By Sonje Greenidge, Journalist
Updated 6:01 PM AST, Thu May 12, 2022
(PLTM) - Governor John Rankin has today, May 12, ordered a criminal probe into the Premier's office and other Government projects covering at least three administrations which were named under the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report.
“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,” he announced.
The investigations will include a probe into the conduct of the Premier’s Office (under the previous Premier) in hindering the Director of the Internal Audit Department in relation to her audit of the COVID-19 Assistance Programmes (according to the COI Recommendation B14).
There will also be an investigation into retrieving public funds allocated to the Sea Cow Bay Harbour Development project and the Virgin Islands Neighbourhood Partnership project, according to the CoI Recommendation B20.
An investigation into recovering public expenditure on the disposal of Parcel 310 of Block 2938B, Road Town Registration Section, in keeping with the CoI Recommendation B32 will be launched. There will also be a probe into corruption allegations into HM Customs COI (according to Recommendation B40).
He also stated that according to Recommendation B21, criminal investigations have already been undertaken into the Elmore Stoutt High School Perimeter Wall project and the BVI Airways project.
The Governor also stated, “Given the need to respect the integrity of the investigative process, I will not be making media comments on the content of the investigations as they take place.”
However, he proposed that public officials who are in violation of any criminal code should be penalized according to the law.
He also stated that the retrieval of misappropriated funds will be directed to programmes that will benefit society at large.
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