PM Andrew Alturo Fahie and director of the Caribbean territory's ports were arrested at Florida airport and charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to launder money, US officials say.
The premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the director of the Caribbean territory's ports have been arrested on drug smuggling charges in South Florida, US federal officials said.
Premier Andrew Alturo Fahie and Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard were arrested on Thursday by US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents at Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport and charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to launder money, according to a criminal complaint.
Maynard's son, Kadeem Maynard, faces the same changes in the scheme, according to the records.
DEA Administrator Anne Milgram Releases Statement Following the Arrests of British Virgin Islands Officials in Miami pic.twitter.com/ADeoO9O2hY— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) April 29, 2022
The confirmation came from British Virgin Islands Governor John Rankin.
"I realise this will be shocking news for people in the Territory," Rankin said.
"And I would call for calm at this time."
Fahie and Oleanvine Maynard had been at the airport to meet with Mexican drug traffickers, who in fact were undercover DEA agents, to see a shipment of $700,000 in cash that the BVI officials expected to receive for helping smuggle cocaine from Colombia to Miami and New York, officials said in the complaint.
A DEA confidential source had previously met with Maynard and her son after being introduced by a group of self-proclaimed Lebanese Hezbollah operatives, according to the complaint.
After Fahie became involved, the BVI officials agreed to let the smugglers bring the cocaine through the port at Tortola before continuing on to the US.