BVI News

Police needs power to nab those with unexplained wealth

Commissioner Michael Matthews

Police Commissioner Michael Matthews has reiterated the BVI’s need for legislation that will give the authorities power to nab people who have unexplained wealth.

Commissioner Matthews said such legislation would not only stop those involved in trading cocaine and other illicit drugs but would prevent murders and other crimes linked to the drugs trade.

“When you look around and you notice that somebody’s got three or four homes, two or three fast boats and a couple of nice cars but they haven’t got a job, you have to ask yourself a question: ‘where’s their income coming from?’ And that’s why modernising legislation is going to be important in the BVI because we need to get to a stage where we can hold people to account when they can’t explain their assets,” Commissioner Matthews said.

He added that it is mainly young people who see the illicit drug trade as a viable means to attain wealth. But he said there needs to be a change in mindset for persons who hold this view.

Amid three recent murders and two unexplained deaths, the public has been calling for stronger action from the government and the security forces to nab those involved in criminal activity.

Though widely speculated, it is still unclear whether the murders are linked to the drug trade. The top cop said a number of the BVI’s homicides are.

He continues to reiterate that crime-fighting is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and members of the public who are expected to report illegal activity to the police.

The police have made several drug busts in the territory in recent months and have also arrested some — including other cops — who are linked to the illegal activities.

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66 Comments

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  1. well said says:

    Mr commissioner this should have been on the books many yrs ago but I know it’s coming soon.The beneficiaries are saying that others jealous and grudge them for what they have.lol.Do they know the harm that the illegal activities has cause others far and wide?? .Please bring the law before the house.Even some government ministers wouldn’t want to support this but whether they do or not it is coming. Can’t wait.

    Like 75
    Dislike 8
    • Checklist says:

      Many of these businesses started off by dealing drugs and some still do yet the general public praise the owners and hold them as the elite in society.

      It’s about time people start making an honest and decent living.

      There are those who work hard then the illegal money of others buy up the skyrocketed priced land and homes often with cash.

      Real Estate Agents and sellers should be made to do a source of income check on buyers.

      Like 14
      Dislike 1
      • Financial Services employee says:

        Real Estate Agents are required to confirm a source of wealth from buyers. Real Estate Agents and other Non-Financial Business and Profession such as Jewelers, car dealers, etc are required have certain documents and information as required by the BVI Financial Investigation Agency.

  2. Mind Your says:

    That’s not your business sound like racial profiling to me. Never watch what the next man has and wonder how he got it. Focused on Self

    Like 25
    Dislike 97
  3. Mr.Gage says:

    This legislation is much needed and when implemented it’s going to be a full sweep.

    Like 56
    Dislike 6
    • FEO Gomez says:

      Picture this for a moment, just close your eyes for a second.

      I sinned my soul to obtain imaginable wealth with my 4 homes and cars etc. I may have had to kill people sell dope with much sleepless night.

      Then you come with some piece of paper telling me to explain my wealth. I give you an explanation you don’t like and you come take what I worked for. Yes there is no harder or riskier job in this world than the illict drug trade.

      I guess you going to get rid of all the guns and bullets 1st? Cause a man will be willing to DIE for his because if you take it all you might as well kill him.

      You officials who will be the ones enforcing it don’t have to drive home too?

      I can predict more action like what Mr. Williams recieved the other day. Things to consider that’s all.

      Like 1
      Dislike 4
  4. Rubber Duck says:

    There is going to be massive opposition to such a bill from members of the government and high ranking members of the civil services.

    For obvious reasons.

    Like 83
    Dislike 3
    • doh says:

      Brit, even you know our government leaders have nothing to hide. They are all upstanding members of the community, beholden to a higher standard, an example set for all to follow.

      They would NEVER betray the public’s trust, waste our money, or profit from it.

      You know better…

      Like 22
      Dislike 9
  5. Overdue Bill says:

    What are we waiting for?

    Like 30
    Dislike 2
  6. doh says:

    Wow.

    So you get a new set of rims, drive a new car, or show off the new phone. And you are persecuted for it? Wow…

    but we as citizens have nothing to fear from this. Government officials in our narco state should begin to worry

    Like 24
    Dislike 14
    • Jane says:

      Wealth does doesnt mean $1000 trinkets: it means “fishing” boats worth $500,000, houses worth $2 million and cars worth $100,000.

      No-one cares that you bought new rims, a Nintendo Switch or a new i-phone. That isnt “wealth” that’s pocket money.

      Like 47
      • Deh Watcha says:

        The statement by ‘doh’ just shows that some persons do not know what true wealth really is.

        Ah mean rims??

        Like 16
        • YesDeh says:

          Surely when the banks and authorities put their effort into and use the resources to investigate those who can’t even afford to buy “rims”, then said investigators give the appearance that they are busy doing something. They need to channel their sights and efforts on where the real “dough” is at, and not be stressing and intimidating those who are just trying to survive in this “dog eat dog” environment.

  7. sooo says:

    soooo

    commmisioner is going after those people in the financial services sector too? unexplained wealth…

    Jus sayin

    Like 23
    Dislike 3
    • Jane says:

      Yes to the extent that someone’s spending doesnt tally with their earnings. But people in financial services tend to be on good salaries so they will be able to afford a nicer car than someone working as a supermarket cashier.

      Like 18
  8. BVI says:

    I hope it extends to those who come in here with a backpack and one year later they have a yacht doing charters.

    Like 58
    Dislike 1
  9. Question says:

    Who or what decides if someone’s “Wealth” is more than what they ‘should’ have and decides that they should be investigated; or that the proof is proof enough or else what… it is taken away!?… The thing is… There is always someone out there who think you shouldn’t own something because they don’t own it too… Kinda feels like reverse policing… Instead of the police proving someone committed a crime now the person now have to prove that a crime did not happen or else what? What does “nab” mean you get arrested? you lose everything? even though the police haven’t actually proven that a crime happened either?

    Like 17
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    • SAM says:

      This legislation is desperately needed. It will be an important tool in helping to deny drug dealers the proceeds of their illegal activities.

      Like 15
      Dislike 3
    • Assent says:

      Yes but the link is only a draft law which needs the governor’s assent and then publication in the Official Gazette to become a law.

  10. cronies says:

    Start with the Ministers and politicians. It is so friction obvious!

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
  11. unexplained wealth says:

    wow I can only imagine the ministers trying to figure out if they stand a chance in another election when this bill is introduced in the house.wow. Some knees start shaking from the Top of the trade to the bottom. For the one talking about minding your own business, when they broke into your home and steal from you the cops should mind their business to and don’t pass on you.when they kill your brothers and sisters the cops and the public in General should mind their own business. when your daughters are abused we should mind our own business because it’s not our family. when another disaster we should mind our own business and leave you suffering. please bring the law bring it on.

    Like 23
    Dislike 7
  12. Negro says:

    So white ppl should own everything nd black ppl not ????

    Like 13
    Dislike 43
    • Lol says:

      Only if they are well spoken

      Like 4
      Dislike 4
    • Shhhhh says:

      @ Negro
      You are a Jack *ss.

      Like 11
      Dislike 1
    • PAYBACK TIME says:

      What we have now is what white people took from our forefathers. It is payback time for us, the money they didn’t pay our ancestors, the repatriation money they wouldn’t give us. What we have we have not done worst than they have done to us to acquire what they built up Europe with. Tek it in your pale skin. We won.

      Like 3
      Dislike 7
    • Outside looking in. says:

      The fact that some people are defending unexplained gains in wealth is shocking. What’s in darkness shall come to the light. Do you rather somewhere safe you can raise children or a society where there’s murders every week? If you made your money legally you have nothing to fear. People all over the world are reading bvi news, tourist too. Do you really intend to run away the tourist with crime? It’s not about race it’s about keeping the country crime free. I swore the BVIs was a safe and fair society, I guess I shall stay away.

  13. Negro says:

    So white ppl should own everything nd black ppl not!!!! White ppl don’t like to see we as black ppl living better than them

    Like 14
    Dislike 35
  14. $4 says:

    O YEAH KEEP THEM THINKING.
    IS WHO THEY ARE GOING AFTER NEXT?? SLEEPINESS NIGHT.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  15. @above says:

    You’re an idiot.

  16. Ok says:

    Underground economy drives the main stream economy. Lil the underground economy and watch the main stream economy sputter to a halt!

    Like 5
    Dislike 6
  17. hmmm says:

    I wonder why he saying “fast boats” and excluding Yachts etc., is this to exclude the white people here who have multiple houses, multiple cars and yachts. I would hope that you nap them as well.

    Like 12
    Dislike 9
  18. Janet says:

    This is such an obvious and needed Bill

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  19. Jane says:

    Yes to the extent that someone’s spending doesnt tally with their earnings. But people in financial services tend to be on good salaries so they will be able to afford a nicer car than someone working as a supermarket cashier.

  20. Lazy says:

    They don’t want to do their job, they want it laid in their laps easy eh. How I make my money shouldn’t be up for public consumption, this feels like govt intruding on our right to privacy.

    Do your job, there are lots of tech out there.

    Like 4
    Dislike 10
  21. Sam says:

    never work. But have boats house rental cars trucks. These are things cause killings it needs to stop. And how don’t like it. They are in it.

    Like 15
  22. Hov says:

    There is an obvious backdoor that comes with such policy if it is implemented. The number one thing one should note is that the term “unexplained wealth” was never defined by the commissioner.

    Indeed a lot of the the possessions we have in our home could be considered unexplained wealth. For instance; you owe expensive jewelry but don’t have the receipts. how can you under police interrogation “explain your wealth”? what would happen if you are unable to provide a satisfactory answer, whatever it might be?

    You can start to see how such a policy can be misused and lead to people being stripped from their property. (Side note: similar situations have occurred in other countries.)

    If the public doesn’t know how one makes a living, one is not legally nor morally obligated to give anyone an explanation let alone be questioned by the police. The police should concern themselves with crime. But ignorance of some’s source of income is not a crime but rather a matter of privacy.

    Privacy is a right, not a privilege. And calling people into question on the ground of “I don’t know how he gets money” can be viewed as a violation of one’s rights to privacy.

    so let the buyer beware.

    Like 24
    Dislike 9
    • @hov says:

      That’s not what the commissioner is talking about and to some extent you should have an explanation to how you come about the million dollar jewelry. whether your grandmother or grandfather leave it for you.This piece of legislation will definitely curb the drug trade. yes it is going to make a lot of families unhappy because of the life style that the illegal drug trade has given them.look for example this man that was just murdered… look at the guys that buying up so much properties you never see then work a day .did they win the power ball?? well if they get and still getting the law enforcement need to know ok . I work and accumulate a few dollars then I bought a few cars for rental then I sold by rental business and bought another business this you don’t have to worry about. but you were arrested a few times for possession of a control substance you spend yrs in prison the lawyers took all you hustle for and out of prison in two yrs you have two fast boat two house and half a million dollars in jewelry. you mean money just magically fall on the sky and because you spend some time in prison the Most High God just decides to bless you with cash ?? if this is the case please let the Most High God know to leave evidence to show the procedure. @hov just take a back seat with your nervousness and let the law come into existence.

      Like 10
      Dislike 10
    • Pandora's Box says:

      Thank you! 100% agreed.

      While I get the purpose of what this legislation is intended to do, it is however completely open to abuse by the ‘powers that be’ and a violation of simple privacy. A VERY slippery slope!

      Like 15
      Dislike 4
  23. @ doh & negro says:

    You both have the same mentality we are in the 21st century its time to cut short your vacation fantasy island abmnd get back to reality

  24. VIsLander says:

    Some of my income comes from overseas. Would I be a suspect then, and at risk of your forced DNA collection? This is a slippery slope; the absence of information makes curious minds wonder. We’re not criminals just because you can’t understand how we get what we get. I’m not a civil servant I am in the free capitalist market and taking advantage of it. I shouldn’t have to be forced to appear to have less just b/c you don’t know how I can afford it either. Grand solutions for 1 problem can lead to an array of other problems. I pay my taxes where my income comes from and that should be enough for a hard working citizen. Not b/c someone says I don’t have a job to go to means it’s true, they’re just trying to mind my business for me and they don’t know it. Maybe some policing should be done off of facebook & social media.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  25. Sooooooo says:

    I predict, this legislation will NEVER, N E V E R, get passed in the BVI. Propaganda is all it is. . .

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  26. Omg says:

    I does seriously wonder what the h**l is go n on in yall people mind, wen scooters annoy yall u wan them band Who the h**l does that white man think he is! What about the wealth they acquired from slavery, y dont he touch on the topic reparation!? Give us back our wealth the riches u stole from us Mr White man.

    Like 3
    Dislike 6
  27. Check says:

    Some of those big ugly houses on the hillsides for show and tell with owners that is not making the type of salary. Welcome to TOLLY WOOD HILLS.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  28. Dear Mickey says:

    What do you really mean by “nab those with unexplained wealth”. You mean those local boys and girls?

    I wonder who is checking on those police officers who owns multi million dollar homes in exclusive communities, on a beach front in Lambert on a police salary? Who are now currently doing expansion of said home on same police salary? You certainly don’t mean that unexplained Wealth do you? I wonder who is checking on that unexplained wealth.

    People do not be distracted and fall for the smoke and mirrors. I wonder who is watching the watch man? Pay close attention to these people and their ulterior motives. We need not allow our emotions to get the best of us and see things tor what they are.

  29. SAD says:

    @OMG. White man this, white man that. We are all our own people regardless of skin color. Yes there is some evil white , black and yellow people out there but there are also a few good ones. You get what you want out of life!!! You just have to go get it. Stop being a victim and stop using the past as an excuse for your current situation. If we are honest and think about it the white man buy our ancestors from the African leaders and brought us here. Looking at it now where would you rather be. Here or in Africa being hunted down and killed from a BLACK man for no other reason than greed!!! Life is worthless in most African countries and the governments ( yes black people like us) are the most corrupt on the planet. Killing black people for fun. People need to stop all this ignorance and live together as one. Don’t you see that’s what they want, to keep us divided so we fight amongst ourselves. RACE is a tool they use to keep us all fighting!!! Wake up and stop this BS white people/black people talk.

    • Jane says:

      @SAD – you nailed it. These cries of “Colonialism” and “racism” seem to come up when certain politicians feeling under pressure. Just like Trump blamed the Mexicans, to distract his supporters, so the politicians here like to divide and conquer by blaming the non-belongers (whether white, Santo, Vincentian) for all the Territories problems.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  30. @spoken says:

    Hmmm it u should be …for litte do u know

    • Will says:

      You all better be thankful it is a British Territory. If you all was under US flag. The Fed would haven’t on those that have all these assets and do not work like white on rice. Don’t talk if you was arrested for trafficking narcotics. All your shit would have been siege right away if you could not explain where you got the money to untainted all these assets. So don’t say it can’t happen. It is just when.I guess a few cause all of this to come full circle with all the killing that has rock Tortola in the pass few weeks.With police involvement also in the drug trade. I see a big shake up coming pretty soon. Starting from the top of the government, police and the big cats( they call them).The ball is rolling. Just pray it don’t roll your way.Bad boys what you going to do, what you going to do,when they come for you.

  31. Kiss yours says:

    Drugs will never stop I don’t see the point of doing it

  32. Outside looking in. says:

    The fact that some people are defending unexplained gains in wealth is shocking. What’s in darkness shall come to the light. Do you rather somewhere safe you can raise children or a society where there’s murders every week? If you made your money legally you have nothing to fear. People all over the world are reading bvi news, tourist too. Do you really intend to run away the tourist with crime? It’s not about race it’s about keeping the country crime free. I swore the BVIs was a safe and fair society, I guess I shall stay away.

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