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PHOTOS: Things to know about BVI’s Decision March

Scene from the May 24 Decision March in Road Town. (Photos by Esther Durand/BVI News)

The May 24 Decision March in the British Virgin Islands pulled a massive crowd and march organisers have indicated that, unofficially, the number of protestors was more than 1,000.

The Decision March was a protest to the UK’s controversial amendment to its Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act, which directly affects the BVI and other Overseas Territories.

Though the amendment has already become law, local authorities have indicated that the BVI’s grievances with the UK are effectively two-fold.

Firstly, it is said the amendment directly harms the financial services sector, which accounts for 60 percent of the territory’s annual revenue.

Secondly, the amended law is said to be a breach of the constitutional agreement between the BVI and the UK, which effectively says the BVI has full autonomy over its financial services sector. Bearing that in mind, local authorities said the protest was aimed at sending a message that the BVI will not accept any future demonstrations of “constitutional overreach” from the UK.

The UK law in question is forcing the BVI and other British Overseas Territories to implement what are known as public registers of company beneficial ownership. These registers mean the BVI is required to publicise the names of beneficial owners of offshore companies registered in the territory.

Effectively, beneficial ownership is a legal term where specific property rights belong to a person even though the legal title of the property is in another person’s name.

Publicising the names of these beneficial owners could discourage them from doing business with the BVI as it relates to financial services.

Notably, the UK is imposing the law to tackle financial crimes such as tax evasion. A number of international authorities have claimed the BVI is one of the breeding grounds for financial crimes. The territory has been described as a tax haven which has been associated with financial scandals such as the Panama Papers leak back in 2016.

In the meantime, below are scenes from yesterday’s protest captured by BVI News:

 

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14 Comments

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  1. Thanos "I hope they remember you" says:

    Chiiiiiit I rooting for England smh atleast THE MAN might throw me some compassion scraps. Cause my own been killing me!

  2. HMPH says:

    a teacher that called the class stupid up there holding sign . hypocrites .

  3. NATall says:

    Lambs to the Slaughter!

  4. Yeswemust says:

    Time to rule our destiny. I shall trust my country to the hand of any of countryman than the UK any day. Remember W—– Hodge who killed Prosper for failing to catch a mango? Well, check again, that will be the fate of our people if UK were to rule these lands again. Who knows history, understand that they are capable of doing it again. Keep far from the UK. We may be small country, but we must leave our Mother now.

    • Hmmm says:

      I wonder who paid for printing all those nice placards so that children could pretend to understand what they got the afternoon off for?
      Shameful. Same tactics as North Korea.

    • Kinte says:

      Why let criminals wether tax evaders or drug criminals in their transgressions so afew in the islands can benefit. It dont help everyone just the political elite and theirs.

      The British are correct elease the names of the real beneficiaries of theaccounts.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Very few drive by shootings of 11 year old girls in the UK.

  5. sidelines says:

    check who stood on the sidelines-banks and their employees. Let that sit for a while

  6. Our Differences says:

    The ones who are saying put aside our Differences aren’t putting aside theirs.

  7. Jack says:

    If you think you don’t like the UK telling you what to do, wait till you are “independent” and Uncle Sam is in charge.

  8. True tolian says:

    What makes you think Uncle Sam
    will be in charge when they can’t even manage their own affairs.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Uncle Sam would simply impose sanctions or close down the banking system. Its what they do if you refuse to do what they say.

      As for the idea that the former BVI could “ join the USA”

      Yeah right , just like Haiti could.

  9. bvi says:

    Am with the UK 100 percent

  10. Guy on the side lines says:

    all yall sound like idiots.

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