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UPDATE: Smith awaiting go-ahead from AG before returning to work

Wade Smith

This story has been updated

Though being expected to return from administrative leave on Monday, November 21, Customs Commissioner Wade Smith did not turn up for work.

Sources close to the Customs boss confirmed to our news centre Monday evening that his leave was scheduled to run from August 18, and end last Friday, November 18. However, BVI News was told that Smith is awaiting further confirmation from the Attorney General.

It is not immediately clear why the AG’s approval is necessary at this juncture.

News of Smith’s expected return follow reports this month that he had commenced proceedings to sue the government for the unexplained action to place him on administrative leave.

Authorities are yet to give any public explanation for the decision to bench Smith. However, the timing came months after the release of the controversial Commission of Inquiry (COI) report that resulted in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force opening several criminal investigations into multiple government departments and agencies.

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has since sought to dispel the notion that he was in any way responsible for sanctioning Smith’s administrative leave, referring to cartoons or other statements that made such inferences as ‘nonsense’.

And when asked at a press conference who sanctioned Smith’s leave and whether it had anything to do with the COI-related investigations, the Premier said such information would be best sourced from either the Governor or Deputy Governor’s Office.

COI Commissioner, Sir Gary Hickinbottom had said in his report that he could not exclude the possibility that corruption may exist among officers in HM Customs and the Immigration Department.

“The environment in each – but particularly the former – is conducive to such,” Sir Gary said.

As a remedy, Sir Gary recommended that “independent vetting of all current HM Customs and Immigration Officers at all levels needs to be undertaken on an urgent basis.”

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23 Comments

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  1. That was quick says:

    Did he get paid for the lawsuit?

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  2. SMH says:

    So because he is suing the Government he has been granted permission to return to work. The Deputy Governor needs to explain this situation.

    Like 32
    Dislike 3
  3. Thing says:

    What a thing

  4. Gant says:

    Seems like he called their bluff. They suspended him, did their investigations and nothing was found that warranted further actions. Either that or they are getting him to return because they already have traps set for him. I think they underestimate the young man so they better know what they are doing.

    Like 9
    Dislike 6
  5. Difference says:

    Seeking judicial review of the admin. leave decision. Not suing BVI government.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  6. @Gant says:

    Which young man you talking about. This man old like black eye peas.

    Like 24
    Dislike 2
  7. Smh says:

    Disappointed

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  8. Rubber Duck says:

    Maybe we should let the rats back in the cheese shop too.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  9. Hmm says:

    The people who are the ones outside of the loop need to open their eyes and see that the game is been played on them. If it was not so that Unity Government lead by Natalio would never had happened it would have gone back to the people to decide and who ever broke the Law would have been arrested and charge as simple as that.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  10. Tasty says:

    the Govt is the defendant to the judicial review proceedings

  11. well well. says:

    hahahahahahahaha. I still think he got more hot water coming….

    Like 12
  12. @tasty says:

    Or the respondent rather.

  13. Hmmmmmm says:

    Its a shame to see that they put this man back in that position, but I thought his contract expired by now. Im 100% sure it have more decent persons out there to run customs department. This guy is a joke and very vindictive…..people wake up and rise up the freemason appears to run things in this world. Such a shame. How could this be possible,you suing the government and yet they still bring you back. Only tola this kind of thing does happen or what.he threatening them with big lawyer and them bow. Now he feel he more superior and mighty. But I smell a rat getting close to the trap.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  14. Guest says:

    Is this a case of making up with an ex so that you can dump him in a dramatic fashion???

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  15. Daffodil says:

    @ SMH: Didn’t you read that his Administrative leave started on 18th August and ended on 18th November? His returning to work has nothing to do with the lawsuit that he filed. Read the article again please.

  16. Doesn’t assist Govt says:

    Whether or not they brought him back to work they are going to lose. Plain and simple whoever made the decision needs to to sacked because they just openly ad utter they blondered but like goes on it be that way sometimes

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  17. .... says:

    Keep him on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
    Better yet, relieve him o his duties.

  18. Wrong says:

    Customs has totally changed without him there. Everyone is friendly and helpful amd trying to make stuff work. They need to let him go because he is destroying that department. His replacement was doing a really good job of building bridges back that WS destroyed.

  19. Unmissed says:

    Maybe Government Official 1 is busy spending his free time playing dominoes with the esteemed one.

  20. @ unmissed says:

    oh that’s just a love connection , but we know who he A now

  21. Weak says:

    Mistake to put him back in that post. Unfortunately those in the Department weak.

  22. vi says:

    just hope they never give him back that post this man is an waste of time, just lock him up

  23. Mr.Joesyard says:

    Waiting on word from AG? He better wait until the AG gets advice from the legal team. She can’t give no advice of her own. It is always incorrect. Waste of Taxpayers money. She, her team and the other HeffaTuro one in Prosecutions are going to cost the Govt. millions in lawsuits payout.

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