Press Release

Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour
Immigration Department
Release Date:
Wednesday, 9 September 2020 - 8:31pm

Officers of the Joint Task Force are expressing thanks to members of the public for their role in the success of a recent operation in Road Town, which resulted in two illegal immigrants being detained.

On Sunday, 6 September 2020, officers of the Joint Task Force planned and executed a two-and-a-half hour operation at a building located on Wickham’s Cay I.

The operation resulted in the discovery of 72 persons living in the building. Among the persons found in the building were two male Venezuelan individuals who have overstayed the time permitted on their landing permits as visitors. Those two persons are being detained pending their removal from the Territory.

The other 70 individuals found at the location were able to show proof that they are legally residing in the Territory and were not detained.  The operation saw exceptional joint collaboration with the RVIPF ARV Team, Customs K9 Unit and other officers of the Customs department and Immigration officers.

Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Mr. Ian Penn expressed his gratitude to members of the public who came forward with information that led to the successful apprehension of the two persons who overstayed their landing permits in the Territory.

“Creating a safer community is the business of everyone who calls the BVI home, and we are encouraging the public to support law enforcement agencies. We are in this together with BVILOVE,” he said.

Mr. Penn also thanked and congratulated the officers present for working seamlessly to successfully carry out the operation, which he also credited to meticulous planning. The Joint Task Force is a collaboration between officers of the Immigration Department, Her Majesty’s Customs, and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).

This task force was established to increase surveillance and enforcement on the sea and land during this COVID-19 era.  This multiagency approach to law enforcement has taken a zero-tolerance stance to crime on land and sea and to foster safer communities for legal residents.

The officers involved have expressed their commitment to remaining focused on playing their respective roles in keeping the BVI safe during this pandemic and beyond.


Paul Bridgewater

Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations