BVI News

COI report urges full audit, criminal investigation for EZ gov’t contract

EZ Shipping’s Midnight Czar.

The Commission of Inquiry (COI) report has recommended a full audit, and if deemed necessary, criminal investigations for government contracts with EZ shipping — the company hired in 2020 to use radar barges as part of the territory’s sea defences.

In the report submitted by Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom, it was recommended that the terms of that audit exercise should include consideration of the circumstances under which the company came to be retained by the government in the first place.

During the COI, Premier Fahie had repeatedly denied initiating an engagement with the proprietor of EZ Shipping, Clyde Chalwell, and said that it was an unsolicited proposal sent from the company to his office that started the engagement.

Sir Gary also recommended that the exercise should address the extent to which there was compliance with public procurement policies in place for major contracts, along with a justification for any departure from these regulations.

At the time, EZ Shipping was hired to host the government’s radar equipment and assist in detecting smuggling activity. They were described by Premier Fahie as having saved the government untold millions.

In the meantime, Sir Gary also said the audit exercise should examine why the services were provided before the approval of the territory’s Joint Task Force of law enforcement officers, the National Security Council, the Cabinet and the Governor.

According to Sir Gary, factors such as the policy objectives of the contracts, the efficacy of the contracts and the fulfilment of those objectives should also be looked at in the audit.

Additionally, a determination should also be made as to whether there was any value for the millions of dollars expended.

“Although this will be a matter for the National Security Council, in my view, consideration of national security should not affect the access accorded to the Auditor General in performing this audit,” Sir Gary said.

He conceded, however, that it may affect her ability to publish her report in unredacted form.

According to the Commissioner, unless the relevant authorities consider otherwise, further steps, including any criminal investigation and steps to recover public money, can await the outcome of that audit.

EZ shipping owner Chalwell eventually received three separate govenrment contracts starting from August 23, 2020 and extending up until January 2020. It was further revealed that the tender process was repeatedly waived for each of those three contracts.

Ultimately, those contracts ended up costing taxpayers some $2,040,000 for two or three of Chalwell’s barges equipped with radars to be leased from EZ shipping and stationed off the coast to track sea traffic and alert local law enforcement.

Background to the EZ Shipping contract

Around the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BVI government decided to announce a 24-hour lockdown and closed its borders from March 27-April 20, 2020.

Until a more permanent solution could be investigated, temporary measures were considered and implemented to prevent unlawful entrants by sea.

When the BVI closed its borders in March 2020, then-Commissioner of Police (CoP) Michael Matthews said he realised that ensuring the security of the closed borders was beyond the capacity of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) alone.

It was then that Matthews approached both Her Majesty‘s Customs and the Immigration Department about a possible joint approach to the issue.

As a result, a Joint Task Force (JTF) of the three arms of law enforcement was created in April of that year.

Customs Commissioner Wade Smith chaired that body while Chief Immigration Officer Ian Penn and CoP Matthews represented their agencies on the task force as well.

At the time of its establishment, the JTF was specifically tasked with drawing up a Comprehensive Border Security Plan.

Initially, private sea vessels were used to secure the borders of the BVI but this option was later deemed untenable and removed as an alternative.

It was revealed during the COI that then-governor Augustus Jaspert was willing to seek UK military assistance in the form of a small team of advisers, but Premier Andrew Fahie later indicated that he was not willing to have UK military assistance in the BVI at that time.

It was the day after the Premier gave that indication, that Chalwell‘s unsolicited proposal first emerged.

In his evidence before the COI, the Premier explained that such unsolicited proposals were not uncommon in the BVI.

By the time the NSC and Cabinet finally came to consider the first contract for the hire of radar barges from EZ shipping, the barges had already been in operation for some time.


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  1. Serious ........ says:

    There should be a full criminal investigation into the whole shipping company itself and probably that entire family too, not just this singular and disgraceful contract!

    Like 107
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    • Rex says:

      This comment indicates that your intelligence level is below average. You probably owe them money as it stands. Hence your uninformed and bitter comment.

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      • Rubber Duck says:

        The contract was arranged personally by that upstanding honest person Andrew Fahie ( aka prisoner number 645889) against the advice and wishes of the NSA , Joint task force and anyone who knows anything about security. $2 million is a joke ( except that it is our money ) for the useless barges that made sure none of Fahies alleged drug running pals were caught. The other person involved was the head of **!!!!!!!!

        And you think everything was honest and above board?

        Or are you, as seems likely, one of the participants in this scam?

        Like 76
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        • Hello???.... says:

          Rubber duck beginning to quack

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          • Rubber Duck says:

            The barges were deployed and payment made before there was any contract. The contract was only signed after money was paid.

            Fahie wanted to appear to do something , but nothing effective like the cheaper, permanent land based radars would have been.

            I think we know why.

            Like 21
        • @ rubher dick says:

          The question is are you one . You seem to know alot.

    • Jealous says:

      Jealous much? The owner gave himself that contract? No he didn’t and what does his family have to do with anything. You sound so stupid and but investigation… the owner for the shipping company didn’t give himself that contract and what about the 40 contractors that didn’t have a license? You just sounding like you jealous or are you a fan? Stop the hating and come with sense. What they gonna invest him for, accepting a contract? Then everyone need to investigate anyone that has been giving a contract in the last decade.

      Like 13
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      • Deh Watcha says:

        They will get to the wall which is also mentioned in the COI.

        This article is about the EZ Shipping contract. Everything is not about ‘jealousy’. This is about good governance, transparency and accountability in government. To which the utmost scrutiny should take place when handing out contracts.

        Let’s see what the investigation yields.

        One would think that you @jealous would be happy for EZ Shipping to have the chance to clear their name and reputation.

        Like 19
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        • @ deh watcha says:

          Yet another fool. It is not up to ezshipping to clear their name. They did not award the contract to themselves. It is up to the vip to justify the large amount. Either way if found it was unjust no party from the said company will get arrested or in trouble. Do you get that or do i have to spell it out further for you??sometime i wonder if you peiple think before getting on a public forum speaking nonsense. I think you are letting you hate get in the way of your thought process. Not a good look. Lmao

          Like 6
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          • Deh Watcha says:

            You need to understand contracts my friend, especially government contracts.

            But I will wait on the investigation if there is one.

      • confused says:

        You are so correct. Seems like they want an investigation into accepting contracts now?

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    • @hodgie says:

      Then all the 40 contractors from the school wall should also pay back or possibly jail? Your statement is one sided. Lol

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    • Boko Haram funding says:

      School children said the next group who the FBI are coming for is the ones who sending money by western union & Moneygram every week to scammers in Nigeria, Benin and USA. They will convince you they can do your job at a cheap price, take your deposit for materials, send it to their follow scammers and then give you 101 excuses saying the materials are delayed. This has gone on far too long and have raised interest by the FBI and other law enforcement groups. Ask anyone who has given the welder a job and you will hear the stories of his dirty ways and check western union, he’s always there begging people to send money, but he wouldn’t tell them he’s blocked for life because of how much money he’s been sending for years. And many of us have seen him outside Moneygram AND Western Union ALL THE TIME.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who spends money to line up a job?

        • 419 Scam Alert says:

          He’s a welder who will submit an estimate and will ask for a deposit to order the materials(then send the deposit to his fellow scammers). If you saw the Facebook scam page with his poster, you will see who he is and you will understand.

      • To Boko says:

        I know exactly who it is. And trust me, he is a very wicked and dishonest man. The poor company in San Juan is his scapegoat, he’s always blaming them and saying the materials are delayed…knowing very well that he sent the money to Nigeria and not Puerto Rico. Then he will wait until, he get another job and then use that deposit to cover the materials from the other job. Wicked sugar city man

    • Jim says:

      So messed up. Is everyone linked to government corruption?

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    • Seriously? says:

      Why should there be an investigation against the vendor? Nothing wrong with offering up solutions for problems . The investigation will be on the Government end for not going through the process of getting other quotes , due diligence.

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      • Crazy Joe says:

        Are you kidding? When the contract is made with a known cr**k , is for substantial sums with no tender process, is for totally ineffective and useless equipment and is made simply by word of mouth then every aspect needs to be investigated.

        The Honourable thing for the vendor to do would be to give the money back.

        Like 11
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        • Joe you crazy says:

          With a known Cr**k? Really ? Says who you and your rumors ? Please put the evidence forward – has that person ever been charged with anything …ever ???

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          • Rubber Duck says:

            Andrew Fahie made the contract. I think most people now beLieve he is a crook

    • sensi says:

      whats the connection between barges and a wig?

  2. Hodgie says:

    Let they pay back every $$$ plus prison term.

    Like 38
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    • Rosco says:

      Hodgie, you are a hater and a loser. A comment only a minimum wager would make. Stay in your lane.

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  3. Definitely needs investigation. says:

    How is it that a shipping company whose ship is equipped like all other similar ships with radar come to be involved in boarder security?

    What in that company’s background qualified them to provide boarder security for the country?

    Its seems to me that this company was not traveling in its own lane and apparently working outside/around the security council.

    Factoring in the disgraced Premier’s on going drug trafficking matter playing out now in a courthouse in Miami, it makes one wonder just why was it that the disgraced Premier decided to procure the questionable services of a shipping company to secure the boarder at a cost of 2 Mil vs accepting the free services of the UK navy?

    When Mr. Fahie is caught on audio/video stating he protects his people it now
    places such a statement in a totally different context considering his decision to hire that company.

    Something is not right with this picture? It definitely need delving into.

    Like 64
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    • Confused says:

      The only investigation needed to be had is into your stupidity. If your stupidity had any worth you would have been in competition with Elon Musk.

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      • @Confused says:

        Attempting to insult me is a fools’ errand, and would not stop any investigation from occurring as recommended by the COI, so don’t waste your time. I can see right thru you.

        Clearly I hit a nerve. No apologies. The fact that all you have are insults reinforce my thinking that indeed there needs to be an investigation into that EZ contract.

        If there is nothing to hide or is untoward, then you are good. If there is, then prepare to deal with the consequences and fall out.

        Have a good day.

        Like 18
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      • DryCrix says:

        @confused, you keep changing your moniker to hide the fact that you are glued to the computer defending the company in question. You want it to appear as if its multiple people posting responses. So lame and unoriginal. You are all sh**ting bricks right now. Keep hitting those keyboards hoping it will all go away. We are over here sipping tea and eating popcorn. Oh and minding OUR business because it is OUR tax paying money being blown away by greedy unscrupulous despots!

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        • Exactly my thoughts says:

          If nothing wrong was done I would think the company would welcome the opportunity to show everything was above board. The CoI certainly didn’t find so and I think that speaks volumes about the matter as opposed to someone trying to call everyone fools for posting obvious concerns about an unsolicited offer to provide a radar barge in the middle of the sea for a former premier now behind bars for drug dealing.

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    • Seriously? says:

      Do you realize other local shipping companies provided quotes for this job too ? You think you know it all , talking without all the facts. Let the investigation begin in order to bring forward the entire situation with the facts .

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  4. Police says:

    I can’t stay quiet anymore with all this misinformation going around. The job was done, and it was extremely effective for the people of the BVI. Despite all the false information given by the Former Governor and Police Commissioner to the COI as “truthful evidence”. I was around the table and I want to give my kudos to EZ Shipping.

    Like 6
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    • Heh. says:

      Then why hide behind a comment? If you were around the table and want to give kudos, give it with your true identity. It doesn’t mean much coming from a faceless commenter.

      Like 30
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      • Police says:

        Isn’t that the purpose of an anonymous blog? No need for hypocrisy or double standards. As far as I can see, you have not revealed your “true identity” either. So quiet down.

        Like 5
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    • Thank You says:

      Please collect your white envelope from the usual place.

      Like 12
      Dislike 1
    • Explain says:

      What do you mean “extremely effective”? Who did they catch? And, if they caught no one, that doesn’t make them effective.

    • Explain says:

      What do you mean “extremely effective”? Who did they catch? And, if they caught no one, that doesn’t make them effective. Would have cost nothing to have UK Navy floating around like they offered, but sounds like it might have been inconvenient. Better to spend the $ 2 mill

    • @Police says:

      you can probably explain why the radars were allegedly routinely switched off as we all passed them then…

    • hmm says:

      aren’t they are part of the operation thats y they got the darm contract?

  5. FROZEN ASSETS says:

    Check the zero customs and duty paid by Fr**en i**orts from the same family as the boats bring black market food landed on their own dock!!!!! All working together to their gain

    Like 25
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    • To frozen assets says:

      Careful now, you’re about to p**s off the customers who line up for their oxtail,porkchops and other goodies. People don’t care about a company’s wrongdoings, they just want that meat for the low $$$

      Like 10
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  6. heartbroken says:

    These crazy large amounts of money. No library on Tortola. No proper high school complex. No primary school in Carrot Bay. Roads are so rough all over the island. IF only that money was put into the people and the land! Pockets get fat without seemingly any regard for what the island needs. The ‘treading water’ feeling of working so hard – day in and day out- and not seeing progress. Just so sad. What is in the darkness, must come to light.

    Like 52
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  7. not cool says:

    Funny that the wife has a high position at Customs and was in Miami with the snakes AF & Rose same time. Do a thorough investigation. And find the truth. They all living high on the hog.

    Like 38
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    • Not cool is so dumb says:

      You’re so full of whatever it is eating inside of you, that if you took your time to understand and let your hurt heal, you would get it right.

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    • Not cool really? says:

      Clearly you don’t know who the w**e actually is or the individual you are speaking of. That person worked for tourism for years and is totally above board but keep up with the rumors the destroying of your people…exactly what UK want to see us do.

      Like 7
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    • confused says:

      Where do you people get your information from and are so bold to even state it on these ppl good internet? If only you could be charged for every untruth you utter some persons would remain quiet always. Get your facts straight next time please.

    • Not cool indeed says:

      Don’t you think she’d be in Miami lock up with the snakes if this was actually true? stop it with these rumors hurting innocent people.

  8. Mufeng says:

    Many will be going to prison

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  9. NO OFFENCE says:


    Like 21
  10. not cool says:

    me bad he wi*e has a high position under inmate Rose at Ports…just saying

    Like 5
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    • Under Rose says:

      If you actually knew the so-called w**e you would also know that she spoke/wrote against Rose. Knowing the so-called w**e she will have her Is dotted and her Ts crossed .

  11. Did they catch anyone? says:

    Give them $2 million and what the result? Take that money back! If the UK can take over BVI rule, we can demand the money back!
    We are all so foolish to let this happen and not do anything about it. We know who these people are. We know where they bank. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM

    Like 9
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    • Dod they catch anyone says:

      Unfortunately tht is not how it works. Seems like you know diff then you go and take it back. You can always tell the uneducated fools who just speak to air their mouths. . Speak with sense. Must every0ne know what an idiot your are.

      Like 2
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  12. Dredis says:

    Lock them up. Them corrupt and bring shame to de island. The governor have to reject Dr Wheatley proposal for a coalition government, because it is made up of the same corrupt characters.
    Follow the COI Governor, bring our island reputation back.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  13. Resident says:

    Poorly spent money, Radar on land would have cost a fraction and been more effective. the barges did not hinder any drug traffic, only harresed sail boats that crossed the line. i would venture to say the BVI government said NO to UK patrols because it would disrupt drug business.

    Like 14
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  14. talk that says:

    The biggest drug haul/bust in the BVI’s history occurred while those barges were hired

    Like 5
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  15. bigpicture says:

    I think we’re missing the bigger picture here. Fahie knew he had to control the borders for “security”, but there was probably a much more criminal purpose. What if Fahie was working to guarantee cocaine shipments back in 2020 and needed to be able to get safe passage of boats in and out during the lockdown? Having the UK navy provide border security and radar would have prevented any illegal activity (too hard to bribe Navy officials). So with the threat of the Navy being called, he immediately contacts his buddies and devises this plan to use friendly boats. Station the boats off the coast, pay the guys running the radars on the ships bridge during night shift a few thousand dollars to allegedly “ignore” certain blips on the radar and BAM! Drama free smuggling. Why else would you hire a shipping company to run security radar for you when the UK navy is free?

    Like 15
    • Big picture says:

      Nothing is free with the UK don’t be naive , this is all part of their big picture narrative that we’re all corrupt .

      Like 4
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  16. Shipping company says:

    One thing talktola wash them mouth on people and don’t know s**t those barges are constantly run engine or generator. Fuel costs money you got a crew whether it move or no food cost money nothing ain’t for free. I watch 4 captain build tortola. Cap. Stoutt, Cap Chalwell, Cap fahie, and Cap pickrin they were smart enough to build generation weath. Them work hard for them money. There family continues the business. Jealousy is a very dangerous thing in the bv. Stop being envious and covishous how many engineers in the bvi how many local welders how many local mechanics are there. Every body want but don’t want to do

    Like 12
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    • @ shipping company says:

      I do not know who you are but finally someone with sense. These bunch of jaysayers sit and watch what people have. Go work and maybe you to one day will be awarded a Gov contract 🤣🤣🤣🤣

      Like 7
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    • @ not cool says:

      Cut the bull about generators.

      Fact is they are not security and that 2 Mil could have gone towards rebuilding the school and infrastructure.

    • @ Shipping Company says:

      Cut the bull about generators.

      Fact is they are not security and that 2 Mil could have gone towards rebuilding the school and infrastructure.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • huh!? says:

      Nobody saying these people should not have money. We saying the barges were not needed for that purpose and we spend over 300k for no reason and that it should be investigated simple! play dumb if you want!

      Like 4
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    • hm says:

      OKAYYYY all that is well and good but explain to us the timing of the private request to our HONORABLE Fahie, one day after the governor suggested using the UK military ship…

      Explain to us all why an established upstanding BVI company with “generational wealth”

      would waste tax payers dollars to the tune of $2 million instead of telling Fahie you know what the UK ship would be better for us as a country, use the $2million to fund other covid expenses, or get the kids back in a decent school!

      To my eyes the family & friends are out in force defending possible corruption.

      One of Natures little secrets is it is hard to hide a secret on an island. The rumor mill has been running for a very long time.

      Its not about jealousy its about saving this country from the people who having been taking FULL advantage.

      Anything Fahie touched and used his discretion to decide upon is rightly up for question. Or do you all not care about the allegations….

  17. @ shipping company says:

    Not sure why everyone is rejoicing. When it all come down to it. MR.CHALWELL Will be fine. He just recieved the contract. He did not draw it up. Yall rejoicing like the man going to get arrested. Did I miss something??

    Like 5
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    • Exactly says:

      so incredibly ignorant… the investigation will be on the Government not the vendor . The shipping company said they could provide a service the Government agreed and the service was delivered. We may not agree with the service and everyone has an opinion about it but the barges were out on the water doing what was agreed. Tell me how exactly is the shipping company at fault here ?

  18. JM says:

    Vessel tracking archives….amazing resource….spend hours watching Russian mega yatches..going around in circles trying to find safe haven…the phone calls to officials must be priceless.

  19. What's the hold up says:

    Bring the Scotland yard guys let’s get going..

  20. shipping company says:

    It’s funny how the same names you mention are the same names in question for corruption.

  21. @Roscoe says:

    Stick to Chicken B….gtfo the comments with your none sense …Thats the problem with yall, every time someone speak against possible corruption or a criminal its they jealous this and that.. get your a out the comments and move along u psee..

    Like 2
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    • @ stick to chicken says:

      Whydont you gtf out of the comments. Just like you want THEM out you to can get out. WHAT YOU SAID MADE NO SENSE.. . But clearly you are some idiot looking airtime. TRY AGAIN PRINCESS. 🤣

      Like 2
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  22. @@ stick to chicken says:

    Lol air time huh?… Didn’t realise it was a radio or Tv show🤣🤣🤣.. Dumbo…gymsotfc…. Bye.

    • @@ Stick to Chicken says:

      lol…you took that so literal…it is clear to me what that person meant. Clearly . You seem like of those SAD locals out there trying and I repeat TRYING..:) Princess cracked me up!! lol

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