BVI News

‘I can only apologise’ — Top cop clarifies ‘unexplained wealth’ statement

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews (foreground). File Photo

Outgoing Police Commissioner Michael Matthews has apologised to persons who were offended by his recent statements about the link between unexplained wealth and criminal activity in the BVI.

After a recent spate of murders in the BVI, Commissioner Matthews reiterated the need for new legislation to nab persons with unexplained wealth as many of them are linked to the illicit drug trade which often leads to violent crimes in the community.

This statement generated much discussion in the community and some saw it as racist and an attack on Virgin Islanders who have worked hard to acquire real estate and other valuable assets over the years.

“I am not talking about the honest, hardworking BVIslanders who’ve built their homes from scratch and are enjoying the benefits of their hard work now. But that’s how it came out through somebody else’s eyes and ears and I have to accept that. Because if that’s what some black people thought this white guy was saying, I can only apologize. That’s not what was intended,” Commissioner Matthews said on a recent edition of the Honestly Speaking radio show.

Although he apologised, the Commissioner said he stands by his statement that there are unscrupulous persons amassing wealth and contributing to crime and violence in the community.

What I am talking about and it is a fact, and it’s not a pleasant fact that everyone wants to admit to because it includes some BVIslanders. But not just BVIslanders, it is across the place. There are some people living here in the BVI today who do have a significant amount of assets, and it is difficult to look at those people with the same lens and say, ‘oh yes you could see that their family built that empire up and their great-grandfather and their grandfather built that up’. It isn’t like that in certain cases,” the Commissioner explained.

 

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8 Comments

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  1. No apology necessary says:

    Nothing to apologise for, Commissioner!! Stop pandering to these self-righteous ostriches. You speaking TRUTH. I’m a proud BVIslander and I know what you saying is truth. If we not ready to face reality, that’s our problem, not yours. Wish some of our elected officials would speak THE TRUTH. They are cowards. They don’t want to offend anybody. The truth is refreshing. The cat our of the bag. We are happy for the COI and we appreciate your straight honesty!! Only when we accept we have a problem can we fix it.

    Like 28
    Dislike 4
    • Another proud BVIslander says:

      I second the motion. And if income from car rentals, and others masquerading
      businesses, do not match, inquiring minds still need to know.

      Make them prove it.

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
    • Truth says:

      The ones who were offended are the ones who have friends in illegal trades, so they know exactly their friends is the type of ppl the commissioner speaks of.

  2. BuzzBvi says:

    Absolutely nothing to apologise for. Those BVIslanders and anyone in fact that, “…. have worked hard to acquire real estate and other valuable assets over the years.” will be able to show that the wealth is explainable.
    It is really important now to find out how so many big fast boats with big engines and other items like big houses, expensive cars, Gold and Diamonds that are commonly out of reach of an office worker or cleaner, or the unemployed, seem to be in the hands of so many here. That is what the Police want to find out and that is what the honest citizens of the VI would also like to know. That or the name of the suppliers of these things at such discount prices we should all be buying them. Time for unexplained wealth orders sanctioned and welcomed by the Government. Why would the Government not welcome that?

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  3. Patriotic bvi says:

    Amen to that.

  4. Demonic Cat says:

    The commish have a point

  5. Anonymous says:

    Those that were offended wanted to be offended simply because of who said it but in my opinion he hit the nail on the head he should have mentioned corruption in that statement as well. And yes I am born and raised in the B.V.I. and none of my parents or grandparents or there’s are from another island.

  6. Peace says:

    Those that were offended wanted to be offended simply because of who said it but in my opinion he hit the nail on the head he should have mentioned corruption in that statement as well. And yes I am born and raised in the B.V.I. and none of my parents or grandparents or there’s are from another island.

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