Turmoil Offshore
16 June 2022

Turmoil offshore

Dominic Carman

Law firms rise above the BVI’s ‘bad governance’ and ‘serious dishonesty’

“Almost everywhere, the principles of good governance, such as openness, transparency and even the rule of law, are ignored.” The verdict of retired English judge, Sir Gary Hickinbottom, in his scathing 946-page report into alleged corruption, abuse of office, misuse of taxpayers’ money “and other serious dishonesty” by leading BVI politicians.

Published on 29 April 2022, the report had been instigated by the BVI’s outgoing Governor Gus Jaspert. In January 2021, supported by the UK Foreign Office, he appointed Hickinbottom as Commissioner of an independent Commission of Inquiry (the Commission). After several months of hearings and taking evidence, Hickinbottom did not mince his words, concluding in his report that the BVI’s governance was “appallingly bad”, and that it was “highly likely” that serious dishonesty had taken place. But the Territory’s woes did not end there. On 28 April, Andrew Fahie, the BVI’s Premier since February 2019, was arrested in Miami by the US Drug Enforcement Administration on charges relating to money laundering, conspiracy to import 5kg of cocaine, and planning to assist the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel in moving thousands more kilos of cocaine into the United States.

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