BVI News

No enforcement to remove petrol company from unlawful land use

Ronald Smith-Berkeley

Delta Petroleum’s allegedly continuous violation of the law meant that another entity, Natures Way, was unable to get a lease to a portion of government land for several years, despite legal measures to remove Delta.

This was disclosed when former Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Ronald Smith-Berkley, gave evidence before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) yesterday.

Delta had reportedly asked whether it was possible to lease a parcel of land — Parcel 310 — and a legal representative from the Attorney General’s office told them no.

The COI was told that Delta’s attorneys offered written assurances that the petroleum company would vacate from the parcel in dispute. However, Delta reportedly did not honour its word so an expulsion notice signed by the governor was required for them to leave.

When asked by COI attorney, Bilal Rawat what steps were taken to enforce the expulsion notice after it was issued in 2019, Smith-Berkley no such enforcement happened.

“Other than asking, really, that’s the major step that was taken—just ask that the land be vacated and that was done primarily through the lawyers. As you know, I did reach out to the AG‘s (Attorney General) chambers for assistance in that regard in order to get the land free and clear so that we can move forward,” Smith-Berkley stated.

He further said he could not recall giving instructions to the Attorney General’s office to enforce compliance with the expulsion notice that was signed by the governor.

Smith-Berkley explained that although a right-of-way to the land had been granted to another entity in July 2017, a lease had still not been executed nearly two years later in January 2019 because Delta Petroleum remained an occupant of the land.

He told the COI that Natural Resources Minister Vincent Wheatley was informed of the details surrounding the matter when he entered office in 2019.

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15 Comments

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  1. ask Dancia says:

    Delta/bevis tried hard to take that land from that lady from during Omar’s time…Tay aint from now

    Like 21
  2. lock um up says:

    All ah dem in cohoot wid dah fuel company

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  3. ONE WORD says:

    CORRUPTION

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  4. Dropped ball again… says:

    *sigh* This PS always; ALWAYS has an excuse and kicks the can down the road. A clear legal violation with supporting documentation and yet another crony operated company gets away with unscrupulous and blatant behavior!

    The lack of respect in these lands for governance and laws has reached an all time low with these plebs steering the ship towards the rocks.

    Time for a sweeping change of ALL these useless blunt instruments.

    We want change NOW!!!

    Like 40
    Dislike 2
  5. aiR says:

    This has got to be a joke? No enforcement for Delta to be removed from the land? Between Delta and Bevis, they running this country. This man on every major Board and just doing as he pleases. Time for this to stop! GET OFF THE LAND! Young people can’t even get opportunities to lease government land and he here running a ra**et through the place…

    Like 32
  6. CHANGE NOW says:

    Corruption facilitated by the politicians..

    Like 32
  7. Wtf says:

    Looks like the COI found some corruption!

    Like 28
  8. Windy says:

    Legal ? Ha, when has the government (locals) been concerned about things being legal.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  9. Hmmmm says:

    All these guys using two last names seem to be problems for this Government.

  10. Which piece of land says:

    Where is this land? Can the land ask for restitution for the loss of use from the Government and Delta.

  11. LOL says:

    No enforcement despite the relevant rulings on the case. $1 for property worth $600K signed over to the former owner, in order to facilitate the transfer to Sylvester. Sylvester then pays $800 a year for prime waterfront land which is in his name but being used by Delta. So how much is Delta paying him and why didn’t Delta lease the property in its own name as any above board business would do? But there’s no corruption in the BVI.

    Like 17
  12. heckler says:

    I am willing to bet that he is in turn renting back the land to delta for thousands of dollars monthly. This government and it cronies cant really be trusted

  13. Dis Truss says:

    This loathsome act with our elected Govt and Delta Petroleum,was committed against an individual local whose ancestors can be traced back hundreds of years as VIslanders and whose family has contributed positively to the VI in various ways.

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