BVI News

Authorities accused of stealing hurricane supplies

Scene of destruction on Tortola caused by hurricane Irma. (Photo Credit: Ve-Anna Thomas).

While organizations continue to donate relief supplies to the hurricane-ravaged British Virgin Islands (BVI), reports have surfaced that some authorities responsible for distributing supplies have been turning away Caucasian residents and also stealing some supplies such as generators.

Junior Minister of Trade and representative of the Eighth Electoral District Marlon Penn, who is NOT among persons being accused of theft, said the government does not support such behaviour.

“That behaviour does not represent the views of myself or Honorable [Kedrick] Pickering as the representatives of Districts 7 and 8…nor is it the view of the premier [Dr D Orlando Smith] and his government. It will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly,” Penn said in a social media response to claims being made by some residents.

One resident, who also is Operations Manager for Fly BVI, Jeffery Brown, raised concern that the territory is at risk of not getting further assistance if Governor Augustus Jaspert or the government does not address the issue.

“Our little airline has flown in so much relief material; we can’t keep track. Yet, none of it has been given to the intended recipients. We will not continue to fly in needed materials if this continues,” Brown said, adding that other hurricane-affected countries would welcome the supplies.

Brown, in a post on social media, went as far as to claim that a particular parliamentarian – not Penn –  is among persons who have stolen generators.

“Now we have the…representative stealing two construction generators from the distribution depot for his own use. Those generators were sent specifically to aide in reconstruction of rooftops and structural repairs,” he said.

BVI News Online has been trying to contact the representative accused, but calls to his phones are not being answered.

Meanwhile, a disgruntled Caucasian resident has claimed that ‘whites’ in the BVI are not perceived as being needy of supplies.

He, in a social media post, said: “Whoever in [that] elite supermarket distributing aid and turning away people who are ‘white [and] therefore have money’ should be ashamed of themselves.”

Airline distances itself from claims about theft

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