Governor orders criminal investigations into government

Governor John Duncan

Governor John Rankin announced that he had instructed the Commissioner of Police to undertake several criminal investigations as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report, including inquiries into the Prime Minister’s Office.

In a recent press release, Governor Rankin said there was now an urgent and decisive step forward consistent with his responsibilities under the constitution.

He noted that the investigations will encompass several government departments and projects.

“[There will be] a criminal investigation into the conduct of the Prime Minister’s Office (under the former Prime Minister) to obstruct the Director of the Internal Audit Department in her audit of COVID-19 assistance programs; a criminal investigation and/or investigations into the recovery of public funds spent on the Sea Cow Bay Port Development Project and the Virgin Islands Neighborhood Partnership Project,” the Governor said.

“[There will also be] a criminal investigation and/or inquiries into the recovery of public funds spent on the removal of plot 310 of block 2938B, Road Town registration section and an investigation into possible corruption within HM Customs,” added Rankin.

The governor noted that criminal investigations were already underway regarding the Elmore Stoutt High School boundary wall project and the BVI Airways project.

“Given the need to respect the integrity of the investigative process, I will not comment to the media on the content of the investigations as they unfold. But I am determined that investigations are carried out in accordance with the report of the commission of inquiry and that any public official who has engaged in criminal acts is brought to justice and held accountable under the law,” Rankin said.

“I am also determined that, wherever possible, public funds that may have been misused in the projects under consideration will be recovered and used instead for programs that benefit all members of our community,” he added.

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Mark M. Gagnon