Premier and port official charged in US with conspiracy to import cocaine and launder cash.
A report has advisable suspending the British Virgin Islands’ self-government and returning to direct rule, because the territory’s Premier Andrew Fahie appeared in a US court docket following his arrest on drug trafficking and cash laundering expenses.
The report, launched on Friday, recommends that governor John Rankin, an appointee of Queen Elizabeth II on recommendation from the British authorities, ought to take direct rule of the territory for 2 years.
The doc states that the inquiry had proven “clearly that substantial legislative and constitutional change is required to revive the requirements of governance that the individuals of the British Virgin Islands are entitled to”.
The premier, Fahie, and his chief port official, Oleanvine Maynard, had been arrested on Thursday at a Miami-area airport within the US after a sting operation by the US Drug Enforcement Company (DEA).
Decide Jonathan Goodman of the US District Courtroom for the Southern District of Florida stated on Friday the pair had been charged with conspiracy to import 5 kilos or extra of cocaine and conspiracy to launder cash.
DEA brokers on the Miami-Opa-locka Govt Airport took Fahie and Maynard into custody after they allegedly agreed to simply accept cash from undercover brokers posing as Mexican drug traffickers, the Miami Herald newspaper reported. Fahie and Maynard had been to examine a aircraft carrying $700,000 that they might obtain in trade for facilitating cocaine shipments via the territory, reported the Herald, citing US authorities.
Maynard’s son was moreover arrested within the affair in one other metropolis.
“The arrest yesterday of the premier of the British Virgin Islands on expenses associated to medicine trafficking and cash laundering is extraordinarily regarding and underlines the necessity for pressing motion,” British International Secretary Liz Truss stated in an announcement.
Minister for Abroad Territories Amanda Milling will journey to the territory to talk with the governor, Rankin, and key stakeholders, Truss stated.
“We are going to then announce a transparent path ahead,” she stated.
Rankin has urged calm within the islands after information of the arrests.
The British Virgin Islands, a self-governing Caribbean archipelago, is residence to roughly 35,000 individuals and is an abroad territory of the UK, which supervises its defence and international coverage.
It’s also one of many world’s main offshore tax havens. Each the native authorities and London have been accused by anti-corruption campaigners of turning a blind eye to the illicit flows of international cash via the territory.