Prisoner abuse, serious corruption may have occurred in Turks and Caicos Islands

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

A satellite view of the islands
Image: NASA.

A new report released by the UK Government's Select Committee on Foreign Affairs has carried "serious allegations of corruption" in the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are UK territories.

The report mentioned possible abuse of prisoners on the islands and recommended a greater role by the UK government in monitoring the conditions of prisoners to prevent abuse in the future. The government was also called to crack down on illegal immigration into the islands, which the report indicated is at a problematic high.

In the Key Recommendations section, the report summarised its findings on the matter:

The Government has acted decisively in some Overseas Territories, for example in the investigations and prosecutions that took place on the Pitcairn Islands. However, in other cases which should also cause grave concern, in particular, allegations of corruption on the Turks and Caicos Islands, its approach has been too hands off. The Government must take its oversight responsibility for the Overseas Territories more seriously - consulting across all Overseas Territories more on the one hand while demonstrating a greater willingness to step in and use reserve powers when necessary on the other.

The islands have a British governor, but most of the governance is done internally by citizens of the islands.