A probe has been launched into allegations that some law enforcement officials in the British Virgin Islands may be engaged in, or facilitating the cross-border smuggling trade.
“The matter is under investigation,” Commissioner of Customs Wade Smith said during a press conference on August 25.
Smith was, at the time, responding to inquires about the steps being taken to prosecute persons — inclusive of border control authorities — suspected of being involved in the recent smuggling incidents in the BVI.
Also commenting on the matter, Premier Andrew Fahie said the reported involvement of local law enforcement has not been proven to be a fact.
“We have to run the country on facts,” Fahie said. “What I can tell persons is that there is a new protocol in place to make sure that officers are not comfortable in one environment for too long.”
He further said plans are underway to increase the fines for those offences.
The recent spike and subsequent clusters of COVID-19 cases in the BVI is said to be as a result of smuggling and human trafficking operations happening between the BVI and the neighbouring US Virgin Islands.