We Gave Them $7M, Now Can't Find Them--Christian

BVI Platinum News | 15 Comments
July 11, 2018 7:24 am AST
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The government is having difficulties locating officials from BVI Airways to recoup the $7.2M of tax payers’ money, which was pumped into the airline's startup operations. The airline service never took off.

This information was disclosed by Junior Minister of Tourism and Government Member, Hon. Archibald Christian, during a sitting of the House of Assembly yesterday afternoon, July 10.

Further, Hon. Christian said that government should have invested that money into local airline, VI Airlink, which is owned by the Brathwaites.

"...You know if I knew what I know now, I would have taken that money and given it to the Brathwaites, because I know where I would find the Brathwaites. I don't know where I could find the people that have BVI Airways anymore," the government backbencher said.

He continued, "We are trying to locate them, trying to have a conversation with them, we are trying to get a report from them. We now have to consider legal action against them; that's most unfortunate."

Hon. Christian said that it is money that government needs in wake of the recovery process, and "$7.2M that we could do with right now. So that we can get our roads fixed, schools reopened."

In October last year, government had given BVI Airways a formal notification of breach, regarding the controversial agreement to provide direct flights between the BVI and Miami.

"I suppose the Premier (Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith) would continue to do his best. I know that he is not going to give up on it because at the end of the day he has to report back to the people of the BVI on exactly what has happened to the $7.," he said in the presence of Premier Smith.

"I would like to know how they spent the money Premier. What did they do with it?" Hon. Christian asked.

The Junior Minister mentioned Air BVI, which he said BVI owned years ago, pointing out that the government back then should have fought to save it.

"We had Air BVI, our own airline and I think that was a mistake when the government didn't step in to try and save that airline. And then in our wisdom, we decided to allow BVI Airways to be the flag carrier for the Territory with direct flights to Miami."

He said, "We gave them $7.2M of tax payers’ money and we have no airline to show for it, no aircraft; can't get the people to the Territory in a manner in which we want to get them."

Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Hon. Christian said governments need to be very cautious when doing business with foreign companies.

"We have to be honest with ourselves, whenever we are striking and making deals with foreign entities, we have to be extremely careful. We have to dot all Is and cross all our Ts. And sometimes if you have to dot the I several times so be it," he warned.

Premier Smith during his wrap up response in the House of Assembly, addressed all issues raised my Members, including other issues by Hon. Christian, but did not touch on BVI Airways.

Opposition Leader, Hon. Andrew Fahie, who raised red flags about the agreement from the inception, has since termed the entire matter as a scam.
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15 Comments
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Lord O
Help VI Airlink..They are really trying... Once again our own has rejected us..." Tears for my people "
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Irony
So, what is our argument again against public beneficial ownership registers?
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Pissed Off
You'll please give me back my money.... I spent endless days in the hot sun to earn my money @ $6.00 per freaking hour...now you'll talking crap that you can't find the representatives of the airline... I will contact the appropriate persons for support for me and my child... That's some kind of BS... Here picking peas out of filth..give me my money.!!!
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Dingo The Dawg
Ayo geh wha the duck got.....that’s why dem pale faces smiling and grinning so!!! Who did the due diligence on this deal from the Government side I’d be interested in knowing!!
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WELL SAH
archie voted and now speaking his conscience
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Boo
let me see. They didn't know who they were and gave them 7 mill of our money? Wellsa
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Orlando Air
What? They can’t find him? Would someone teach our ministers how to use the Internet. All they have to do is google the name of the ceo. Had the ministers conducted due diligence before giving away our $7 big ones, they would have seen this wasn’t the first time one of the coe’s airlines never took off.
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Barbs
Me again, just need to add this to my previous post. Archie you claim if you knew better, you would not have backed this but instead support a local. If memory serves me correct the Brathwaite family submit a proposal for this same flight route and the NDP Government did not support it. It instead you all chose to back a fly by night group that now appears to show little investigation into their background was done. Again who should we the voting public and most importantly the tax paying citizens hold responsible for this. May I remain you that the Brathwaite family pay taxes right here and the money will be circulated in the country. This is shameful on so many level. We must be laughing stock of the region this good Wednesday morning. To think that it is educated people that elected these ...... to office.
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Barbs
Well Archie thank you for confirming what some many of us always believe about this deal. It was a scam from the beginning. Now they allegedly cannot be located and our tax dollars slow going down the drain. I guess this gang don't watch American Greed. Now who should we the voting public but most importantly the tax paying citizens hold responsible for this.
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Hmmmm
He found his voice all of a sudden?
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Swd
You and the government full of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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No Way
The face of the guy on the far left says it all! BVI got either Trumped or Punked. Hon Minister the BVI should have invested in the locally owned airline period (not if you had known what you know now). Part of NDP's problem is they have an issue with supporting their own but can easily give a stranger all their money.
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Red Apple..
Hmmm. Scam..Conspiracy.. Hook.. Crook..outsmarted... This is an infant mistake. Government should have ask for to see the deed / documents to ascertain the true owners once satisfy hold on to those as guarantee or Security...make sure the plane sleep at Beef Island... Well its a lesson learnt.. Not just to govrenment but to all of us.. Do business properly...
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Boo
Can we continue to trust these people to run a government? No diligence at all. If these are the NDP Government's friends then who needs enemies? We had some local resident directors of BVI Airways...ask them Archie.
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Albion
"We have to be honest with ourselves, whenever we are striking and making deals with foreign entities, we have to be extremely careful." This feels disingenuous. The reason government found itself in difficulty was because it did not do any proper due diligence at all before handing over large amounts of taxpayer money with no security and no guarantees to people who had a poor track record that could have been easily discovered if only someone - anyone - had just taken the time to look.
Like · · 14w
7 Likes
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