Governor His Excellency John Rankin has ordered the launch of several criminal investigations to include the Premier’s Office, Her Majesty’s Customs, the Sea Cows Bay Harbour Development project and the Virgin Islands Neighbourhood Partnership project.

Governor Rankin made the disclosure in a brief statement published today May 12 where he stated that now is the time to press forward with these needed investigations

He said, “There is now an urgent need to decisively move forward and in line with my responsibilities under the Constitution I have today instructed the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Commissioner of Police to undertake a number of criminal investigations as recommended in the Report.”

Governor Rankin explained that the scope of the criminal investigation into the Premier’s Office will fall during the period under the former Premier Andrew Fahie.

He said it is in relation to the conduct of the Office in obstructing the Director of Internal Audit Department during their audit of the COVID-19 Assistance Programmes.

As it relates to Her Majesty’s Customs, Governor Rankin said the investigation will be surrounding the possible corruption within that department.

In addition, the governor revealed that the criminal investigations into the Sea Cows Bay Harbour Development project and the Virgin Islands Neighbourhood Partnership project will be regarding the recovery of the public funds expended on both projects.

Likewise, he said there will be an investigation into the recovery of the public money expended in the disposal of Parcel 310 of Block 2938B, Road Town Registration Section.

Public officials involved in wrongdoing to be brought to justice

Governor Rankin said he was confident that the investigations will yield results which will hold those public officers in breach of the law to account for their actions.

He said, “I am determined that investigations should be held 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,” he added.

The governor said given the need to respect the integrity of the investigative process, he will not be making media comments on the content of the investigations as they take place.