Over 100 escaped British Virgin Islands prisoners re-captured

Local police were joined by Royal Marines in operation to restore law and order to islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma

15 September 2017, 9:11am
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson with Royal Marines of 40 Commando in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma, who have helped round up the escaped prisoners. (Photo: The Guardian)
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson with Royal Marines of 40 Commando in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma, who have helped round up the escaped prisoners. (Photo: The Guardian)
More than 100 prisoners have been captured after escaping from a jail on the British Virgin Islands during Hurricane Irma.

Gus Jaspert, governor of the islands said that he prisoners of Balsam Ghut prison, in Tortola, were captured on Thursday, following an operation by British Virgin Island and Cayman Island police officers, alongside British Royal Marines and police.

“The government of the British Virgin Islands is extremely grateful to the police and military personnel for their tireless efforts, which have resulted in a thorough and extremely successful operation.

“I extend our gratitude to the UK and Cayman Island governments for their provision of personnel on the ground here, helping to ensure the safety and security of all British Virgin Islanders.

“This signals a huge step in all of our efforts to rebuild this fantastic territory”, he said.

The news comes after British Virgin Islanders said they were “terrified” of the prisoners, who made a run for it during the chaos caused by the hurricane. Locals claimed that looting had been “terrible” and also claimed that escaped prisoners had committed a rape while on the loose.

Local Shanelle Williams, who took 15 people into her home in the wake of the hurricane, said: “You go into the town, they crash and they open up and stealing everything.

“But since the military came it has calmed down, but the only issue right now is these prisoners are out.

“They have already raped someone and they have already tried to steal from people, it is terrifying.” Foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan told the Commons on Tuesday the convicts posed a “serious threat of the complete breakdown of law and order”.