US charges British Virgin Islands premier and two others with drug trafficking and money laundering
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US charges British Virgin Islands premier and two others with drug trafficking and money laundering

Miami federal prosecutors Friday charged British Virgin Islands (BVI) Premier Andrew Alturo Fahie and two others with drug trafficking and money laundering, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said.

Fahie, BVI Ports Authority Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard and his son Kadeem Maynard were charged with cocaine trafficking and money laundering conspiracies for agreeing to facilitate the safe passage through BVI ports of tons of Colombian cocaine headed to Miami.

According to the prosecutors, the defendants met with a purported drug trafficker to broker the deal during the months of March and April. They conspired to obtain the required licenses, shield the cocaine-filled boats in BVI’s ports, bribe certain government officials and bring 3,000 kilograms once or twice a month for four months. Fahie and Oleanvine Maynard would get a percentage of the sales amounting to millions of dollars which would be funnelled through different businesses and bank accounts.

The documents and affidavits submitted in court suggest that an undercover US informant posing as a Sinaloa cartel dealer met with the three accused and lured them into the deal to protect the purported cocaine shipments coming into Miami through the BVI’s ports in Tortola. The shipment from Colombia would pass through Tortola and Puerto Rico on its way to Miami and New York. The plan allegedly was for the advance cash payment to be left in a private jet at the Miami-Opa Locka airport and retrieved by Oleanvine Maynard to the BVI. Additionally, as part of the deal, Fahie would allegedly receive funding for his re-election campaign and Kadeem Maynard would receive 60 kilograms of cocaine to sell per week.

Fahie and Oleanvine Maynard were arrested on Thursday while they were in Miami to allegedly collect a $700,000 cash advance towards the deal. Kadeem Maynard was arrested in St. Thomas. Following Fahie’s arrest, the BVI Commission of Inquiry released a report citing gross maladministration to prevent corruption and drug-related crimes and suggesting the BVI should temporarily suspend its constitution, dissolve its House of Assembly and be directly ruled by its Governor.