BVI News

Local ferry operators could be prosecuted for offering to go shopping on USVI for BVI residents

Local ferry operators who have been offering residents services that involve them (the operators) accessing goods on land in the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands (USVI) could face possible prosecution.

This is according to Commission of Police Michael Matthews who said in a recent JTV News interview that this action places the BVI at risk to further spread the COVID-19 virus.

He said: “We know that some of the spread of this virus is no doubt connected to the fact that people have been nipping out and going across to the USVI in particular. When you see adverts by our ferry companies, for example, saying ‘hey, we’ll get you Kentucky Fried Chicken whilst we are in St Thomas’, what does that tell you about social responsibility?”

“Why would you be offering to add a service that might risk somebody going on to land and collecting an additional item that really isn’t an essential here? And that’s but one example of numerous ones that we come across,” the top cop said.

Likely to face courts

Commissioner Matthews said offering such services is a clear breach of the laws and rules associated with COVID-19 in the BVI.

“These people are blatant. They put it out on social media with numbers saying call us and we’ll go shopping for you in St Thomas … It is not authorised to do that and, frankly, some of those people are going to find them facing the magistrate as a result of those actions,” Matthews warned.

Social responsibility to report such incidents

The top cop further urged residents and business owners to report any such actions to the RVIPF to assist with investigations.

“Stop just leaving this to the police and to Customs and Immigration to enforce. Don’t you think it’s time we all took social responsibility as business operators [and] as responsible citizens to say, ‘this is not good enough’?”

“And for those people that are breaking the rules, you know who they are. You know who’s doing the runs over to St John and St Thomas with their boats. It’s time to tell the police who they are. Let’s get this stopped,” he added.

The BVI recently being classified as having clusters of COVID-19 cases in the territory has been linked to the smuggling of persons from the USVI, which has a total 1,030 positive cases. Some 215 of that total is currently active.

The BVI has 17 active COVID-19 cases.


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  1. Strupes says:

    Top s***ty news of the day when poor people feeling Covid all over de man. This man talking pure nonsense. Try get from here ma boy.

    Like 11
    Dislike 29
  2. Just my 2 cents says:

    Is this real news? If it is, its unbelievable and utter nonsense!

    Seems like this Covid thing is intended to create a police state.

    Why then give operators permission to traverse between the BVI and USVI in the first place? We may be told next that we cannot purchase goods online or from another country and have these shipped to the BVI, or even worst, we are banned from purchasing goods for or on behalf of a friend or neighbor.


    Like 14
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  3. Michael Pls says:

    Go lay down. Talking about nothing.

    People trying to feed their families and secure cash flow in their struggling businesses.

    If your Royal force was so worried why wasn’t y’all on the scene when the boats arrived west? There were numerous reported calls and a police station west. Horrid response time on display.

    Take accountability for your failure. Or leave your high paid position doing much of nothing. A bobble head.

    Like 15
    Dislike 15
  4. Idiot says:

    I wonder if this commissoner is aware that the operators has people working for them that lives in the usvi that is able to go and collect these merchandise and the ones that live in the bvi doesn’t have to leave

    Like 24
    Dislike 6
  5. Megaschmega says:

    So is it the ferry crew making the solicitations or is it private vessel operators? And who’s to say that someone on STT or STJ can’t do the shopping and deliver to the ferry for delivery to BVI? Everyone had a hustle before COVID19 and now especially during COVID19. Free KFC! No not free an adjective, free as a verb

    Like 6
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  6. Get he sk... T says:

    They need go look work from going on the news talking fiction he saw any ferry members go KFC stupess

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  7. Worse / Worst says:

    Why do we always get these words the wrong way around?

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  8. NIGHT OWL says:

    Why open back up a police station at west end and no police in the station to answer a more urgent phone call same time most needed.
    or was this a set up unknown to what was taken place at same time in a smart way.

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
  9. nightowl says:

    who was watching the police them and give boat tip to come straight to dock as if they come in to customs and clearing under faults pretend of raider from camera up in he sky.
    same time there are still dirty cops on force.
    set up.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  10. NOT the ferries alone says:

    There are water taxis offering to bring people over on AirBnB. They come in through West End and passports get stamped. Water taxis are almost all from the USVI so don’t blame BVI Ferries alone.

    Like 6
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  11. Wow says:

    From the comments you can see how ignorant and foolish people can be. People acting like this virus does not exist…with the numerous cases in the USVI how can you not think it’s possible that it can spread from there to the BVI. Some of you will meet your deaths just for a bucket of KFC…what a thing

    Like 18
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  12. KFC hero says:

    Government not going to arrest this guy. They probably give him a metal! He a, ‘barn here’, hero. Man need his chicken extra crispy. There are no consequences to any of this. Just give the man one of those no-pay-back ‘Small Business Loans’ and move on. He probably need some coin to by more KFC.
    This existing Magistrate process takes 2 months to process the paperwork for any ‘Arrest’. It is a GIANT joke. The BVI laws don’t allow tickets to be issued for on-the-water violations. If it did then these police might arrest a local person! better to bury the whole thing in bureaucratic paperwork and make it go away.
    We will all be dead…but we will have an Extra Crispy last meal!

    Like 7
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  13. He says:

    You need to learn nothing will ever stop Caribbean people to get there KFC. Not even covid.
    it is what it is

    Like 12
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  14. did someone say Kentucky Fried Chicken? says:

    I’m hungry. Pass the bucket.

    Whomever is bringing in the Kentucky Fried Chicken, I need two buckets. Call me @ 4-3567.

    If Commish is nice, and promises not to put me in jail, ill give him a leg and a thigh. 🙂

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  15. @KFC hero says:

    Its called a grant not a loan. And bout time they disperse some of the cheese in the community instead of in concrete. Money is the root of evil but to be poor is a crime.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  16. Is that so says:

    Wont it be better if there is a franchise operating right here in the BVI?

    We don’t need to be placing the ferry operators in jeopardy, plus, the money circulating right here.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  17. What? says:

    So when you saw the flyers being circulated, why not address it then? Chupzzz…. And what’s the difference between collecting KFC from whoever or wherever, and collecting other cargo from whoever and wherever??? It’s all coming from the same island. I’m not understanding.

    Like 11
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  18. omg says:

    When was the last time anyone offered to bring in KFC not since before the first lockdown borders have been closed. Doesn’t he realize people have families in the USVI that can send it on the ferries just like they can with food items. Commissioner you are grabbing at straws in 100 mph wind. You know what the real problem is go try to solve it from spewing nonsense

    Like 3
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  19. peace says:

    Yes, we poor and hungry …need to fatten up on KFC. Give me break! We not poor….Govt. tells us we need to gamble and grow weed. Ghastly way to put money in their coffers.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  20. Time for half salary.. says:

    These people locking down the country continue to get pay…They dont have no care no empathy for tbe thousands that suffering….Its time for them to get half salaries.

  21. LION says:

    What will be the charge Mick?

  22. Disinterested says:

    The Commish is spewing pure bull crap. Is the Commish saying that KFC and other food items from Rock are laden with Covid-19? And if so why ferry operator(s) is allowed to ply the seas between BVi-USVI to collect and transport dry goods and other cargo, while trying to generate some legit cash flow during the Covid-19 economic slowdown ? Permission allowed, does the Commish not expect there to be interaction between ferry crew and USVI cargo suppliers?

    Is the Commish sure that ferry operator(s) is taking orders and personally going ashore in Rock and collecting KFC? The Commish is behaving like a Simpleton and his posited argument is illogical. If KFC is a permitted import, what is the silly argument if it comes thru the front door? Is the Commish just trying to get in the news cycle? Does the BVI have serious violent and property crimes to solve? How many unsolved murders are there in the BVI? Bring some closure to the community and families and stop being a media wh….e. Go siddung wid yur idiotic nonsense.

    Human smuggling is a serious and deadly issue, not safely procuring and legitimately importing KFC into the BVI. Go work close up with Customs and Immigration to provide 24/7 monitoring of the border, especially the western border, to deter illegal activity and to apprehend violators of rules and regulation. And oh, no whining that you don’t have enough manpower. Which manager man or woman up and say that he/she has the manpower yet cannot get things done? None. He/she names red herring, shiny object excuses. How about more effective leadership and management of RVIPF resources.

  23. The Nation says:

    Michael Mathews…why you never say anything about it til now. That been on for months and only now you talking. You are a part of the problem. Go deal with your officers who you know you need to deal with and leave good people alone. SMH

  24. Really? says:

    Oh my! Will the BVI ever open to tourism? If it does, it may close again if someone sneezes in public. Good to be safe, but can’t stay closed forever. Just practice the recommended safety precautions.

  25. Interested says:

    The ferry operators do not heed to go and buy the fried chicken,I just call my relation St Thomas,they go and purchase and put it on the boat. where is the broken law ?

  26. yyyy says:

    remember big bob chicken mmmmm

  27. Stay Woke says:

    The Commissioner is just trying to take the heat off of the fact that he failed to respond to a call of not one but two vessels smuggling persons into the BVI. Commissioner, you cant address the fact that yall received multiple calls concerning that, have a station in West, officers in west, police transport in west, but yet failed to respond to that call. But you want to prosecute ferry companies for “risking” the lives of the people of the BVI by bringing in KFC? No man you can’t be serious. I would think that the personnel of those companies would have in place persons who can do that and just deliver whatever, (just like they receive the cargo and mail) with limited contact.
    Rethink your words Mr Commissioner.

  28. @Get he sk... T says:

    What a pathetic comment. If you don’t believe it then all you have to do is all watch all the people meeting the ferry and then walking away with KFC. Duh!

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