Three BVI police officers charged in Baines-led probe

Commissioner David Baines

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.

Commissioner David Baines
Commissioner David Baines led the BVI investigation.

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.

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  1. Mr. Baines is so highly thought of that he was appointed “Gold Commander” of a corruption task force in a foreign Caribbean country which just led to arrests and charges of foreign police officers? That is trust at an unbelievable level. Yet, we cannot support and praise this man to protect Cayman from growing criminal elements and our own corruption, with our government ending his contract early because of opposition pressures. Mr EBanks said it correctly, if we don’t watch out, this could be the beginning of the end. Perhaps it is. Mr. Baines is a hero and Caymanians should be in the streets begging him and the Governor to have him stay for many more years.

  2. Good job Mr Baines at protecting other Caribbean territory where you were not payed to help with corruption . How many times did the BVI CoP help you with corruption in Cayman Islands ? Or did you ever ask ?

    I think that the corrupt people of BVI is got the message , but that’s what you were pay to do in Cayman Islands .

  3. Oh dear, Mr Ebanks, your very vitriolic attacks on the RCIPC Commissioner are, yet again, both evident and misplaced.
    The various Commissioners of Police in other British Overseas Territories do not ask other Police Commissioners to assist – the arrangements are made at Governor / FCO level who are also responsible for ensuring that their duties in relation to their home territory are not compromised.
    But, hey, let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good moan, eh?

  4. The RCIPS had 60 or more kilos of cocaine lifted from the police drug storage facility and Mr. Baines has admitted that this was an ‘inside’ job and that he has corrupt police officers working under him in the RCIPS.

    Hello….Mr. Baines….tell us something that we don’t already know.

    The Cayman public has heard nothing more from the RCIPS or Mr. Baines on any internal investigation into these missing drugs but Mr. Baines was selected to head up a similar investigation in the BVI ?

    Is the Cayman Islands immune or exempt from such an investigation into the RCIPS and this missing haul of cocaine ?

    Charity begins at home and if Mr. Baines had been paying attention to his own backyard…or drug storage facility, to be exact…he might not now be facing the outcry and calls for his removal from certain quarters in Cayman.

  5. Thank you Mr Tatum, and Mr Ashley I might have been wrong on who ask for help in police corruption case’s , but I don’t like corruption , and I don’t like to see incompetence in any department of public service .