BVI News

Nearly $12k per day for barges to assist with border security

EZ Shipping’s Midnight Czar. (Facebook photo)

Over a one month period, the BVI government racked up a $360,000 bill for two barges which it hired to secure the territory’s sea borders by serving as radar platforms.

At its February 17 Cabinet meeting, leaders retroactively approved the sum to be paid to EZ Shipping Limited which had provided the two barges for the period from December 23, 2020, to January 22, 2021.

This means that each day, the two barges together cost the BVI roughly $11,600.

The government hired barge operators last year to use their radar equipment to assist in detecting smuggling activity.

And at its recent Cabinet meeting, the government defended the spending, noting that “the previous contract with EZ Shipping Limited resulted in improved border security measures that are quantitatively successful in deterring illicit border activity.”

The government also said the presence of the barges has resulted in reduced traffic in the BVI’s waters.

“The BVI is working assiduously towards finalisation of a Sea Border Protection Plan to include long-term solutions,” Cabinet indicated.

Last year, some sections of the public decried the hiring of the barges saying the spending was unnecessary especially since the territory was struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was also more public outcry after Opposition legislator Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull said he received information that the government was paying nearly $20,000 per day for each barge.

Premier Andrew Fahie had quickly rebuffed these claims.

When border security issues began affecting the BVI last year, former Governor Augustus Jaspert had invited UK navy ship HM Medway to secure the territory’s borders.

Commissioner of Police told BVI News HM Medway is permanently deployed to the Caribbean. 

“We anticipate it will assist us again this year with border security when in this area,” the Commissioner said.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

35 Comments

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  1. More crap says:

    This is beyond ridiculous. The schools don’t have furniture for the children but another crony is making this big money for several months now. Can you imagine 360,000 per month for several months well?
    In the middle of a Commissioner of Inquiry they do this. Something is not right with these people.

    Like 59
    • Yup says:

      Can you imagine being paid to secure the border and also assisting in the transportation of … Isn’t that double dipping? The British navy was no good for the Foy since they would see the smuggling going on. This way everything is smooth and all pockets are full. Can’t make this s**t up. Only in the Turd World!!

      Like 22
    • COI says:

      This is what happens when you have major Party funders getting kickbacks.

  2. Hmmmm says:

    How much have they been paid over the last few months when the govt REFUSED to publish Cabinet decisions?

    Like 41
  3. Pandora's Box says:

    How about investing in our education system and schools that have been abandoned since Irma?

    Of all the questionable and ignorant things that have gone on in this country, from squandering millions to disgraceful decision making …… you would have thought the one thing we would have got sorted by now is the education of our future generation/s!

    The schools being shut down through Covid protocols was the perfect time to rebuild those destroyed in the storm, and upgrade all other facilities for our youth the come back and be given the opportunity to excel and guide our country into the future!

    Yet again, another opportunity were we could have been the envy of the Caribbean, but thrown away the chance. With all the fruits we gained from Financial Services the BVI should be the shining example of what a Caribbean Nation could be – yet those that we have elected have found ways to keep raw sewer flowing in our streets and into our waters, archaic electric grids, third word infrastructure, poor roads, communication companies that rape us with high costs for disgraceful service, and misguided projects that benefit very little to our society!

    Like 58
  4. Joke says:

    Can we, the taxpayers see an activity report showing how many vessels they have prevented from entering our waters ?

    That money could go a long ways towards buying patrol boats and planes , which would be far more effective.

    Like 40
    Dislike 2
    • Agreed says:

      Yes very true -would have been a way for many government employees who are sitting around on their rears could actually be out working for their wages instead of sitting idly and collecting full checks while many go unpaid.

    • 007 says:

      We are not allowed to know who got the social security money.
      So the chances of that are zero.

  5. Fox in the Hen House says:

    Why not have the UK Navy do it for no charge? Better idea; let’s pay some buddies to sit in their barge and ignore our other buddies that are running coke!
    How do these guys keep getting away with this crap?

    Like 59
    • @Fox in the Han house says:

      Because someone is not going to get their cut of the proceeds to stuff their pockets. PLENTY OF PEOPLE IS SITTING BACK EATING GOOD. WHY WOULD A COUNTRY THAT HAVE THE REPUTATION FOR DRUGS, ILLEGAL MONEY TO BE WASHED AND ILLEGAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF ILLEGAL DANCERS WOULD TURN DOWN A STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY MILITARY SHIP TO PATROL THEIR BOARDERS? THAT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. YOU WOULD WELCOME THAT WITH OPEN ARMS. GUESS THEY DON’T WANT THE UK TO SEE THE DIRTY SECRET AND WHO IS INVOLVED. AS A CITIZEN I WOULD FEEL MORE SAFER WITH A MILITARY SHIP PATROLLING THE BOARDERS. ST. THOMAS THE COAST GUARD AND OTHER AGENTS PATROLLING THEIR BOARDERS 24/7, NOT NO DAMN BARGE. THE UK SHOULD HAND DOWN A MANDATE AND SEND A HIGH TECH MILITARY SHIP TO PATROL THE BVI.

      Like 32
  6. well sah says:

    It was a bad decision because the largest quantity of drugs came in under their watch

    Like 36
  7. Man Hunter says:

    I can gather up some of my best ex military buddies and patrol the boarder for less than you paying a slow elephant floating on the water. Barges are used for hauling cargo and heavy equipments not patrolling boarders. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. WHAT A WASTE OF TAXPAYERS MONEY. THE TAXPAYERS MONEY IS LIKE A OPEN FAUCET WASTING GALLONS OF WATER.

    Like 26
  8. Rubber Duck says:

    Let’s pay the poachers lots of money to pretend to be gamekeepers.

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  9. PT9 says:

    This alone should show the UK that they need to run the BVI for a while if you care for the people of the BVI.
    Premier Andrew Fahie was offered the UK Navy for free and he turned it down and paid a lot of money for cargo boats to guard the border why? when the navy is trained to protect borders.

    Like 25
  10. NB says:

    ‘Nature’s Little Secret’? Uncle Foy need to change this to ‘Nature’s Dirty Little Secrets’ at the next sitting. After all you are already living up to the latter. Can’t believe schools are horrible, not even a proper chair to sit on, yet funds are pumped into this operation, which even my five year old can tell you ain’t gonna work. The blinds sees your actions, yet you have no shame. Carry on!

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  11. Anonymous says:

    This is one big funnel from the government’s coffers to private badge owners to indidividual pockets, plain and simmple. This is fleecing of the country on a grand scale.

    Meanwhile, the school, education, infrastruture, jobs creation, industry creation are all not even in thought. They are not of imprtance to this government.

    This so called border protection initiative here is clear example of fishy dealings and we the territory are in very serious trouble going forward. Because, initiatives will eventually have negative impacts on the future performance of the economy of this country.

    Like 18
  12. Strange says:

    Who is or was responsible for national security? Why was it allowed in the first place?

    Nice piece of money per month…

    Like 10
  13. *Hmm says:

    All these thousands being dished out for so call “security” yet we still have drugs coming in the island. Yea ok ya’ll really think ppl fool fool

  14. To Andrew says:

    That money could have well paid our increments up to date. Two more years we will see what tune your singing.

  15. Mafiarian says:

    This story couldn’t be posted sooner. This was clearly a pay off for someone and the name of the company is clear as day. Then we ask why are we having a COI, I know personnel that worked on those vessels and that whole thing was a joke.
    Actually more drugs and guns came in around that time along human trafficking still happening to date. I’m not sure if you all forgot the many breaches that they had on the sea during the time these same Barges were put at sea to monitor the borders. Seem to be more of a look out point to make sure breachers were granted a safe passage into the territory. Let’s do some math of the many crimes and many cases that went cold or thrown out. Do we have a corrupt judiciary system? I wouldn’t want to think that we can have compromised judges, prosecutors etc. Can something like this ever happen? Never not in the BVI. ARE these all baseless points that I’m making? Well the data shows something very wrong and troubling.
    To date no arrest, and all people involved in the smuggling ring are out and about like nobodies business. I’m also sure and these are facts that when vessels were spotted and chased there were no results after or reports on the matters.
    The news needs to follow up on these stories some of what actually made it to the news.
    Ask yourself.
    What is the status on the young man from West who turned himself in?
    What is the status on the record breaking drug bust?
    Why did the evidence leave the country?
    Where are the other arrest they claimed are pending? 3 officers and everything went cold.
    What’s the status on the recent murders from shawty Nottingham estate.
    What is the status in fact on all pending corrupt police matters?
    What is the status on Mr Radio host various consultancy contracts? Where and what are they?
    Why are we spending all this money on various contracts to friends of the party? In this covid error we should be reserving on major spending for now.
    Why were many persons in a certain district and family and friends given large amounts of money during lock down? Look into that this will be a shocker.
    Why are we being forced to take something that is experimental and voluntary at the same time?
    What if something goes wrong and a whole population is left with medical injuries, then what? Can we wait for a bit because the CDC is flip flopping again and I don’t gamble for money muchless my life.
    Why all the rush and our ventilators never been used and hopefully will never be?
    Why is so much effort being pushed into new regulations to make life harder?
    Why were private jets being in and out of the BVI during lock downs without going through the proper protocols?
    Why are we already in the one world order? All instructions now coke from outside WHO, UN etx.
    Why is there no plan proper plan that was made publicly rather than a carbon copy of some other countries protocols?
    Why are there so many past and present convicted criminals on the boards?
    Why do we continue and allow this nonsense?
    Why are the churches so quiet?
    Why don’t we seek other alternatives than these new injectable?
    Why since COVID-19 I see the worst in people?
    Conclude
    When will this end? Guess no one knows because until we give everyone on the planet an experimental injectable then we can see some normalcy . Sounds like a very logical thing todo and yes I’m being sarcastic.

    Like 16
  16. Shorty says:

    Yet when Hon Turnbull mentioned $17k per day he was called a liar smh. BVI got the leadership they deserved all persons who speak out against this government have been speaking the truth but as always we mussle them into saying they are lying. The truth always comes out one way or another. Imagine $300k for one month of work but yet the public schools with a minister who was a former educator can’t even get furniture in them. One big joke. Another thingi that money could have been spend to fully fund the Customs patrol unit but nope lets give it to a badge to patrol in one spot unmovable. Rididculous

    Like 12
  17. District 2 says:

    When Hon Mitch Turnbull question the cost of the three barges they had him to crucified about it but two barge is about $12k premier and his team need investing or is the premier alone run the government for each minister
    People of the Bvi wake see how they restructuring the ministry of finance where everything that have to do with money is under his control lately the RDA and DDM where he can now dictate who gets the jobs now imagine 9.8million contract that’s ridiculous can the public see the drawings and specs of the project please

    Like 11
  18. Resign Now says:

    Fahie resign now. This contract along with Claude Cline contract is a good reason for you to resign NOW. Fahie contine take this country down the drain. And we are upset with the Inquiry. This is a insult to us the people. VIP must go

    Like 14
  19. Take responsibility says:

    This is what we voted for. We all knew who Andrew was and we still put him there. We are accomplices and not victims.

    Like 14
  20. Deh Watcha says:

    CSC, ah see yuh collecting that money bag the other day boyyyy.

  21. Tooth&Claw says:

    And this is maybe one of many reasons why there is an investigation into corruption at the highest level on this wonderful little island.

  22. Bitter Pill says:

    Drug mule: I hope that these quadruple 500HP Yamaha monsters is gonna be enough to skip past the BVI’s national security!

    BVI Customs: bleep…bleep…bleep…where me put me chicken?

  23. The Nation says:

    1. What can a barge do against a speed boat? To my mind the US Coast Guards patrol with speed boats and it makes sense. A navy ship has weapons, can land aircraft and can also house speed boats…what can a barge do? Asking cos I really want to know and understand.

    2. $360,000 pumped into out school system can probably outfit all public schools with social distancing so all the children can go back to schools. Desks can have plexi shields in front and on both sides…so there would be no need to social distance 6 feet at least …can somebody help me here

  24. Island boy says:

    If this method is not working. Why continue to pump well needed money into this idea. Premier refused the UK Navy assistance, but giving away all this money to friends, this is ridiculous. Something in the mix is not right.

  25. Bobby says:

    COI should pay attention to this.

  26. Wow says:

    I have to work 8 months straight to reach that figure that they are making for just 1 day. Just wow.

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