BVI News

US citizens plead guilty, fined $1K for entering BVI illegally

The Magistrate’s Court in John’s Hole, Tortola.

The four US citizens who were charged with illegal entry after their boat entered BVI waters illegally pleaded guilty when they appeared before the Magistrate on Tuesday, December 1.

The US citizens, Nicholas Cancro, John Hines Jr, Lynee Ann Hines and Jeanne McKinnon were each fined $1,000. 

They were apprehended by the Joint Task Force on November 19 when they entered BVI waters. The group said they were vacationing in the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands (USVI).

The case was heard by Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin with Crown Counsel Kristain Johnson representing the case for the Prosecution.  

A statement from the BVI Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said the four accused Americans were represented by local attorney David Penn who told the Magistrate he did not wish to have the accused plead but only wanted the complaints read so they could plead at a later date. 

Details of the case

The complaints were read to the accused quartet and the Crown outlined the allegations as follows:  

On Thursday, 19th November 2020 at about 1:30 p.m, HM Customs received information of a sailing vessel travelling from St John in the USVI towards Jost Van Dyke. As a result of the report made, the Joint-Task Force proceeded to the western side of Jost Van Dyke. 

The court heart that about 2:04 pm the boat was found to be near Soper’s Hole in the territorial waters of the BVI. When asked where he was coming from, the captain, Cancro reportedly replied: “We came from St John, USVI and was just sailing around.” 

The law enforcement officers then informed the captain that they are in BVI waters and that the borders are closed to international vessels. 

Cancro then said: “I know the borders are closed, but we didn’t touch land.” 

The captain was then informed that it appeared that he was in breach of the territory’s laws, and was guided to Soper’s Hole, West End. The four individuals were then placed into mandatory quarantine in a local hotel as part of COVID-19 preventative measures.  

Attorney asks for bail

An application for bail was made on the behalf of all the accused but the Crown objected to bail on the basis that the accused persons were not from the territory and were considered to be flight risks.

Some time after this decision was announced, the accused persons pleaded guilty and fined.

While under the 14-day quarantine here in the BVI, some American media outlets aired video clips released by four US citizens who said they were unfairly detained under unsanitary conditions by BVI authorities. 

However, the BVI’s DPP office released a subsequent statement calling the claims made by the detainees “erroneous”. 

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

115 Comments

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  1. Are you serious says:

    BVI customs and immigration need to check themselves. These people were not a flight risk and the story of their being held in roach infested housing went worldwide. Another blow to the BVI Tourism product.! Great job.

    Like 57
    Dislike 33
    • Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear - what is going on with the DPP says:

      How could the DPP let this case proceed – what was the public interest in the prosecution? Nobody thinks that these people were trying to land in the BVI, or that they had any intention of being in the BVI. They inadvertently sailed over the boundary whilst tacking around St John. BVI boats heading from West End or JVD to Norman Island frequently stay over the boundary into what a technically US waters but the US does not intervene because it is clear that the boats do not intend to stop in the US. Let’s see whether that attitude changes now!
      It was ludicrous of customs to detain them, but the decision of the DPP to prosecute them was a travesty of justice. Her lack of judgment has been reported all around the world, and has severely damaged the BVI.

      Like 64
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      • @Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear - what is going on with the DPP says:

        It is called the Rule of Law. And in any event, it is the principle of reciprocity. USVI does it to BVI people all the time.

        Like 36
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        • Ahem says:

          Er, Mr. Rule of Law…can you cite any cases whereby sailors sailing in the BVIs got too close to St. John’s were arrested?

          Like 40
          Dislike 9
          • @Ahem says:

            Yes…there’s one going on right now…

            Like 12
            Dislike 10
          • Sailor says:

            I have sailed those waters for 25 years and I have never taken much notice of whose water I was in. If the US retaliates we are going to find a lot of BVI charter company customers in US custody and even their boats confiscated.

            Stupid , stupid , stupid.

            Like 21
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      • X says:

        You are missing the point here. They knew they were in BVI waters and that the boarders were closed. What if the shoe was on the other foot? What if the United States Coast guard caught one of our boats in US waters? The problem is that United States citizens do not like to follow the laws of other countries. It happens all the time. If we allow them to do it, we will become a lawless society.

        Like 31
        Dislike 24
        • Suzanne says:

          So you’re saying that US citizens are all the same and don’t follow laws in other countries? That’s a big net that you cast. Would BVI prefer US citizens charter from St Thomas and keep their business and their money in waters belonging to their own country? The way things are going, that could happen!

          Like 15
          Dislike 10
          • Ramby says:

            YES! Keep them and their COVID out of my home. When they can come here legally and do so, not a problem. These people are, by definition, criminals. Why on earth would we want them here?

            Like 8
            Dislike 8
          • BVI says:

            Americans are an infestation on the world right now… You are only welcome if you follow the same rules we have been doing for the last year that has us covid free.
            Take it as a friendly warning because I know if I sailed in to US waters illegally my boat would be taken and I would be arrested.

            Follow our laws or stay away… it’s that simple but apparently not simple enough for Americans.

            As for the money they bring in… all major charter companies are owned by non BVI citizens. You are guests… start acting like it.

        • Not in BVI says:

          So true

          They admitted that they knew .. but they are Americans and think they can do whatever they want

          Like 9
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          • Other side says:

            “Natures Dirty Little Secret.” Look what they did to the NJ fisherman who, under INTERNATIONAL TREATY did nothing wrong. And officials lied about it. But hey, the only ones I feel sorry for are the businesses on JVD, Cane Garden and others that tens of thousands that used to cross over regularly WON’T be coming to in the near future when things open up. BVI has a rep of corruption. Wanted over $500K against the NJ fisherman, jailed him at Bahlsam Gut for four months. We on this side are done with you until common sense comes back. I hope the Spring Regatta is a complete washout.

            Like 4
            Dislike 2
          • kindness says:

            I was once anchored in a USVI bay where a bunch of kids from BVI had rafter together and were having a bit of a party. Some NPS folks came and ran them off, but no one even talked about arresting anybody. (I could tell because the NPS folks were using a megaphone).

            The USVI should continue to have this relaxed policy. These islands are close together and strict enforcement just does not make sense.

            Of course, the BVI has chosen a different path. We should not retaliate, but Americans should stay far away from BVI. This new strict enforcement policy from the BVI is going to be a huge headache for locals in the USVI already, No need to add to that by vacationing down there.

        • Jojo says:

          How about you speak for your damn self!!

          • Cojo says:

            We have the saem problem with Americans violating our Covid rules and regulations here in Canada. Just plain arrogance on their part…

            Like 4
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      • Truth says:

        It matters not whether or not they intended to be in the bvi. They WERE in the BVI and they obviously knew they were in our waters by claiming they didn’t land as if that would excuse their illegal entry into our country. Any impact on tourism is nothinhg compared flouting law and order especially by people coming from a country that is awash with Covid. Keep the Americans away from here until they get their health problems in order and then allow them in LEGALLY.

        Like 10
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      • Jeff says:

        Looks like it’s called “making a deterant example” of some typically “entitled” U.S. citizens that decide what does and doesn’t apply to them.

        Like 3
        Dislike 1
    • Really says:

      Here’s the best advertising for the opening day of tourism.

      https://www.foxnews.com/world/american-group-detained-for-accidentally-sailing-in-british-virgin-island-waters

      The government of the BVI and the Governor should be ashamed of themselves. I sincerely hope that the U.S. retaliates. Closing U.S. points of entry to BVI citizens comes to mind.

      Like 28
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      • @Really says:

        Totally agree with you and further, the US should be checking all BVI citizens upon entry to the US for dual citizenship and making sure they have filed US Federal Income tax or cart them off to jail. For years the Belongers have gone to USVI and Puerto Rico to drop their babies. These babies are instantly citizens (illegally) and when they get older they get scholarships for the needy to attend US schools. This and the medical care they get for free is illegal and needs to be stopped.

        Like 24
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        • Really says:

          you need to get your facts straight. Free medical care in the US. lies.

          Like 12
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        • Real Simple says:

          @Really,

          Wrong.

          A. General Requirements for Acquisition of Citizenship at Birth
          A person born in the United States who is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is a U.S. citizen at birth, to include a person born to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe. [1]

          Like 2
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        • Home grown says:

          Really,i could tell you are one of the PARASITES living in the bvi. Everything about us bothers you but if you would leave and go back homeyou could call 494 **24 i ken will give you your one way ticket back home. Only one criteria ,you cannot come back no matter whatsoever.

          Like 4
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      • ST. THOMAS says:

        @Really, I WILL AGREE WITH YOU ON THAT. THE US SHOULD AND NEED TO CUT OFF ALL POINT OF ENTRY INTO THE US FROM THE BVI.

        Like 10
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        • Raga says:

          St.t. before you say so check how your stores are crying now that tortola people cannot come down to shop. K.mart,costuless, pricesmart, jewelry stores and the likes,even kenturkey and mac Donalds will tell you let us come any and everytime.
          Another thing we get held up with our boats and all we would here is that that is Federal and they cant assist us. So please get the Facts before you intervene. Rules are rules.

          Like 7
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  2. Rubber Duck says:

    Interesting comparison with the $20,000 Customs wanted to rip off them. Lesson, If charged by the Customs , go to court.

    Meanwhile on top of ludicrous Covid restrictions this whole fiasco has cost the BVI millions upon millions of lost tourist revenue.

    How can the head of customs still be in a job? He has to go.

    Like 44
    Dislike 16
    • Suzanne says:

      This is true. A lot of people headed or planning to head to BVI are hanging plans. Sailing in BVI waters by the “American 4”could easily have been an accidental entry. If they made no effort to anchor or dock, why turn it in to an international incident at the beginning of a reopen wrapped in the words “BVILOVE”? If this is “BVI LOVE”, I’m sure tourists would be terrified of BVI HATE or even mild dislike! $1000k per person still adds up to a lot of money for what they did. I’m assuming they also missed their flights and will have to pay again to return home. With everything happening in the US and all over the world, a holiday should not have turned in to a nightmare. What poor public relations! BVI could not have projected worse press and image if it was planned!

      Like 15
      Dislike 6
      • Bornhur says:

        ” If they made no effort to anchor or dock, why turn it in to an international incident ”
        Because it’s ILLEGAL! How can that not matter to you? These people committed a crime so are criminals. It’s so simple. Surely you don’t need that to be explained.

        Like 7
        Dislike 7
      • Just looking on says:

        Shut your mouth

    • Not in BVI says:

      Cancro then said: “I know the borders are closed, but we didn’t touch land.” —

      well stay out

      Oh .. please about the $20,000

      People always believe USA Citizens in what they say … especially against law enforcement officers

      One of the best liars in the USA wasn’t on the boat

      Like 4
      Dislike 2
  3. Bvi says:

    Welcome to the bvi
    A place where the government will find a reason to take ppl money illegally
    What happen to the $20,000 fine lol
    Seems like there luck ran out, the ain’t get to rob these Americans
    Tourist y’all don’t come to the bvi it ain’t worth it

    Like 34
    Dislike 14
    • Tourist says:

      @BVI, WE AND MANY MORE TOURIST WILL NOT SET FOOT ON BVI SOIL BE IT VIA PLANE, CRUISE SHIP, SAILBOAT OR FERRY. THE BVI IS BLACK LISTED IN THE TOURIST WORLD. WE KNOW ALL ABOUT THE ROACH INFESTED FLEA BAG MOTEL. SYAY AWAY FROM THE BVI,YOU MIGHT END UP BEING HELD AS HOSTAGES AND EXTORTED.

      Like 20
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      • @Tourist says:

        We do not need tourists who will not respect our laws and always bring a sense of entitlement mentally to these soils…so good riddance and don’t send a postcard!

        Like 23
        Dislike 17
        • HA HA HA says:

          Continue to stay in your THIRD WORLD CONTRY AND STARVE. I DON’T BLAME THE WEALTHY FOR TAKING OVER YOUR COUNTY. CONTINUE TO SIT AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD BEGGING, PHEASANT!!!!!!!.

          Like 6
          Dislike 8
        • Suzanne says:

          I truly don’t think it was a lack of respect for laws. I think it was accidental and should not have been treated as a crime. BVI economy is still very dependent on tourism. Until there is an alternative way to bring revenue in, tourists should be treasured. They leave a lot of their dollars on the various islands. Do you have a plan B?

          Like 10
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  4. DJ says:

    Welcome! Oh welcome one and all!!!! come back come back come back…..
    NOT NOT NOT
    Why not tell them to go back? We’ve all read here and seenfirst hand how your customs and immigration people treat people– tourist..
    Excuse me but aren’t we the ones running to STT every time we need medical help? We get more help from USA then our own gov’t.

    Like 37
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    • USA says:

      So it appears they were forced to plead guilty. And by the way, why would they be a flight risk if they were granted bail? Their passports were seized so how could they be a flight risk? When the people of the BVI NEED MEDICAL OR OTHER SERVICES THEY RUN TO THE SAME UNITED STATES RIGHT? WHEN MOST OF THEM RACK UP HUGE HOSPITAL BILLS AND SKIP OUT ON PAYING THEIR BILLS DOES THE UNITED STATES TRACK THEM DOWN AND HOLD THEM HOSTAGE IN A FILTHY HOTEL? THIS IS NOT OVER WITH.

      Like 25
      Dislike 9
      • Absolutely not, USA says:

        It is not over with as yet. They were forced to plead guilty and extorted for a thousand dollars each. They could not extort the twenty thousand from them due to the fact the Captain offered to pay the twenty thousand by CREDIT CARD which was refused. IF IT WAS TWENTY THOUSAND IN CASH, THEY WOULD HAVE TAKEN THE MONEY FOR WHOMEVER POCKETS. THEN, THEY WOULD HAVE TURNED AROUND AND CHARGE THE CAPTAIN WITH CARRYING A LARGE AMOUNT OF CASH. IF YOU ARE A TOURIST, STAY AWAY FROM THE BVI YOU MAY END UP BEING HELD HOSTAGE OR EXTORTED.

        Like 9
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      • Guilty says:

        They have proved and admitted they have no respect for the rule of law regarding immigration so obviously they could leave and skip bail.

        Like 4
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    • Longlook says:

      We get diddly squat from the US. We also get diddly squat from our government. The only people who give us anything is the UK.

      Like 1
      Dislike 2
    • Bandit says:

      I guess the forgot about the electric poles that they got from st thomas after the hurricanes

  5. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear - what is going on with the DPP says:

    How could the DPP let this case proceed – what was the public interest in the prosecution? Nobody thinks that these people were trying to land in the BVI, or that they had any intention of being in the BVI. They inadvertently sailed over the boundary whilst tacking around St John. BVI boats heading from West End or JVD to Norman Island frequently stay over the boundary into what a technically US waters but the US does not intervene because it is clear that the boats do not intend to stop in the US. Let’s see whether that attitude changes now!
    It was ludicrous of customs to detain them, but the decision of the DPP to prosecute them was a travesty of justice. … lack of judgment has been reported all around the world, and has severely damaged the BVI.

    Like 18
    Dislike 3
    • FYI... says:

      ‘How could the DPP let this case proceed – what was the public interest in the prosecution?’

      Per BVI law (because that is the only pertinent law in this situation), it fell under the DPP’s remit as a ‘case submitted by the RVIPF and other government departments and agencies for prosecution’.

      ‘Nobody thinks that these people were trying to land in the BVI, or that they had any intention of being in the BVI. They inadvertently sailed over the boundary whilst tacking around St John.’

      Nobody, not even the four accused themselves, believes that they ‘inadvertently sailed over the boundary’. See the court documents and the location where they were intercepted and detained.

      ‘BVI boats heading from West End or JVD to Norman Island frequently stay over the boundary into what a technically US waters but the US does not intervene because it is clear that the boats do not intend to stop in the US. Let’s see whether that attitude changes now!’

      Ahh yes… the good old ‘threat of retaliation’. In pre-pandemic times, perhaps ‘straying over the boundary’ was not an issue. In case you haven’t noticed, things have changed over the past nine months. You would do well to keep abreast of global events as well as reacquainting yourself with issues of border security and sovereignty of non-US locations, particularly for sanitary reasons. You don’t have to like it (your personal preferences really only matter to you) but law is law and abiding by it and complying with it regardless of petulant personal preference really goes a long way and says much about maturity.

      ‘It was ludicrous of customs to detain them, but the decision of the DPP to prosecute them was a travesty of justice. … lack of judgment has been reported all around the world, and has severely damaged the BVI.’

      Honestly, what it has done in all likelihood is made those who felt entitled to do as they please and proceed as though there wasn’t a global pandemic think twice. That is a good thing. Thinking is good. Don’t fight it.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
      • Other Side says:

        Stuff it. I had a friend extorted at West End for $5000 for “illegal entry.” Two ferries were in and they were waiting. They went out and circled around the end of Soper’s Hole, came back to clear in and were promptly arrested and detained and their boat seized. When they came to get the boat back, it was “missing.” They never got the outboard back. So no, no more BVI from this side from the old schoolers. This has been going on for years, and the U.S. needs to reciprocate in kind. You did it to the Berry kids years ago, seized their boat, gave the fish to you know who to be sold. You did it with Black Pearl. You did it with the old guy headed to Jost with his wife trailing a stupid fishing line. You RAN OVER AND SEVERELY INJURED some people coming back from the Willie T one night. And completely got away with it. Yeah. No. No to BVI, and it’s going worldwide.

  6. Unfair says:

    Its ridiculous that people who break BVI laws like to demonize the Territory. Obey the laws, abide by the people’s rules and everything will be fine. Do you all break the laws in your country? How do you feel about a foreigner coming into your country and breaking your laws?
    The BVI is a wonderful place. You can have an amazing visit and vacation. But, as with anywhere else, you risk ruining it when you break the laws and the rules.

    Like 20
    Dislike 19
  7. Theophilus P. Wildebeeste says:

    Serve dems right! Damn honkeys comin’ over ‘ere spendin’ dey money in our islands.

    Tek em for all you can! Keep de beeches for the locals.

    Like 7
    Dislike 25
  8. Haaa says:

    They got treated nicely compared to how they treat the mexican children in USA.

    Like 23
    Dislike 20
  9. America says:

    We all know and see how four of our CITIZENS WAS HELD AND PLACED IN A ROACH INFESTED DIRTY FLEA BAG HOTEL FOR INADVERTENTLY SAILING INTO THE BVI DRUG RUNNING AND HUMAN SMUGGLING WATERS. THE WHOLE WORLD SAW AND KNOWS WHAT YOU GUYS DID. THAT IS WHY POTENTIAL TOURIST IS BEING WARNED TO STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM THE BVI AS THEY CAN.

    Like 20
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    • SMH says:

      Take your caps and up them where the sun don’t shine and stay in your disease infested USA where normal people are called Aliens where murder is an everyday thing where children start using drugs from the age of five where the system is only for white where blacks are killed for fun where unemployment can never go away should I continue you all have a lot a stinking balls America is the biggest criminals for 100 of years and you feel you can bring down a small island to whom is under the queen take it up with the united kingdom and leave us alone man enough is enough

      Like 15
      Dislike 18
      • Oliver says:

        silly post

        Like 5
        Dislike 3
      • America says:

        @SHM, GO AND FIND THE FIRST DONKEY YOU SEE WALKING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND CONTINUE THE INBRED BREADING MARATHON SESSION. HEARD YOU WERE TRYING FOR INBRED NUMBER 4, ANOTHER MOUTH THE GOVERNMENT HAVE TO FEED.

        Like 4
        Dislike 4
      • @SMH says:

        At least we Americans are free, we don’t have to ask and get permission to Travel. We don’t have to stand in line at the Visa Office hoping they are going to issue us a Visa. We don’t have to marry anyone to obtain STATUS OR AN AMERICAN GREEN CARD OR CITIZENSHIP. AS MUCH AS YOU CALL DOWN AMERICA, YOU ENVY US AND WANT WHAT WE HAVE BUT CAN’T HAVE IT, WE AMERICANS ARE FAR TO ADVANCE. YOU GUYS ARE THE BABY DUCKS IN THE STREAM GETTING PICKED OFF BY THE ALLIGATOR.

        Like 2
        Dislike 4
        • Visa? says:

          Hmm. I’ve been to the U.S many times and never needed a visa. As a non-u.s citizen, how did I do that? Hmm.

        • JR says:

          Last time I checked, no country wants us (US citizens) to travel to their country since Covid got out of hand here in the US, and with good reason. I am an American citizen and am constantly amazed at how many here feel entitled and are throwing tantrums because they could care less about anybody else and don’t want to wear a mask. And, you need to inform yourself further because the BVI falls under British jurisdiction and as such has free healthcare, something that we can’t seem to figure out here in the US because of the inaccurate and erroneous perception of what socialism really is. We are afraid of it and condemn it, yet many don’t even bat an eye of the fact that we are paying for socialism for our current corrupt government administration. What do you think the ridiculously high salaries and free exceptional healthcare for these government officials are? It is socialism for the rich who don’t need it. I think you need to read up some more on world events, politics and other countries before you go and make inane and ignorant comments like you made.

    • @America says:

      Is you ordering the drugs….we are just a transit port that YOU AMERICANS use for your drugs so take your filth and go…you see BVI have a drug addiction problem???? We don’t have the market for it b**ch…

      Like 6
      Dislike 4
    • Dake says:

      Oh please, geh from here with your cheap shot, The captain full well know he was breaching the Law, is he a dam clown for not knowing the COVID law in Place, the boarders been closed for a while, he try to push his luck and got busted, any clown captain will know the BVI and USVI Boarders, his azz just wanted to get to Jost Van Dyke and take a chance, follow the rules and laws of the country and things like this wont happen again, they always looking sympathy when they break the law, sick of these people, their broke behind wont pout a dent in the BVI economy so better luck with your stupide speech.

      Like 17
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    • Thoughtful Sailor says:

      Read the article. The Captain stated they were “just sailing around”. He admitted to knowing they were in BVI waters but justified it by saying they did not touch land. Very careless or ignorant, and definitely guilty.

      Like 17
      Dislike 1
      • Raga says:

        What does drug runners say.we here just lyming ,when in facts they waiting on the thing. Will they ever say we waiting for the drop?

    • @America says:

      Thankfully in America there are no drugs. You guys are clean as a whistle. There are no human trafficking, no cocaine, no corruption and no hostility towards African-Americans. I applaud you guys for making your own black brothers feel safe in their own country. There are no senseless killings, no sex slave offenders, no child molesters, no serial killers and the list goes on. You are the prime example of uprightness. You do not dehumanize, and you extend your courtesy to even those who have broken your laws.

      Like 5
      Dislike 3
    • Kilo says:

      Actually the whole world couldn’t care less and is overwhelmingly unaware of this. Don’t blow this up to be some huge deal. Just 4 cons found guilty and fined. Nothing to see here. Next!

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  10. i had it worst says:

    so, i was driving while holding my celphone to my and my seat belt was off and a cop stop and he says, ” sir you appear to be in violation of the BVI law by talking on your phone while driving and not wearing your seat belt”, i told him yes i know i should not be on my phone while driving and i should have my seat belt on but i was only driving 5 miles per hr. Do you know he give me a summons to appear in court?…. so i after going to court and tell judge heard my case them still fine me and order me to pay. who the BVI think them is taking up people time with simple infractions, and on tp of that i was ONLY going 5 miles per hr. i get fined like i was speeding. strupzzz

    Like 6
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  11. i had it way worst says:

    so, i was driving while holding my celphone to my and my seatbelt was off and a cop stop and he says, ” sir you appear to be in violation of the BVI law by talking on your phone while driving and not wearing your seat belt”, i told him yes i know i should not be on my phone while driving and i should have my seat belt on but i was only driving 5 miles per hr. Do you know he give me a summons to appear in court?…. so i after going to court and tell judge heard my case them still fine me and order me to pay. who the BVI think them is taking up people time with simple infractions, and on tp of that i was ONLY going 5 miles per hr. i get fined like i was speeding. strupzzz

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  12. awa says:

    America You are stupid R** Neck a**, America is one of the biggest DRUG RUNNING AND HUMAN SMUGGLING WATERS.

    THE WHOLE WORLD SAW AND KNOWS. Look at what you do children at the border, those who have glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. T
    he captain knew that the border was closed. If we get into US waters more than that would happen to us we would be in jail.

    Like 11
    Dislike 7
  13. @awa says:

    Next time you need food, clothing, cars, medicine or a hospital with real doctors stay the f**k out of the US. Keep your racist a** in the BVI and when you get knocked up again drop that load in the BVI. we got enough Africans in the US to pay for.

    Like 7
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    • SMH says:

      I wonder how the Africans got there.

      Like 8
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      • Suzanne says:

        If we continue to verbally punish people and hate them for what happened yesterday, we harm today and condemn tomorrow. There is no peace in throwing stones in to the past.

        Like 2
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      • You says:

        On boats that were captained by men who adhered to the rules in place at the time. Pity their countrymen seem to think they can ignore laws these days.

        Like 2
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    • @AWA says:

      We need to block everyone that lives in the BVI out of the US. If they need services, let them go to another Caribbean Country for services. We also need to consider stripping the BVI from access and use of the American Dollar.

      Like 3
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      • FYI... says:

        The BVI didn’t go to the US to request permission to use the USD as currency. We went to the UK. Read up on the history, especially re Leslie Malone. The US has zero say or sovereignty in this matter of currency.

        Further, to prove the absolute absurdity of this comment, ‘stripping the BVI from access’ of the US dollar is impractical simply for reason of currency exchanges. It is a courtesy to American visitors that they don’t have the hassle of having to stand in line at currency exchanges. However, do not mistake our courtesy for a licence to do as you please when in our territory.

        Lastly, keep suggesting this idiocy in the time of a global pandemic, when the world has seen the indiscipline of many American tourists and started making plans accordingly, when China already has a stronger currency than the American fiat currency, more disciplined citizens and a foothold in the region, and a faster recovery from this pandemic as well as representation and diplomatic channels that they know how to work rather than resorting to retaliatory tactics and bullying. Clearly you would prefer for China and the yuan to become the preferred option in your own backyard and to have your vacations on home soil in Alaska.

        Keep it up. May it reach the right ears.

  14. Concern says:

    This is clearly ridiculous that these people were held for crossing an invisible line in the ocean; that was a boat captain error not intent as the previous stated, they only came in 1.5 miles and then realized they were in BVI waters and tried to head back out – madness I tell you – but welcome to BVI.

    Interesting how our border patrol can catch a boat sailing accidently into our waters, but can’t seem to catch our own locals transporting people to and from St John illegally.

    Like 24
    Dislike 10
    • Chosen says:

      U all do pat the backs of the locals when they do waste just because of their last names or whose the family born here and i from here u all will soon learn

  15. Chosen says:

    Hm BVI love hm a bunch of crooks in high places just like making innocent people pay taxes and social security that the employer already deducted from their income.

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  16. Spirit says:

    Successful extortion completed.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  17. Dman says:

    This was a needless embarrassment to the B.V.I. forced onto it by self important little men. It would have been easy to determine if there was any real threat to the B.V.I. and then dealt with it reasonably on the spot.

    Like 16
    Dislike 5
    • Suzanne says:

      I agree with you. I’m sure the local businesses and people they employ will agree with you as well. Insulting potential tourists and telling them to stay home is not exactly “BVILOVE”. It is apparent post Irma and Covid that an alternative revenue source needs to be sought. However, so much of the income was and still is tourism dependent, it makes no sense at all to insult Americans and tell them to stay home. They will do just that if they aren’t welcome. The Bahamas are a viable alternative for island adventure. Until there is a plan B, I’d say, put some “BVI LOVE” out there!

      Like 5
      Dislike 5
  18. Stupidness says:

    Let me fix your headline.

    “Four US Citezens Illegally Detained have finally been freed”

    Agents of the rogue BVI movement seized the Sailing Vessel they were on in violation of international treaties. The four were engaged in innocent passage, on the fringes of BVI waters. With no intention of going ashore they posed no threat to security, health or the severity of the BVI’s. The BVI’s failed to notify the UN of their intention to suspend the international treaty.

    After a week or more in captivity, they were coerced into pleading guilty to trumped-up charges and extorted of $4000 in exchange for their freedom.

    Originally the government was demanding $20000 for their freedom. Pressure from need stories and occasionally someone with common sense getting involved lower the “fine”. But not before doing massive damage to the reputation of the territory and it’s tourism product.

    Thi

    Like 26
    Dislike 5
    • Demanding, USA says:

      The USVI boarder should be closed for a couple of Months from anyone in the BVI GAINING ENTRY INTO THE USVI.

      Like 11
      Dislike 2
    • Hmm says:

      @ Stupidness. At the time, we had a law that prohibited unauthorized vessels from even being in BVI waters. Others were held during that time too. Also, if they were near jvd and heading east, that could possibly mean that they were dishonest about returning to St. John, because east of JVD is Tortola. If there are laws in place, why willfully break them? He admitted to knowing that our borders were closed, yet saw that as the perfect time to sail around. lol ok

      A number of people are bashing the BVI because of the false statements from these persons. The fact remains that they violated the laws. The BVI should sue for defamation.

      Some persons in these comments are also talking about if it were a BVIslander in US waters. However, to draw a fair comparison, you would have to use the same conditions. In a case of the borders being closed there, the same or worse would occur (ie. Jail time). End of story.

      Like 5
      Dislike 3
      • Stupidness more says:

        They did not violate a law. They violated a mandate that was illegal under international law. Innocent passage is a well established legal principle. Suspending it by mandate requires the country to notify the UN. The BVI has no right to unilaterally disobey this international treaty.

        Like 3
        Dislike 2
        • They did, in fact, violate a law and are CRIMINALS says:

          For reference, UNCLOS: https://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf

          Per Article 21:
          Laws and regulations of the coastal State relating to innocent passage
          1. The coastal State may adopt laws and regulations, in conformity with
          the provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law, relating
          to innocent passage through the territorial sea, in respect of all or any of the
          following:
          (h) the prevention of infringement of the customs, fiscal,
          immigration or sanitary laws and regulations of the coastal
          State.

          The closure of the borders was done for customs, immigrations AND sanitary laws per the regulations of the coastal State (BVI).

          Further, per Section 3 of that SAME Article 21:
          3. The coastal State shall give due publicity to all such laws and
          regulations.

          Note well that it says ‘due publicity’, not WHERE it has to be published or to the satisfaction of ‘random entitled X mariner just sailing about and expecting things to go their way’.

          Those who made it their business to be informed, were informed. Those who thought their entitlement would get them out of trouble proceeded accordingly. Reading is fundamental and law is law.

          Like 1
          Dislike 2
  19. :) says:

    All those people that are so sweet and wish we would pat the law breakers on the back and send them home with some chicken and johnnycakes should enter US waters under the same circumstances and see what happens.

    Like 8
    Dislike 4
  20. PT9 says:

    Do you people know anything about Borders If the shoe was on the other foot and we had entered the USVI border and it closed we would be in jail.

    Like 6
    Dislike 4
  21. Laura says:

    Whilst I agree to some extent that the law was broken, it seems the process of how they are initially apprehended was incorrect. It has now received worldwide coverage in a negative manner and I can only hope that ALL BVIslanders on US soil will make sure they are straight or else I can see this being a repercussive action by our lovely Americans.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  22. Deh Watcha says:

    The good thing about all of this is that boaters from both the BVI and USVI will now properly respect and adhere to this imaginary line in the sea.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  23. Haha says:

    They accidently crossed into our borders the same way dozens of USVI boaters accidently went to JVD to party during the curfew stages.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  24. Candi says:

    There’s no way those ppl didn’t know they were in BVI waters! They knew exactly why they were heading towards JVD. They can bawl and go on as many bias American news outlets that they want. Nobody can go to AmeriKKKa and try what they did in the BVI.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  25. Tom says:

    wow this forum became nasty …wow.

    First of all, it just shows you how much tention this crisis generated. Maybe it was there all the time … don’t know. I am a guest and not familiar with the relationship between BVI and US … but it sure looks ugly.

    But I will say this to the folks in the BVI and I will say it about this incident, the way the BVI opening up and how they dealt with COVID 19 all along …as this is a trend.

    Your gov can be right, but being right doesn’t mean you are smart.

    Yes, I agree with the people of the BVI that the captain knew he is in BVI waters, I am not sure he internalized that being on the BVI waters in “transit” is same as going on land. He assumed it will be OK. He did not try to lie about his understanding.

    Yes, you are right, technically/ factually he broke the law and it does not matter much if he knew the exact law or not.

    Same goes to all the protocols the gov applied so far. Extremely conservative and yes, proved themselves in the sense very few got sick.

    so you are right on the captain, you are right about the closure, you are right about the odd opening protocols.

    If you are looking to be right – You definitely got won the argument.

    But are you smart about it? No. the price you are paying for being right is massive.
    you (your gov more so) have an eye that paints things in pure black and white terms.
    Anyone who operates in those terms, in the long run will only be losing. Knowing when to put out a mussel and when to move on and turn an eye is something to be learned.

    As the saying goes. When COVID 19 will be over and folks will look how the BVI gov dealt with the epidemic think the can proudly say “the surgery was successful, it’s just too bad the patient died”

    Of course, I might be wrong as I just prefer to be smart 🙂 (Joke, ease up people)

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • Nick says:

      Yes, they are right but being very stupid about it.

      Read the sailing forums and see the damage they brought on themselves.

      As I read these comments and the tention that exists between people of the BVI and US visitors, its starts to explain these policy…

      they want them out hence, saying its damaging thier economy is not relevant – they don’t want them there.

      • Consider it a flashpoint, if you will... says:

        Yes, there is fallout. Yes, the US media has NOT told the truth in that they clearly knew the borders were closed and trespassed anyway. Anyone can look at a map, see the location where they were intercepted and see where St. John is. Also the fact that people are not crying about ‘innocent passage’ as a defence as though that supercedes BVI law in a pandemic (when UNCLOS Article 21 section clearly states that mariners must abide by laws of the coastal state put in place for sanitary reasons) speaks VOLUMES…

        It’s clearly not about supporting what is right to these folks. It’s something much more sinister and it’s out in the open, judging from all the calls for retaliation and hoping that the BVI tourism industry fails for not recognising the so-called hands that feed it.

        No, this is about something that has been simmering under the surface and is bubbling up in the surface in neighbouring US territories which DO NOT have the luxury of closing their borders. They have to lie back and take it. The BVI does not.

        Scroll through and read the laissez-faire comment by one mariner claiming that he never really paid too much attention to borders before now. Observe the casual disdain for border sovereignty and the arrogant belief that your PREFERENCES should supersede a territory’s sovereignty.

        Observe the outcry that spoilt adults believe that a ‘sailing vacation being spoilt’ is somehow worse than YET ANOTHER vessel breaching borders. Observe the disrespect. This is NOT now.

        The problem is quite frankly folks who for whatever reason CANNOT quite understand that the places you VISIT for a vacation are HOME to people, year round. When you flee after a Category 5 hurricane because the mosquitoes and the heat and the power outage and the chaos is just too much for your delicate sensitivities, the people who CANNOT flee deal with it and live. At the most, you’re inconvenienced by not being able to have a vacation in the timeframe you would like while they recover.

        The problem is ENTITLED folks who seem to believe their version of this part of the world as nothing more than their little playground should be the dominant view. News flash: it isn’t. Half the folks watching those biased news reports on this story wouldn’t be able to work out WHERE the BVI is on a map unless someone showed it to them. They know nothing about us. They know nothing about our history. They know about having a good time and going back to ‘real life’ as they see it. And they certainly don’t have islander resilience and would be on the first plane out if things hit the fan during this pandemic and they looked around and FINALLY realised the healthcare situation here. So really, their opinion DOES NOT MATTER.

        Until and unless VISITORS to these shores get it through their heads that the place where they vacation is real, actual home and life for real, actual people beyond those cleaning the villas and boats and making things comfortable for them… really, the better medicine to take would be to keep them out. This disrespect is more than enough, and many countries are waking up to the fact that quite a few Americans have this disrespectful attitude. It is NOT a good look and it is not anomalous.

        And NO ONE wants disrespectful visitors in their home. We LIVE where you vacation. This is our home and if it’s a choice to forge closer ties with other Caribbean territories who are just as fed up of the disrespect or bending over and taking whatever is dished out in the name of USD… well…

        Respectful nationals of any country are more than welcome to visit. This situation should serve as a sieve really…. to sift wheat from chaff because for far too long we’ve been letting the marish and the parish in and facilitating this nonsense. Time to thin the herd. This is a flashpoint and was building up; it just took a pandemic with our lives literally on the line and the whole world seeing Americans go on Spring Break, Fourth of July parties, Thanksgiving trips and acting as if there isn’t a pandemic for us to realise Americans don’t even care about fellow Americans, much less folks who live in tiny territories they only consider vacation spots.

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
        • Shut it Down says:

          The argument above is correct. There is no reason that the BVI needs to be a tourist destination. Many countries chose the kind of strict border enforcement that the BVI undertook here. They have every right to do so. The BIV should be governed for the benefit of their own people, and if they want strict enforcement of maritime border laws, they should have it.

          But please don’t think you can have it both ways. There is no such thing as letting “good” tourists in and keeping “bad” tourists out. I am humble enough to be respectful of the people in the places I visit. I am also humble enough to know that I sometimes make mistakes when I’m sailing.

          And no matter how much I respect or admire the people of the BVI, I just don’t want to be detained and fined if I make a mistake while I’m on vacation.

          I respect the right of people of the BVI to be as strict as they want with anyone who strays into their waters. But it would be stupid to take a vacation that might maybe come with a side-order of jail.

          The BVI should continue this strict enforcement. Lock up every American who gets within BVI waters unless they follow every rule and regulation. The BVI belongs to the people who live there and they should do exactly as they pelase

          But please don’t expect anyone to come to visit your very beautiful islands. Its not about arrogance- its about being humble enough to know we all make mistakes and seeing what the BVI does to foreigners who make mistakes.

          • exactly says:

            can’t have it both ways …

            BVI should do exactly as the earlier poster said. Shout it down if all they want to live in peace.

            But don’t expect to get 1.1M visitors knowing at your door. You need to take care of your own including those who makes living out of tourism. If not a big deal, great. If it is … you need to be smarter.

            One thing did came across very clearly – there is hate to American. Good reason/bad reason doesn’t matter. The mask on this is off and guess what.. no one likes going to places they are not welcomed.

            Should be simply posted on the mister of toursim posters

            p.s Americans are not welcomed here on 4th of July, Thanksgiven and … in general.

  26. Safe Tourism says:

    This was an example for boaters. I think it was done correctly and at the right time (right before we open borders).
    The message: These are the rules. Don’t break them, or there will be consequences.
    How are we going to open our borders to the USA if we don’t enforce rules? These people have been running around for 6 months not wearing masks and spreading Covid all over the place.
    If you are not going to follow the rules during a pandemic, in our country where we do not have the best hospitals, stay home please. Come back after the vaccine is out.
    In this one case – the BVI has their act together. The USA Does Not. Period. End of Sentence…

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  27. Not in BVI says:

    It’s amazing that I read so many reports about these tourists.

    You crossed the border in the USA you are arrested regardless?

    You enter US waters and don’t declare. You are arrested.

    Well done Customs and Immigration.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
    • Clumsy Navigator says:

      Its not that the BVI government is doing something wrong. The people of the BVIs have every right to be as strict as they wish about their territorial waters.

      But this kind of law-enforcement makes the BVIs a horrible place for a casual sailor to vacation.

      Some may argue that this is just a COVID thing and the BVI may be more kind to sailors like me when this is over. But why should I take that chance? We have all now seen the power and determination of the BVI and its people to hold any wayward sailor strictly to account.

      That is lawful, but I and others like me who used to spend our vacation dollars in these beautiful islands will now stay respectfully far away.

  28. Clumsy Navigator says:

    I’m an American who has charted in the BVI about ten times over the last 17 years. Both for the sailing and the amazing people, the BVI are my favorite charter destination. But seeing this kind of law enforcement makes me thing I probably will not come back.

    Its not that the BVI government is doing something wrong. The people of the BVIs have every right to be as strict as they wish about their territorial waters. I hope that the US never takes a similar approach and I hope that we are welcoming and kind to any BVI sailor who might inadvertently find her way to our waters. But every people has the right to determine their own rules, and this kind of strict enforcement is clearly lawful and within the rights of the BVI and its people.

    But this kind of law-enforcement makes the BVIs a horrible place for a casual sailor to vacation.

    When I charter in the BVIs, I often clear in and out traveling between USVI and BVI. Clearing in or out at Jost is a pleasure and I love showing the place to friends with whom I sail. But now that I know that there is so much risk in terms of being fined or detained if I happen to make a bad tack when I’m cleared out of BVI, I will just give the whole area a wide birth. Better to explore the Bahamas or St Vincent and the Grenadines than risk a fine or confinement for a small error.

    Some may argue that this is just a COVID thing and the BVI may be more kind to sailors like me when this is over. But why should I take that chance? We have all now seen the power and determination of the BVI and its people to hold any wayward sailor strictly to account.

    That is lawful, but I and others like me who used to spend our vacation dollars in these beautiful islands will now stay respectfully far away.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  29. Clumsy Navigator says:

    Its not that the BVI government is doing something wrong here. The people of the BVIs have every right to be as strict as they wish about their territorial waters.

    But this kind of law-enforcement makes the BVIs a horrible place for a casual sailor to vacation.

    Some may argue that this is just a COVID thing and the BVI may be more kind to sailors like me when this is over. But why should I take that chance? We have all now seen the power and determination of the BVI and its people to hold any wayward sailor strictly to account.

    That is lawful, but I and others like me who used to spend our vacation dollars in these beautiful islands will now stay respectfully far away.

  30. Wellsah says:

    Hope the Americans learnt their lesson and keep their money in their own jurisdiction instead of in foriegn places where they are not welcome.

    • Jeremiah says:

      Americans think they are entitled and that they are above everyone else. That is the principle of white supremacy and that is why BLM movement is spreading around the world. They will unlawfully put kids in jail, shoot unarmed black people and drop nuclear bomb on the Japanese. Its time the world wakes up and resist their evil otherwise God will rightly bring his judgement upon them for the years of slavery and jim crow and the offence of white supremacy which is an offence to God Almighty. The bible shows us God is black read Revelation chapter one and if you need more bible quotes please kindly respond.

      • Fact Check says:

        Although you make some good points, I’m not sure that the US “will…drop nuclear bombs on Japan” anytime soon.

        Am I missing some Japan-US tension that is likely to break out into global fisticuffs?

  31. Jeremiah says:

    Americans think they are entitled and that they are above everyone else. That is the principle of white supremacy and that is why BLM movement is spreading around the world. They will unlawfully put kids in jail, shoot unarmed black people and drop nuclear bomb on the Japanese. Its time the world wakes up and resist their evil otherwise God will rightly bring his judgement upon them for the years of slavery and jim crow and the offence of white supremacy which is an offence to God Almighty. The bible shows us God is black read Revelation chapter one and if you need more bible quotes please kindly respond.

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  32. US Sailor says:

    This story reached me in Louisana. We’re about to sail to Antigua, via St Thomas. There’s no way we will consider getting close to the British Virgin Islands. As a retired Police Officer, one of the first things we are taught is discretion. The front line Officers in this case should have practiced reasonable discretion after interviewing the subjects on the vessel and let them proceed. This case will cost the BVI $ millions in lost tourist dollars. This is a public relations blunder.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  33. US Sailor says:

    As a US sailor who will be in St Thomas soon, please be assured I will not consider visiting your country. This is a terrible public relations event that’s gone viral.

  34. Truth says:

    What a load of bulls**t!!! BVI you are totally wrong!!! Just another way of making money!! If you were trying to quarantine for covid and then willfully bring them to land you are stupid. Just tell them to leave was enough. They didn’t even set foot on land until you retards brought them ashore. Dumb as hell!!!

  35. Tourist says:

    I’ve been looking forward to my next visit to the BVI and already rebooked my charter from last summer that was cancelled by COVID. But between the rampant police corruption, Fahie, and now this extortion, I’m thinking it’s time to try a country with its act together, instead.

    We always used to think the incompetent and rude customs folks were the exception, but it looks more like that’s just everyone in the government down there. I hope all the lovely people I met in the BVI can get things straightened out and fix these clowns.

  36. Sailor says:

    Time to look for a different charter base.

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