On 24 October, the Guardian carried an article about the UK government commission of inquiry into mis-governance in the British overseas territory. It is said to have revealed a dark underside to the BVI, as well as exposing a deep well of resentment among some of the Caribbean island’s politicians at the controls placed on them by the UK. Allegations range from unaudited spending on a $40 million Covid stimulus fund, the handing out of contracts worth close to £100,000 to politically connected people, a £10 million land development deal, the selective granting of BVI citizenship or “belonger” status, handing out of Crown Property and drug running. The commission of inquiry was set up in January 2021 by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. A former commissioner of police has referred to “a total deficit of trust and confidence as to Royal Virgin Island police force professionalism, integrity and ability to act on information offered, instead of divulging amongst colleagues and friends”.
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