British Virgin Islands (BVI) Governor John Rankin says he has instructed the territory’s Police Commissioner to undertake several criminal investigations recommended in a Commission of Inquiry report.
Rankin released the report on April 29.
The early release came after news broke that United States investigators had arrested BVI Premier Andrew Fahie in Miami.
Fahie is facing drug and money laundering charges.
A successful no-confidence resolution in the territory’s House of Assembly has since seen Dr. Natalio Wheatley, formerly Deputy Premier then Acting Premier following the arrest, appointed BVI Premier in place of Fahie.
Governor Rankin disclosed Thursday that there would be a criminal investigation into the conduct of the Premier’s Office under Fahie in obstructing the Director of the Internal Audit Department in respect of her audit of the COVID-19 Assistance Programmes.
Rankin also spoke of a probe into the recovery of the public money expended on the Sea Cow Bay Harbour Development project and the Virgin Islands Neighbourhood Partnership project, among other investigations.
In addition, the police probe will include possible corruption within the Customs department.
Governor Rankin spoke of the need to respect the integrity of the investigative process.
As a result, he disclosed that he would not be making media comments on the content of the investigations as they take place.
But he expressed determination that investigations occur in line with the Commission of Inquiry Report and that any public official who has engaged in criminal wrong-doing should be brought to justice and held accountable under the law.
“I am also determined that where possible, public funds that may have been misused in relation to the projects under investigation should be recovered and used instead for programmes that benefit all members of our community,” the BVI Governor asserted.