island people don't like bvi,is just a bunch of false blogging gimmick.

    In every country in the world,there are mix nationality and mix religion,and people fight and kill over that.We will never reach that stage of hate-crime in the BVI,because the bvi people have a culture of love for expats.

    We must face the reality,in the bvi,expatriates are always welcome to the bvi,everyday.
    We all get along well,on a daily basis,there is no fight between expats and bvislanders.

    Expats married to citizens and citizens marry to expats, what more intimate love can there be than the union of marriage, and intimate sexual relationships between people of different nationality?

    AH YOU TOO DAM HYPOCRITE [ marrying each other,sexing,making children together, is hate for each other?


    It is normal for mankind to say, ah barn here and ah from here etc, or every now and again call someone islandman etc, but its not like as though there is hatred. There is no hatred between citizens and expats.

    May be a little discrimination,here and there from a fall out,but the love between expats and tolians is plain to see.

    One love in BVI.
  • My last comment (03/05/2020, 23:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    For a moment there when I saw the news heading, I thought the Premier was addressing the hate that has been directed to expats, especially verbally on these news sites for such a long time. I thought finally...but I fooled myself. To my dismay he was just defending himself. Premier I understand your actions and indeed your priority is where your votes lie, and thats your BVIlanders. I want to believe that any other country would put their citizens first. So you do not need to explain anything.

    With that said, it would be good to address the discrimination that goes on within this country. If I did not know better I would think that BVIlanders defecate diamonds and non citizens are ants. Expats are always being stepped on and discriminated against. Are the people in authority not seeing or hearing? Why is this not being addressed?

    It is good to know that some of us care for expats and are not filled with this hate but the ignorant ones that do are really hurting the countries name. We need those ants more than we know.

  • TIT FOR TAT (04/05/2020, 04:27) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    There is no more discrimation against the expat by the Bv Isander than there is by the expat against the BV Islander. It is just that the expat complain the most.
  • Tek dat! (04/05/2020, 11:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the bvi doing good for expat and expats doing good for the bvi. it is a 2 way road,driving in opposite direction but we hail up each on the way, the good laws that in place I now reading here is all about good for expat. stop dis shiiit about we not live good.we all living good in tola, I don't know for vg and the rest islands.
  • P.O.P. (04/05/2020, 12:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    PROUD of PREMIER!!!!!!

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