BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Plot to "Blow Up" BVI Airport

April 14, 2016

The police on Thursday launched a major investigation into reports that terrorists were planning to “blow up” the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport and other locations on this British overseas territory.

 

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) said along with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in the United States, they were probing the reports.

 

“The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force are investigating these reports. The BVI National Security Council, jointly chaired by the Governor and Premier will meet early this afternoon to consider appropriate action,” said Governor John Duncan.

 

“I am aware of reports circulating on local social media channels about a potential terrorist threat to the territory,” the Governor added.

 

BVI News Online made reference to a report being circulated on social media that an “ISIS fanatic” had threatened to “blow up” the territory’s main airport on Friday, April 15.

 

In response, Director of the BVI Airport Authority Denniston Fraser, stated that steps were taken early Thursday to review security at the airport.

 

“We have received information of a possible threat to airports across the Virgin Islands including Terrance B Lettsome International Airport, and we are working closely with the FBI currently on the matter. We cannot yet be sure that this information is credible. Meantime, we have reviewed and stepped up security at the airport and continue to look at public safety as our main priority,” Fraser said.

 

Meanwhile the authorities have urged persons visiting the territory to remain vigilant.

 

courtesy of; Caribbean News Service

Minister calls for increased hotel accommodation taxes

March 27, 2016

Education Minister, Myron Walwyn, has called on the government to increase the hotel accommodation tax and to also target those who sleep on boats docked in local waters.

 

Walwyn, who is also a hotel operator, noted that the government has been losing money because too many people have resorted to sleeping on marine vessels.

 

“The truth really is, you have more people sleeping on sea than what we have on land. And so now the government needs to re-position itself to make sure that we collect that money.”

 

“Probably going back 15 [or] 20 years now, when a weekend came in our industry, every hotel from Treasure Isle to Nanny Cay was full on a weekend, because that is when people came in. There was a shift in the marine industry and persons came to sleep on the boats right away. And that created a problem for many of the businesses – many of which were local businesses.”

 

Concerning the hotel accommodation tax, he said it should not only be collected, but also increased.

OECS meet to discuss Sargassum Seaweed impact on tourism

March 24, 2016

Hon. Minister of Trade and Environment on Montserrat, Claude Hogan and Chief Fisheries Officer Alywn Ponteen, joined colleagues from the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda along with leading scientists and experts from around the world to discuss the ongoing issue of Sargassum Seaweed which is affecting the Caribbean and the very important tourism industry.

 

It is a high stakes event involving the UK’s FCO with expectations of immediate solutions to stem the problem to include making a business from Sargassum.

 

Sir Richard Branson is working with the OECS to develop a regional strategy to be implemented locally by member states. The OECS is acting as the technical moderator for the conference along with BVI technicians and Branson’s own team of environmentalists.

 

“Sargussum seaweed is a threat to tourism, the livelihood of fishers and the marine environment,” Hogan noted. “Finding a strategy which we can action locally is the dominant theme of the conference.”

 

The environment ministers of Montserrat, the BVI, Anguilla and Antigua have been asked to champion the project to work with Branson and his Virgin Unite charity to find solutions to the problem.

Prosecution for those failing to declare funds

January 21, 2016

The Commissioner of Customs has warned people travelling through the territory’s ports that failure to declare cash and other monetary instruments in excess of US$10,000 can lead to prosecution.

 

Commissioner Wade Smith said the warning is timely as in recent times some travellers have failed to make the declaration.

 

Items considered monetary instruments include ‘traveller’s cheques, and negotiable instruments’.

People with more than US$10,000 cash or other monetary instruments are now required to fill out the ‘Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments’ form, which can be found at all nine ports of entry throughout the territory.

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