Prime Minister of the British Virgin Islands arrested for drug trafficking in the United States

The prime minister of the British Virgin Islands was arrested Thursday in the Miami area on charges of drug trafficking and money launde...

The prime minister of the British Virgin Islands was arrested Thursday in the Miami area on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, authorities said.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida, Andrew Fahie, who is the elected leader of the small territory of about 30,000 people, sought an upfront payment of $500,000 to let cocaine through the territory en route to Miami and New York. He was charged with conspiracy to import at least five kilograms of a cocaine mixture and conspiracy to launder money.

The territory’s director of ports, Oleanvine Pickering Maynard, and her son Kadeem Stephan Maynard also face those charges, according to the complaint.

A man who presented himself as working for the Sinaloa Cartel, but who was a confidential source for federal authorities, met with Ms. Maynard on March 20, according to the complaint.

The man told Ms Maynard he needed help transporting thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia via Tortola, which is in the British Virgin Islands, according to the document. Ms Maynard agreed to help and said Mr Fahie would also be open to such an arrangement, according to the complaint.

On April 7, the confidential source met with Mr. Fahie, who asked for the upfront payment to start the process and said that Ms. Maynard could provide the necessary licenses for the cocaine to pass through the ports, according to the complaint. The source then gave Mr. Fahie $20,000 and said, “It’s a gift in good faith, to seal that we have a deal,” according to the document.

The source also proposed that authorities could stage seizures of bad drugs and cash by Mr. Fahie in the territory to allay suspicion and give the impression that he was fighting drug trafficking, according to the document.

“Fahie laughed and said CS had thought of everything,” the document reads, referring to the confidential source.

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

In a statement Thursday, Anne Milgram, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said the arrests “should send a clear message.”

“Anyone involved in bringing dangerous drugs into the United States will be held accountable, regardless of their position,” she said. “Today is another example of the DEA’s determination to hold corrupt members of government accountable for using their positions of power to provide safe haven for drug traffickers and money launderers in exchange for their own gain. financial and political.

In an earlier statement on Thursday, Liz Truss, Britain’s foreign secretary, said she had spoken to the governor of the British Virgin Islands and that he would hold an emergency meeting on the matter.

“I am appalled by these serious allegations,” she said. “This arrest demonstrates the importance of the recently concluded Commission of Inquiry.”

Ms Truss was referring to an independent investigation led by the territory’s Governor, John Rankin, which began in January 2021 with the aim of reviewing the territory’s governance and making recommendations for improvement.

The purpose of the continuing investigation “is to establish whether there is evidence of corruption, abuse of power or other serious dishonesty that has taken place in the public service in recent years, and if so, what conditions allowed this to happen.” according to the British government.

The investigation, officials said, “was launched, in part, in response to concerns from the general public.”

Katie Benner contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Prime Minister of the British Virgin Islands arrested for drug trafficking in the United States
Prime Minister of the British Virgin Islands arrested for drug trafficking in the United States
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