Julian Willock
In 2022, above, Julian Willock spoke to reporters outside the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duffs Bottom shortly after announcing that he planned to resign from his position as speaker of the House of Assembly. (File photo: FREEMAN ROGERS)

Former Speaker of the House Julian Willock was arrested today and charged in connection with visa waivers issued between 2018 and 2022 and a forged document presented to the Immigration Department in 2022, police said.

The 56-year-old Sea Cows Bay businessman was charged with one count of a public official using his office for gratification; one count of conspiracy to provide false information to a person employed in a public service; and one count of conspiracy to utter a forged document, police said.

Mr. Willock was granted $50,000 bail to appear at the Magistrates’ Court on Sept. 12, according to the Police Information Office.

The charges come following two “complex investigations” led by the Commission of Inquiry Police Investigation Team that spanned 18 months and are still ongoing, the PIO stated.

“As the matter is now in sub judice, the [police force] will make no further comment,” police stated in a press release issued this afternoon.

Previous detention

In January 2023, Mr. Willock announced that he had been detained by police on suspicion of human trafficking, but that he had been released the same day with no charges.

“At around 11 a.m., I was detained, questioned and released without charges by six Caucasian United Kingdom officers,” Mr. Willock wrote in a statement issued at the time. “They claim I was being investigated on suspicion of human trafficking because of some visa waivers I had obtained over the years.”

The former speaker, however, maintained his innocence at the time. He stated that he had “legally acquired” visa waivers through the Deputy Governor’s Office “in association with” his company Advance Marketing and Professional Services, the parent company of Virgin Islands News Online.

“Most of the visa waivers were obtained before my tenure as speaker,” he added. “It is my understanding that all persons who came via a visa waiver have since left the territory and did so as per immigration requirements.”

At the time, Mr. Willock went on to note that other public figures like Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr. and Noel Lloyd faced “bogus allegations, trumped-up charges, and character assassination.”

“But in the end, truth and justice emerged and prevailed,” he wrote.

Past articles on VINO have also likened Mr. Willock to Nelson Mandela and Dr. King while comparing his political opponents to historical figures including Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.


Mr. Willock was appointed speaker of the House in 2019 by the Virgin Islands Party-led administration under then-premier Andrew Fahie.

However, he resigned five days after Mr. Fahie’s April 2022 arrest in Miami on cocaine-trafficking and money-laundering conspiracy charges and four days after the publication of the Commission of Inquiry report.

Today, he did not immediately respond to messages.