BVI News

Swain bought bike days after allegedly collecting bribe $$

Accused government official Robert Swain being escorted to court on Tuesday, April 9. (BVI News photo)

Fifty-six-year-old Robert Swain reportedly purchased a motorcycle with cash, days after he allegedly received a $5,400 bribe from a local contractor.

This was revealed during his first court appearance before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards on Tuesday.

He pleaded not guilty when the charge of ‘bribery by a public official’ was read to him.

Prosecutors allege that on a date between December 3 and 31 last year, the accused public official allegedly accepted the cash as his portion of proceeds from a government project.

What the court heard happened

The court heard that during the dates in question, the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works went on Christmas leave. During that time, several projects were being tendered, and the accused, who was a senior Administrative Officer, allegedly used the opportunity to his advantage.

The court heard that the accused man approached a local contractor who was bidding for a contract of more than $52,000 to install, among other things, doors and what was referred to as an ice and water shield above the Ministry of Finance office in Road Town.

The labour and materials of the said job came to $37,000.

Prosecutors claim the contractor only met one of the three requirements needed for him to win the bid.

Following the tendering process, there was allegedly a last-minute verbal agreement between the accused man and the local contractor who was then awarded the contract.

It is alleged that they verbally agreed that 55 percent of the contract’s profit would go to the contractor and the remaining 45 percent would go to the accused.

The court further heard that on December 18, the contractor and one of his employees handed an envelope containing $5,400 to Swain in a parking lot in Road Town.

Days after, Swain bought himself a motorcycle in cash, the court heard.


It is alleged that in the days that followed, Swain got angry because the funds he received did not add up to his alleged cut, which should have been in the region of $20,000.

As a result, Swain allegedly approached the contractor in a threatening manner while they were at a bar on December 29.

The court heard that Swain was allegedly armed with a knife and two broken bottles and threatened the complainant for the balance of the funds.

The contractor reported the matter to the police on January 3. An investigation was launched and Swain was subsequently arrested and charged.

Another charge

Swain was also charged with common assault.

It is alleged that on December 2 2016, he reportedly assaulted a female. He was not required to plead to that charge.


In the meantime, the accused was granted $70,000 signed bail.

He was ordered to surrender his travel documents and report to the Road Town Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 6 am and 12 pm.

His matter was adjourned to May 9.

Attorney-at-law Stephen Daniels represents the accused man who is a resident of Sand Box Road on Tortola.

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  1. Ha! says:

    Patience is really a virtue! lolz

  2. Hmmmmmmm says:

    Looks like our past really do catch up with us … whether to receive the blessing or the curse.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  3. LOL says:

    Y he look like the jigsaw man from saw?

    Like 24
    Dislike 2
  4. wize up says:

    here I was felling sympathetic for my childhood comrade but the man simply muck up himself over pocket change..what ah ting( Believe it or not !!!!)….so what happens to the contractor will the contractor face criminal charges or what(just a question)…..poor judgment by swain

    Like 40
  5. Guest says:

    Ok I am not very good with math so people please help me understand. The the contract was worth roughly $52,000 give or take. Him and the contractor allegedly agreed that they would split the profit 45% and 55%. He got upset because he should have gotten $20,000 which I guess would equate to 45%. Which means if we find for X (.45 x X = 20,000) the profit would have been $44,444. So government was spending $52,000 on something that minusing the profit only cost $7,556. If that is the case I don’t know who should more be in jail them or the government for squandering money like that and overpaying……..

    Like 109
    Dislike 1
    • @Guest says:

      Your algebra is good.

      Not many will click the like button because they wouldn’t understand the math. But they can work the math backwards or, what our teachers taught – prove it! $52K less $7.5K = $44K+ profits @ 45% = $20K

      Like 40
      • Spanner says:

        But the article says the labor and materials “came to” $37,000. That means the contract was jacked up by [$37,000 – $7556] = $29,444.

        In other words, a signed contract jumped from $52,000 to a final cost of $81,444.

        If true, this suggests there are bigger fish to be caught. We just need to catch and make an example out of them.

        Like 13
        Dislike 12
      • @Guest&@@Guest says:

        Both of your math are correct. However, is it possible that this gentleman misunderstood the nature of the deal he struck. According to the news article there was a 55/45% split of the contract’s profit… Not of the contract. Therefore if the materials were expected at 37,000.00 that only leaves $15,000.00 which assuming that labor had to be paid the profit to the contract would be less than 15,000.00. However even without accounting for labor 45% of 15,000.00 is $6750.00. So I am puzzled as to how the expectation was $20,000.00.

        Like 23
        Dislike 12
    • @Guest says:

      I am not to good with math myself but I came up with the same figures that you came up with after I had my son check my answers. Noooo, you are so correct.

    • Real says:

      All yall misunderstood. They said more than 52k not that it was 52k and the contract w
      Costed 37k. If he was to get 45% which is 20k that means 55% was supposed to be 10% more of the 20k which is (0.10 x 20,000) 22,000. Therefore the total cash for the contract is $79,000 ( 37k + 22k + 20k )

    • Real says:

      The answer is $79000 for the total contract. They said more than 52,000 not that it equal 52,000 and the job costed 37000. The man was getting 20000 which is 45% and to get 55% just find 10% of 20000 which is 22000. Therefore the total is 79000 ( 37000+22000+20000).

      Like 1
      Dislike 4
      • Lol says:

        You need to go back school the man said he was supposed to allegedly get 45% of the profit if you are saying the profit margin is 42000 45% of that is actually 18900 and 55 % of that is 23100. Sorry but your math is weak and does that add up to the stated facts. Yes they said the cost is 37000 but t is more plausible that these costs were overstated and masked the profit. You need to go back Elmore Stout when it opens….

  6. neighbour says:

    Always a********g women…d**n c****d

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  7. Well says:

    Maybe he did what others in there do

    Like 27
  8. Pompei Magnus says:

    It’s in their DNA l**t c***t p*****r s*****e. In any order. Through out history and present ask those American University admission process.

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  9. Drunkndisorderly says:

    He looks dr–k and dis———-ly, and wasting people’s time with his Telecommunications push workshops. Who don’t hear does feel. Threw away his last bit of career.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  10. TAX PAYER says:

    There you go Ladies, Gentlemen and School Children, all in a Nut Shell of how these Government Officials and B*d m****d Contractors have been stealing Tax Payers money for years, the only ironic thing is this guy was too d**n g****y and the bubble got burst.
    Now is the mind bugling question, how many MILLIONS have been stolen through these shady deals and contract awarding.

    Like 53
    • Yes says:

      Check Airport and Hospital. Ting to talk.

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
    • @Tax Payer says:

      Well well, goes to show that we really over our heads with homeownership. What really was the true cost of my home. And now complaining about insurance premiums too high without first examining the source figure that a premium is calculated upon

  11. Anonymous says:

    This had to be a common practice because I doubt he would be so bold and “innovative” to try this stunt without proof and encouragement that it would work.

    Like 31
  12. Sad says:

    More to be exposed believe it or not. Mismanagement of tax payers money. Dishonesty, greed and selfishness has taken over the hearts of mankind. More will be arrested in time to come.

  13. Hmm.. says:

    $44,000 is basically a years salary for one person and this was only one contract. So I wonder how many jobs government looses, where employees could have been hired with the money they grossly over spent???

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  14. :) says:

    What did y’all expect when the rally call was Chi Ching Ching.

    Like 14
    Dislike 4
  15. Yeah Right says:

    If only they paid this level of attention to bigger white collar crime that’s been happening for years.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  16. What!!! says:

    So what going to happen to the contractor who paid the bribe???

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
    • @What !!! says:

      I think the Contractor should be hauled in wearing the silver wrist bracelet also. This one had to walk the famous walk of shame and the bribe payer should be made to do the same.

      Like 16
  17. Reasoning says:

    @Tax Payer, I got you, but the net question is: How much inferior work and how much more money that should be in the treasury or available to repair residents homes, schools, piers, sidewalks and government buildings.

  18. Justice For All. says:

    For bribe to take place there must be 2 parties and in this case we know who they are. The very complaint amounts to a confession on the part of the contractor. Why is he not in shackles before the court as well. Of a truth, there is really no honor among thieves! Lol

    Like 20
  19. Cause For Concern says:

    This is a very troubling situation. Sometimes gullible individuals find themselves in environments that are less than honest, and sadly, they adapt to the practices all around them. I am not condoning this alleged act, but merely stating a fact.
    What has it more troubling is the fact that approximately two months ago, I heard a candidate for election emphatically intimating that one of their opponents used to wait outside of the bank to collect their cut. As a matter of fact, this type of illegal behavior has been the subject of countless topics for more years than I can remember. Unfortunately, however, the powers that be have continued to cast a blind eye on these glaring white collar crimes.
    We will just have to wait and see if this will be the beginning of the swamp being drained of the bilgy water it is infested with.

  20. Mr Man says:

    The contractor is an A–. You allegedly involved with bribery and you gonna call police on the man. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    Like 14
    Dislike 4
  21. thoughtful sailor says:

    And we wonder why the Redevelopment Agency was needed?

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  22. White Envelopes says:

    Yes RDA and the Queen…that’s how those guys stole the public money…please send the special prosecutors down…the CoP can’t handle these type of investigations…the island too small…we need independent people.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
    • Uncle tom says:

      Yes because England has no corruption at all. Only us. They are white as snow. It’s people like you that is wrong with this place. Everywhere has corruption not just BVI. Everywhere!

      Like 2
      Dislike 9
  23. Johnny Browne says:

    Why are we protecting the contractor’s identity, who was apparently in cohoots with the alleged accused up until the confrontation happened at the bar? The contractor is just as corrupt for not coming forward from the very start.

    Like 24
    • Expose says:

      Expose the Contractor. He needs to be exposed. I sure as H*ll would not want him to be my Contractor if I need one.Oh better, the streets will let me know. You want answers, hit the streets. The streets knows everything.

    • For Sure says:

      The Contractor need to be exposed as well. Why is he getting special treatment. Well Buddy, your cards will be peeped soon. We broke the law together, S**t hit the fan,we going down together not me minus You.

  24. wize up says:

    there is an existing department of government where some of the staff members have their daily business operations: dem uses government time & government resources to execute there own private businesses: these good people collecting their usual monthly wages along with additional payment from side-jobs conducted between 08:30-16:30PM while on the government clock: I have no personal issues but one will assume this level of conduct might be questionable….every one have to eat, drink, pay rent !!!!

  25. Eagle eye says:

    Y’all going to lock up all my famous NDP peoples or wa.keep off my thieving ndp’s because VIP started your history.

    Like 2
    Dislike 10
  26. Come on says:

    Even in the us people do this this is not eligal

    Like 1
    Dislike 18
    • 8th District Gyal says:

      @Come on

      Eligal? Come on now man..

    • US says:

      @Come on, if you think so, come on over to the US and bribe someone and see how fast they would toss you in jail. BRIBERY is a crime.

      • ST. Thomas says:

        @come on, i am inviting you to the US to try and bribe someone and see what happons. We have our problème but we are not as loose with the S**t like Tortola is. Come on over Buddy let’s set something up and you will see how fast the FEDS will scoop you up.

  27. Darn says:

    You hardheaded,I got this m-n is always getting caught up your web of deceat. LOL, just wondering if when the alleged transaction was going down in Road Town, if both men were wearing long trench coats and Fedoras. Just picture that. LMAO. Alleged Bribe Taker, hey Bud,you got that. Alleged Bribe payer, Yeah,hurry up and take this envelope before five O roll up.

  28. Speaker says:

    Any news on the case with the spaeaker

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  29. 2 Grand says:

    Loose lips are sinking ships what’s in the darkness must come to light . Money can make you do the stupidest things. Ship start to leak and by the time you realize the holes them big ship underwater.word of wisdom think think count the cost of actions and aftermath.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  30. Concerned says:

    Contractor needs to be arrested. He took a contract away from a qualified contractor who fulfilled all the requirements!

    Like 15
  31. Expose says:

    Expose the Contractor. He needs to be exposed. I sure as H*ll would not want him to be my Contractor if I need one.Oh better, the streets will let me know. You want answers, hit the streets. The streets knows everything.

  32. Curiosity kill the cat says:

    That contractor needs to be charged also. He executed project knowing bribery was involved. All other government projects executed under the leadership of the previous leader of communications and works needs to also be investigated for the same. Mr Swaim just happens to be a small fry. But sure enough the Word of God declares ‘whatever is in the darkness will come to light’ no matter how much persuasion is used to quiet it.

  33. #@@ says:

    From time the contractor and employee came to give him the money he should have known something would go wrong . Set up….

  34. Nickel & Diming says:

    So Silly, This Picture would look better with the Spanish Anguilian and the Bald Monopole. Hope it coming Soon.

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