BVI News

COI report: Vet all Customs and Immigration officers urgently!

Her Majesty’s Customs

The Commission of Inquiry (COI) report has called for an urgent vetting of some of the territory’s law-enforcement agencies.

Particular focus was given to Her Majesty‘s (HM) Customs and the Immigration Department.

In the report, Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom said he could not exclude the possibility that corruption may exist among officers in HM Customs and the Immigration Department.

“The environment in each – but particularly the former – is conducive to such,” Sir Gary said.

As a remedy, Sir Gary recommended that “independent vetting of all current HM Customs and Immigration Officers at all levels needs to be undertaken on an urgent basis.”

“Such vetting,” he said, “should include confirming whether there has been a failure to disclose information such as a second job or a conflict of interest which, if it had been disclosed, would compromise the individual’s ability to fulfil his or her role and whether the officer has made proper financial declarations.”

Sir Gary also suggested ringing changes within the BVI’s police force and prison service but noted they need not be included in the vetting exercise unless otherwise recommended by an ongoing review.

“On the assumption that the ongoing reviews in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) and HM Prison Service will undertake or recommend vetting, those bodies need not be included in this exercise,” Sir Gary said.

He continued: “If that is not the case, then the RVIPF and HM Prison Service should also be subject to the same process. As well as providing reassurance to the BVI public, the outcome of this process will inform the wider review I have recommended.”

According to Sir Gary, Police Commissioner (CoP) Mark Collins was already conducting appropriate investigations into corruption within the RVIPF with a view to identifying and removing any officers who are corrupt and (if appropriate) prosecuting them.

“In my view, given the risk of such corruption also within HM Customs, I consider that those investigations should extend to HM Customs,” the Commissioner wrote.

The Commissioner said it is vital that the public have confidence in the integrity of HM Customs, and such an investigation will assist in engendering that confidence.
He suggested that the investigations should be made by officers appointed to the task by the CoP, and should be independent of HM Customs.

“Such investigations should only extend to the Immigration Department if the CoP considers such an extension appropriate. I do not make a positive recommendation that there should be such an investigation into that department,” Sir Gary added.


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  1. Facts! says:

    Seems like sound advice to me. Don’t forget the police force too tho.

    Like 56
    Dislike 1
    • Labor says:

      Labor is the worse for taking BRIBE from business owners. Next time i will call names on who is holding the work permits hostage and pass through friends who paid their way through.

      Like 36
      • Deh Watcha says:

        You late.

        You should have given it to the COI when they were asking for anyone with information to come forward.

        Like 18
        • Labor says:

          @Deh Watcha, so you all can put me under the dust like Bob. Remember Crime cases cannot be solve here. Am not st*p*d.

  2. white rule says:

    Strange how the police is not on this list

    Like 20
    Dislike 7
    • Hmmm says:

      Why is it you simple minded few when asked to do something can only counter with “why not some other group as an excuse”…..

      Like 5
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      • @ Hmmm says:

        We know the police force is full of corruption… so you saying it’s simple minded to question why we should be investigating everyone else but them!?

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    • Strong case says:

      They will be dealt with differently

  3. wow says:

    all because of government official 1

    Like 35
    Dislike 1
  4. Places says:


  5. No Kidding says:

    And this needs to be done NOT by the same corrupt staff of BVI. Bring in the British and have a heavy hand. Enogh of these phony local “investigations”

    Like 53
    Dislike 2
  6. Please says:

    Please please hurry shuffle all of them also airport seaport any and all those departments that is attached especially those so call boards

    Like 27
  7. SMH says:

    C.O.P.has lots more to do in cleaning up the RVIPF. Don’t come but he conducting some investigations.

    If you calling for Investigation into Customs and Immigration Officers, there is definitely NEED to VET ALL Police Officers to include Former Commissioner. Ain’t going be no mud slinging and side stepping NO corruption.

    While at it don’t forget Airport and Ports Authority.

    Land Registry! Persons building on Property they claim is theirs. What was the procedures taken in claiming such? How did they obtain a Deed for such?

    Town Planning! How can folks be building right up to Access Roads on Property that’s not theirs. How can these be approved, yet when someone in the Community building addition on to their house on their Ptoperty, they be ordered to cease and desist any further work.

    I can go on and on, but no sense in just attacking for lack of a good term.

    If you going sweep, take the Time to sweep well!

    Like 34
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  8. Cameforthenews_Stayforthecomments says:

    Hey just wanna say I love your copy and paste reporting!

    Like 6
    Dislike 4
    • Hvvv says:

      They always do that. I sickens me.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
      • Hmmmmm says:

        But how many people actually going to sit down with the CoI report and read it? Maybe some copy/paste is needed here so that more people can read what’s being going on.

        Like 9
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    • @came for the news... says:

      Agreed. Breaking down the report into small chunks on a daily basis helps us all understand the different issues.
      Thank you.

  9. Unexplained Wealth Act says:

    The USA has the RICO act and what do we have here? How can the law and powers that be ignore all the illicit wealth acquired over the years constantly on public display? Customs and ports have always been on the payrolls of the puppet masters; some of which head up departments themselves.

    The public is anxiously watching to see how these threats to National security and the quality of life for the BVI citizens are finally dealt with meaningfully!

    Like 22
  10. Opportunity for all says:

    Its about time something was done about immigtation and customs. Many have abused their power and played a part in human AND drug smuggling. A lot of the young officers in customs thrive off of illegal activities and they don’t hide it, they flash their bling and big ride like it’s a prize. I remember when the immigtation officer was using the government stamp like it was his own SMH. The swamp needs to be drained.

    Like 21
  11. Rubber Duck says:

    Start at the top

    Like 24
  12. ... says:

    the police is under the white man it will never be investigated

    Like 6
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    • @... says:

      The COI report states that the RVIPF are already under a separate investigation. Please get your facts right – race/color or nationality is irrelevant!

  13. tax payer says:

    the customs department and Immigration needs to be gone through. their involvement in the barges and look at unexplained wealth all from top to bottom.
    if people are clean they should have no problem with that. after all they work for us the people not for themselves

    Like 16
  14. Jail says:

    All these fake law enforcement officials in Customs and Immigration are guilty until proven innocent so lock them all up during the ‘investigations’ The few who are proven innocent may be released but the majority should be held in jail with no bail until their trials commence.

    Like 10
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  15. Well saw says:

    Well the police and the prison guards falls under the governor and that’s why they are exempt from the vetting, this is so unfair and bias

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  16. Bvilander says:

    Why would anyone come onto this platform and leave such a heartless comment as you ppl of the Tortola it jealousy,envy,grudge against each other or it is simply that you not getting any of the action.

    Like 3
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    • Madea says:

      Cos some how drugs and guns get into this country of ours and it aint by normal folk. And has anyone been charged for all of the murders yet over the nearly 5 years since the hurriane – no – why is that?

    • BVIslander says:

      If you were a true Bvilander, you would not have made such reference as ‘you ppl of the Tortola do’. Where exactly do you belong.

  17. Madea says:

    Anyone find this is just unbelievable – when we come in by ferry or plane the customs officer go through our bags and everything. The old miserable guy at the ferry told me off for stepping half an inch over the yellow line and no-one in front of me and the power gone to his head and treated like criminals but their own immigration officers now to be vetted – the guns and drugs get to BVI somehow and its not through us normal people because all we searched.

    Like 19
  18. Investigate says:

    Yes!!! Investigate. Check out how some folks are doing business, acting as middle-man agents, getting paid for the service, to “facilitate” permits with their own agency: such as

  19. Guest says:


  20. That's a Job for Britain.. says:

    This is music to the Ears. This is urgently needed. I don’t think it can be effectively done by locals, too much family and friends tie…Britain please we need you to come in’s our only hope..

    Like 6
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  21. concern a lot says:

    how nobody told me the one ex-post office was picked up by fed for questioning.

  22. gj says:

    they all run strip clubs/gambling. laundry services.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
    • My personal experience.. says:

      I am oppressed by an administrative staff. 40 plus years and my file can’t be found. I wrote the governor, So they have to account…I am so happy this is going down. Time for the oppression and victimization to stop.

  23. Nemo says:

    Who is going to vet these people? We need to bring Scotland Yard in and push the restart button. And why not bring in the Four Seasons Hotel management team to teach them how to treat our visitors politely? Tourism could be our largest source of revenue.

  24. Dont forget the administrative staff says:

    Lots of the corruption and oppression come from the administrative staff. They too must be a part of the vetting and the investigation…

  25. Lol says:

    Can we look around and see that the Police is the only Department that is trying their best to investigate their own.
    Look around and see how much Police officers that were arrested and charged.
    So me or tell me that compare to the amount of Police officer that was arrested and charge for in the past 5 to 10 years tell me how much Immigration and Customs officer that was arrested and charge.

    Remember it is the jury that found them not guilty and they surely wasn’t paid. Also remember that it was foreign Police that investigated the matter.

    You all talk about former Police to be investigated ok go right ahead.

    But people please take note of this one. Please please, will like you all to know that the present acting Deputy Commissioner of Police would not even be in the Police Force much less to be in that position if she wasn’t from the BVIs base on what is known about her and was push under the rug.

    For those people that is old enough to remember what happened when she was employed at the Post Office. Think.

    Like 1
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  26. Oh boy says:

    Come off the Police Back they are doing way way better than Immigration and Customs. They are investigating and arresting their own. Immigration and Customs surely do not do that. How much Police that was on all you Barge.
    I believe one of the best thing that can be done to help with this immigration and customs problem is to do what they did in the U.S.V.s couple years ago.
    They brought in office from Puerto Rico and the Main Land ( U.S.A.) to be at the Port.

    So I am suggesting for them to bring in immigration and Customs officers from other Overseas Territory or even England for at least 0ne year.

    I am not a Police but I that there is so much more corruption in immigration and customs than Police but it is because most Police officers are not from the British Virgin islands you all are always targeting them.

    Look at Customs in Road Town. There is particular guy who is not a immmigration, Customs or a Port worker but is always there moving and taking out cargo to people that wasn’t even check by customs.

    To make a long story short. The dam thing needs to be shuffled.

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  27. Things to talk says:

    Why is government official still on the job ?Why is the lady commissioner who is living with the drug smuggler still in such position?
    What about the one who has a car rental by the gas station??????

  28. Charm says:

    Bvi news hot 🔥 action pack

  29. Crooks says:

    BVI Customs = CROOKED!

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