BVI News

Gov’t considered convicted rapist for Belongership on humanitarian grounds — Wheatley

Tracking Transparency

Labour & Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley

The governing Virgin Islands Party administration considered at least two convicted felons for Belongership at the start of its term in 2019. 

None of the applicants were named, but when the matter was raised before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) yesterday, September 28, it was disclosed that one of the applicants, who was a convicted rapist serving a 10-year sentence in the United States, and had roots in the BVI. 

The other person who was considered was reportedly not born in the territory but had lived in the BVI for more than 30 years. 

Immigration Minister, Vincent Wheatley, who appeared before the COI yesterday, said the considerations made by government were done primarily on a ‘humanitarian’ basis. 

The COI was further told that the considerations were made in 2019 at a time when government sought to regularise through its fast track initiative, the status of hundreds of applicants that had been waiting for years. 

Back then, Premier Andrew Fahie cautioned that he was not condoning the crime of rape, but said the BVI was the only place that one of the applicants had ever known as their home. 

I have no recollection of what happened 

Premier Fahie said back then that the applicant’s parents had made representation to him and informed him that the US court was even willing to have the convict serve their sentence in the BVI. 

At the time, the Premier and his ministers conferred on the matter and agreed that it should be deferred for three weeks. 

While conceding that he remembered the cases very well, Minister Wheatley said that he could not recall whether the persons under consideration were ever granted the status that was being sought. 

This was despite being pressed on the fact that he considered the circumstances to be unique and an anomaly.

Applicants were of good character

Wheatley, in his evidence said he was familiar with at least one of the criminals all his life, having attended school with the person. 

“This is sympathy. This is somebody I went to school with, who I guess, was caught up in a situation,” the Minister told the COI. 

He added: ”We just thought it was the humane thing to do in this case and these are things you do almost against your better judgment, so to speak, but the humanitarian in us said this is probably the right thing to do.”

Wheatley said he knew the parents of the rapist very well and described them as upstanding persons. 

“We were just trying to be sympathetic to their cause to have their son here with them. So that’s what that was,”

He further told the COI that he made an assessment that the two applicants were of ‘good character’. 

“Notwithstanding the situation, they were. Things happen to persons … It was a sympathy call more than anything else — just to bring some relief to families,” Wheatley said. 

BVI no dumping ground for criminals 

The Attorney General at the time advised that the issue was up to the discretion of the Cabinet. 

Furthermore, the Act requires applicants under the specific category to be ordinarily resident in the BVI for a period of at least 20 years, likely barring those applicants if they had been serving their sentences for some time. 

Meanwhile, Cabinet chair and acting governor at the time, Rosalie Adams cautioned against giving any consideration to the issue. 

“While we want to be sympathetic to these persons, what was the plan for further rehabilitation for them?” Adams is reported to have asked in Cabinet.

The Chairman further stated that the BVI should not be a dumping ground for persons who did not behave in a good manner while overseas or considered a place that was a home for non-law abiding citizens. 

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66 Comments

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  1. Moo moo says:

    Convicted rapists are not of ‘Good Character’

    Like 81
    Dislike 3
    • Cathy says:

      Indeed. What “humanitarian grounds” he is speaking about. The US and other countries deport Bvi belongers with criminal background all the time. I see people I have never seen before and learn they were deported from the US. There is even a deportee from Antigua who was taken as a baby to Antigua. He failed to be an upstanding citizen in Antigua and they put him on a plane to his birthplace where he knew nothing about.

      Furthermore, those are adults Wheatley is speaking about. There parents’ character should not be considered here because obviously they have no control over their adult children who conduct themselves in a manner that caused them to go to prison.

      The Bvi needs leaders who do not interfere with the policies and procedures. The problem is the leaders are always in campaign mode and counting votes so they are always granting favours and would not let people fo their jobs.

      Like 46
      Dislike 1
    • Holier than thou.. says:

      BVI is a breeding ground of prostitution, rapists, drug dealers, whores, criminals, corruptions, false prophets, incest, crime, illegal gambling, human trade. Let’s keep this an honest discussion..

      Like 19
      Dislike 5
      • Malone says:

        You forget f**s, this place crawling with them.

        Like 3
        Dislike 1
      • Future says:

        When you dont know the full story what is presented to you can be quite one sided. When expats come here to live and their children are babies that live here all their lives, if they commit a crime you say deport them? The government was presented with allowing this person to come to the only home he probably knew. Yes, we have criminals in our society and if the Immigration laws were different before the 30 years, the person would have probably been a citizen. I can see if that is the reasoning they used why it was considered. Just answer the question, where would the guy have gone? What country?

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
      • Yep says:

        Very first action by … ,was yahoos,hook up up a direct flight from BVI to the # 1human trafficking drug and prostitution capital,namely,the Dominican Republic.Its not enough that this group is the largest immigrant demographic on the VI. Nada positive contribution to which you could ascribe to them. NOT ONE

    • Doh says:

      Al I have to say

      Bahahahahahahahahaha

      Repeat

  2. Wow says:

    Something is seriously wrong with the people running this country.

    Like 84
    Dislike 2
    • @Wow says:

      Stop the noise, not a f**king thing wrong with us, but something is HORRIBLY WRONG with the voters and guess what? After some fried food, loud music and street cleaning contracts they will be re-elected for another 4 years. The BVI voters have no f**king shame, just like to come on the blogs and FB pretending to care but they really don’t give a s**t about anything except themselves. Schools look like s**t holes but we barely hear anything, millions given away to fully paid, full time government and other workers who were neither fishermen nor farmers and not a peep. We had so many choices at election and we choose the people that made noise and called names so deal with it.

      Like 49
      Dislike 1
  3. Rubber Duck says:

    It’s not the law in BVI, it’s not the rules, it’s not what you do.

    It’s who you know.

    Like 40
  4. local says:

    I am so shame of my Government mission!!
    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like 34
    Dislike 1
  5. SMH says:

    Being convicted on rape doesn’t ( truly) means that a rape had occurred. Only the Perpetrator and alleged victim knows the real circumstances( especially in USA). As for BVI being dumping grounds for criminals. Wake Up and look in the Communities!

    Like 6
    Dislike 50
    • Errrr..... says:

      Being convicted of rape does kinda mean, errrr…. that you’ve been convicted. And it’s conviction that is the trigger for disqualification. Except in this case…..

      Like 34
    • WTF says:

      It means that a jury of your peers has decided, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it DID occur. If you have a better way of determining this after the fact, the democratic countries of the world would like to know.

      Like 26
    • huh says:

      You must be the rapist.

  6. Revolting says:

    Yes, things do ‘happen to people’… the girls they raped! Where is the companion and sympathy for the actual victims of their crimes? Knowing their ordeal has been reduced to bring welcomed home to their sunny island with a reward that many of us spend 20+ years earning by contributing to the bvi. Raping people does not ‘happen to you’ and is not a ‘situation’ you find yourself in if you are a decent human being. Disgusted.

    Like 35
    Dislike 1
  7. wow indeed! says:

    So a CONVICTED FELON can be granted or even considered for “sacred” belongers status here, applying while serving his prison sentence at that, not even after the sentence has been spent, because after all he is still apparently of good character in the eyes of our government and his parents have clout here. But a person who has lived and worked here for 30 plus years, clean record, hard working, serving the community, stayed through Irma continued to work and live here has to wait years, then beg and grovel and almost lose all dignity and may or may not get it! We are really going to hell in a basket under this “unconventional leadership” because we have given power to an absolutely clueless and wicked set ah people! God help us.

    Like 83
    Dislike 1
  8. Anonymous says:

    Cousin Vinny over hear just looking out for the family…they are ‘good people’. He sounds more like a gangster than an elected official. Then again listening to the lot of them, whether VIP or NDP, they all seem like gangsters

    Like 44
    Dislike 1
  9. Jimmy Jowe says:

    Cousin Vinny over hear just looking out for the family…they are ‘good people’. He sounds more like a gangster than an elected official. Then again listening to the lot of them, whether VIP or NDP, they all seem like gangsters

  10. ... says:

    It have people here who LITERALLY only know the BVI as home. here for over 30 plus years and have to fight to get status. I’m shocked at the BS I just read. My poor BVI, ah shame!

    Like 27
  11. Old Etonian says:

    BVI Immigration act section 16 clause g “ or if you went to school with him old boy”??????

    Like 32
    Dislike 1
  12. VG68 says:

    This is just not right. If one is a convicted rapist, it doesn’t matter who the person is or family are there should be no Belanger status granted.

    Like 29
  13. Revoke says:

    All of those that got status during that regularizing fiasco needs to be revoked then reviewed carefully. Those jokers took our sacred right and devalued it.

    Like 19
    Dislike 6
  14. TurtleDove says:

    Was there even a legal path for this or they making it up as they go. How shameful…..what about the person he raped and their family?

    Like 26
  15. Vw says:

    God is a great God,look how they expose their wicked ways.vw just concedes there is nothing for you to try to justify. It is morally wrong. You are victimizing law biding citizens for criminals. WICKEDNESS TO THE HIGHEST DEGREE.

    Like 18
  16. Please tell me says:

    I need to know who this family is that have this kinda influence over the cabinet morons.

    Like 26
    Dislike 1
  17. SMH says:

    This is SICK!!!!

  18. Crazy says:

    Heard they are white people

    Like 4
    Dislike 7
  19. LG says:

    Dosent matter if white green or blue a rapist is a rapist.

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  20. COI says:

    If it wasn’t for the COI, we wouldn’t have known! No wonder they finding all kinds of things to get COI to stop their inquiry. Gussie where are you? Thank you!

    All in the dark soon come to light. WICKEDNESS cannot stay hidden for too long. God’s word must come true – all in the dark WILL come to light!

    Like 35
  21. @ HI LADY SHAREEN says:

    Instead of picking up arms to go and fight the UK / how about you opening your eyes and start the battle here first (after all the COI has exposed , YOU STILL READY GO TO WAR ? ? CHILD you cannot be serious

    Like 13
  22. Our Politicians need some rest says:

    Britain will soon relieve them of their pains and their pride. So they can go and long vacation and find themselves…They so out of touch and very clue less.

  23. LB says:

    If this isn’t enough to vote out the entire VIP, then I don’t know what is! They have “humanity” for rapist and ex convicts, but victimized and continue to victimize their own indigenous people. Fire long standing employees, for opposing their political parties, leaving people unable to feed their families. But can sympathize with allowing convicted rapists and thieves with little or no ties to the BVI, to roam among us and our children. VIP has to go..all of them! They all Sat and agreed with this or stayed silent. They are all accomplices to this travesty.

    Like 16
  24. F*y says:

    Why do you think there is a certain Lawyer always bashing the COI on behalf of Gov’t. Go back and read from the first time the COI was announced then fast forward. GO FIGURE…..

    Like 23
  25. reality says:

    Once he did such a crime he can easily repeat his act upon another person! no excuse

    this crap is just another reason why we need the COI

    • Hmmmmmmm says:

      Oh this same young man did a crime before that made international news. Supposedly for vandalism of cars and some street signs. Was sentenced to 6 cane lashes that was reduced to 4. Daddy dearest was up in arms.

      Do like one of the bloggers said above and do a little digging the lights are sure to come on ?

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
  26. Bull Shit says:

    Bring back DA and some others because I went school with them

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  27. Gaslighting says:

    I watched this session and observed for myself this “Minister” squirming and referring to those two convicts as “good people with good character”. I watched Sir Gary swiveling his head back and forth with every word this guy was saying.

    And the more I listened, the more I realized that madness is the norm in the BVI and it is regular people like me that need medical treatment.

    Yes it was D9 that elected him, but there must be a way for us from other districts to have him removed from representing the territory in any ministerial capacity.

    Like 20
    Dislike 2
    • Hmmmmmmm says:

      While I agree with you it’s CABINET that made the decision. Not him alone. So for the record it’s D1, D7, D5, D9 and the entire territory for the at large member. Just saying ?

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
      • Ning says:

        Including the Governor.
        I would like the people of the BVI to put aside your differences for a minute take the time and have a good look at what was accomplished in the UK, with admitted half truths, out right lies and innuendos to achieve a desired outcome and done to their own.
        Sensationalizing and stirring the pot for a desired outcome.

        Dislike 10
      • Mr. T says:

        @Hmmmmm

        The point was not about who made the decision. It was about this government minister saying (before the whole world) that a convicted rapist had good character. He never justified this by saying he believed the convict was innocent.

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
  28. Eyes wide shut says:

    The minister only gives us an insight on how they think about wrong doing. They sympatizes with wrong doers. Vincent and the gang is destroying the BVI.

    Like 10
  29. Unbelievable says:

    Ministers should be resigning over this!

    Like 13
  30. Vote them out says:

    This government needs to go

  31. Missing the point. says:

    The point is not about the crime. It is about why this individual was fast tracked to get “Belongership” when many others such as teenagers who grew up here and now 18+ still do not get any status!

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  32. Old boy says:

    He said he went school with him so he should know if he is here in the bvi.
    Trust me on this one.

  33. Ting to talk says:

    Vw run and left his pants. His w***edness catches him and exposes him to the public.

  34. Say It Ain’t So says:

    N dem send me away for something I didn’t do n because I decided to work because I lost interest in school wow what a thing to tell the king??‍♂️??‍♂️

  35. Culture says:

    It is indeed sad. There are jobs/churches/schools right here in the V.I. that play an active role to cover up sexual harassment and assaults. Then persons wonder why victims are afraid to come forward.

  36. SNAFU says:

    Now you all can understand why a certain “cue sea” was pounding the drum for the set of COI lawyers to stop, which would have resulted in alternate facts, and to the disenfranchisement of the best interest to the people of this territory.

    The alleged relative was sentenced to 10 years in a New York jail, but his presumed father had applied to have him serve it on the British Virgin Islands, a location where the supposed family have another home.

    Cronyism at its best and Rapists in the mist. Vote differently please!

    I agree 1000% with the bobble headed response of Sir Gary and Councillor in their questioning.

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