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British Virgin Islands premier arrested on cocaine charges in US sting operation.

Andrew Fahie is charged with conspiring to import drug into the US and money laundering by the Drug Enforcement Agency

The Guardian

andrewfahie28042022The premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has been arrested in a sting operation in Miami on charges of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and money laundering.

The BVI governor, John Rankin, confirmed in a statement that Andrew Fahie had been arrested on Thursday morning, saying: “I realize this will be shocking news for people in the territory. And I would call for calm at this time.”
Oleanvine Maynard, the manager director of the Caribbean territory’s port authority, was also detained in the operation in which DEA agents posed as cocaine traffickers from Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, the Miami Herald reported.
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Liz Truss, the British Foreign Secretary, said she was “appalled” by the arrest.
Truss said: “This afternoon, the premier of the British Virgin Islands, Andrew Fahie, was arrested in the United States on charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering.
“I am appalled by these serious allegations.”
She said had held talks with Rankin and stressed the importance of the recent inquiry into corruption in the Caribbean archipelago.
Last year, the UK set up a commission of inquiry into misgovernance in the British overseas territory, which has heard allegations of systemic corruption, cronyism, jury intimidation, and misuse of public funds.
In his statement, Rankin said Fahie’s arrest was the result of a US operation led by the US Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) and was not linked to the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report.
“The remit of the Commission of Inquiry focused on governance and corruption and was not a criminal investigation into the illegal drug trade. To avoid unnecessary speculation, I intend to move ahead urgently on publication of the inquiry report so the people of the BVI can see its contents and its recommendations in the areas it addressed,” he said.
Addressing the commission of inquiry last year, Fahie denied that there was any corruption in the BVI.
He said: “The key to any country is its reputation, but so far, and thank God for that, there is no evidence provided in the CoI showing that the BVI is corrupt.”

 

johnrankin28042022Statement From Governor Of The British Virgin Islands Mr. John Rankin CMG - April 28, 2022
I would like to provide an update to the people of the British Virgin Islands on recent law enforcement action taken by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency about which I have been informed today.

It is my duty as Governor to inform you that this morning the Honourable Premier Fahie was detained in Miami on charges related to conspiracy to import a controlled substance and money laundering.

As this concerns the arrest of a British citizen, the US Government has informed the UK Government of this arrest, as part of the usual process followed when a British citizen is arrested abroad. The UK Government has subsequently informed me as Governor.

As this is a live US investigation I have no further information on the arrest nor can I comment any further on it.

However, what I can confirm is that the arrest was a US operation led by the DEA and is not linked to the Commission of Inquiry report.

The remit of the Commission of Inquiry focused on governance and corruption, and was not a criminal investigation into the illegal drug trade. To avoid unnecessary speculation, I intend to move ahead urgently on publication of the Inquiry Report so the people of the BVI can see its contents and its recommendations in the areas it addresses. I will have a call with Minister Milling and the Acting Premier Honourable Natalio Wheatley tomorrow to discuss further engagement between the UK and BVI on this urgent issue.

I realise this will be shocking news for people in the Territory. And I would call for calm at this time.

The Honourable Deputy Premier Natalio Wheatley will remain Acting Premier of the Territory. I will discuss with him and Cabinet the way forward in continuing to support the good governance of the Territory.

I will provide a further update in due course.

 

The indictment against FAHIE.

 

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