Premier of British Virgin Islands Arrested on Drug Trafficking Charges in U.S.

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Andrew Fahie, the elected head of government of the small Caribbean island, has been charged with conspiracy to import at least five kilograms of a cocaine mixture and conspiracy to launder money in the United States.

According to police, the leader of the British Virgin Islands was arrested on Thursday in the Miami region on drug trafficking and money laundering accusations.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Andrew Fahie, the elected head of government of the small territory of about 30,000 people, requested an upfront payment of $500,000 to allow cocaine to pass through the territory on its way to Miami and New York. He was charged with conspiring to bring at least five kilograms of a cocaine combination into the country and conspiring to launder money.

According to the complaint, the territory's director of ports, Oleanvine Pickering Maynard, and her son, Kadeem Stephan Maynard, are also charged.

According to the complaint, on March 20, a man who identified himself as a member of the Sinaloa Cartel but was actually a confidential source for federal authorities met with Ms. Maynard.

According to the document, the guy told Ms. Maynard that he wanted assistance transporting thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Maynard agreed to help and stated that Mr. Fahie would be receptive to such an arrangement as well.

According to the complaint, on April 7, the confidential source met with Mr. Fahie, who requested an advance payment to begin the process and stated that Ms. Maynard could supply the licenses required for the cocaine to pass through the ports. According to the document, the source then offered Mr. Fahie $20,000 and stated, "This is a good faith present, to seal that we have an agreement."

The source also suggested that the government coordinate seizures of bad narcotics and money by Mr. Fahie in the territory to dispel suspicion and make it appear as if he was battling drug trafficking, according to the paper.

"Fahie chuckled and claimed the CS had thought of everything," according to the document, which referred to the confidential source.

Mr. Fahie, Ms. Maynard, and Mr. Maynard could not be reached immediately, and it was unclear who their attorneys were.

"Anyone complicit in smuggling hazardous drugs into the United States, regardless of rank, will be held accountable," she warned. "Today is just another example of the D.E.A's determination to hold corrupt government officials accountable for utilizing their positions of authority to create a safe haven for drug traffickers and money launderers in exchange for their own financial and political gain."

"These serious claims disgust me," she remarked. "This arrest emphasizes the significance of the recently completed Commission of Inquiry."

Ms. Truss was referring to an independent inquiry launched in January 2021 by the territory's governor, John Rankin, with the purpose of evaluating the territory's governance and offering recommendations for reform.

According to the British government, the goal of the ongoing investigation "is to investigate whether there is evidence of corruption, abuse of authority, or other severe dishonesty that has occurred in public office in recent years, and if so, what conditions allowed this to happen."

Officials stated that the probe "has been undertaken, in part, in response to widespread public concern."

Source: nytimes

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