A corruption investigation in the British Virgin Islands led by Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines put three BVI-based officers in court Tuesday.
According to a statement from Mr. Baines, the three officers were arrested Monday in the BVI and charged with “various criminal offenses.”
All three men were suspended from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force last year in connection with an investigation dubbed “Operation Lucan.”
Mr. Baines said the operation was considered a national security council probe and was initiated after “allegations of serious police corruption” were made.
The three officers appeared in court in the BVI Tuesday. The allegation against them, generally, is that they stole drugs and money from criminal suspects they arrested or detained.
The three men, identified as Pamphill Prevost, Simon Power and Shawn Henry, are facing 19 charges altogether.
These charges include three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, nine counts of theft, four counts of possessing or using the proceeds of criminal conduct, two counts of drug possession with intent to supply, and one count of transferring proceeds of criminal conduct.
Queen’s Counsel Christopher Sallon, a special Crown prosecutor brought in from the United Kingdom, alleged that the crimes occurred between Jan. 1, 2012, and July 31, 2014.
Mr. Baines’s appointment as the “gold commander” of the Operation Lucan investigation was announced in early 2015. Initially, four BVI officers were suspended in connection with the probe, but just three appeared in court Tuesday.
Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s office, who responded to questions in early 2015 about the BVI posting, said Mr. Baines’s role was to provide “strategic oversight and direction” in the corruption investigation.
The governor’s office indicated Mr. Baines had traveled to the BVI in connection with the assignment, but was able to fulfill his role in the investigation largely from the Cayman Islands.
According to a statement from the governor’s office in February 2015: “This oversight role will not impact on the commissioner’s role/duty/responsibilities in respect of the RCIPS. Commissioner Baines visited the BVI … to be personally briefed by the senior investigating officer and to meet with the governor, BVI director of public prosecutions and BVI commissioner of police.”
BVI Beacon reporter Katie King contributed to this story.