Arrest of the Prime Minister for drug trafficking | London plans to resume direct rule of Virgin Islands

(London) Following Thursday’s arrest in the United States of the Prime Minister of the British Virgin Islands for drug trafficking and money laundering, a British investigative report published Friday recommended suspending their autonomy and returning to a regime of direct government by London.

Posted yesterday at 5:19 PM.

The archipelago’s prime minister, Andrew Fahie, appeared in court on Friday after his arrest at an airport in north Miami, Southeast Florida, for drug trafficking and money laundering, following an undercover operation by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). ).

The British report recommends that Governor John Rankin, appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of the government in London, take direct control of the overseas territory for two years.

“The arrest yesterday of the Prime Minister of the British Virgin Islands on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering is extremely worrying and underscores the need for urgent action,” British Foreign Secretary Liz said in a statement on Friday.

Overseas Territory Secretary Amanda Milling will “immediately” travel to the area to meet with Rankin and key stakeholders, truss. “We will then announce a clear path forward.”

The report on the investigation into corruption and abuse of power charges under the Fahie administration, which was already underway before the arrest, was released “urgently” on Friday.

The document states that the study “has clearly shown that substantial legislative and constitutional changes are needed to restore the governance standards to which the people of the British Virgin Islands are entitled”.

cocaine for dollars

Mr Rankin called for calm in the islands following the “shocking news” of Mr Fahie’s arrest.

“The Overseas Territories are an integral part of the British family. The government is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the people of the British Virgin Islands,” said Mr De milling.

Virgin Islands port services director Oleanvine Maynard and her son Kadeem Maynard were also arrested for the same offences, according to a statement to AFP, the head of the United States Anti-Drugs Agency (DEA), Anne Milgram. †

“Anyone involved in importing dangerous drugs into the United States will be held accountable, regardless of their position,” he Milgram.

The three suspects were arrested at a North Miami airport when they met Mexican drug traffickers, in reality DEA undercover agents, who would give them $700,000 in cash in exchange for their help in smuggling cocaine from Colombia to Miami and New York. York. according to court documents cited by the US press.

mr. Fahie and Maynard appeared Friday with four other inmates in a small courtroom for a videoconference hearing in which the charges against them were read.

Judge Jonathan Goodman of the Florida Southern District Court said they were charged with conspiracy to import five pounds or more of cocaine and conspiracy to launder money.

In January last year, the British government had already expressed “significant concerns about the deterioration of the governance in the British Virgin Islands, as well as the islands’ potential vulnerability to serious organized crime”.

The British Virgin Islands, with a population of about 35,000, is located east of Puerto Rico and is known as one of the most important tax havens in the world.

The Caribbean archipelago has an autonomous government, but Queen Elizabeth II has appointed a governor.

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