On Thursday (April 28), US officials arrested the premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) along with its Port Authority Director on drug-related charges, federal authorities announced.
BVI Premier Andrew Alturo Fahie and Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard were brought into custody by the US Drug Enforcement Administration at Miami's Opa-Locka airport. The two are charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to launder money, a criminal complaint obtained by NPR states.
"Anyone involved with bringing dangerous drugs into the United States will be held accountable, no matter their position," DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement following the two arrests.
"Today is yet another example of DEA's resolve to hold corrupt members of government responsible for using their positions of power to provide a safe haven for drug traffickers and money launderers in exchange for their own financial and political gain."
Fahie and Maynard were at the airport under the guise that they would be meeting Mexican drug traffickers who were in reality undercover DEA agents. The two were expected to collect $700,000 in cash in return for the successful drug shipment from Miami to New York.
According to an affidavit obtained by CNN, the undercover operation began in October 2021 after a confidential source with the DEA held meetings with individuals claiming to have business connections in South Florida and the Middle East who were meeting on BVI's Island of Tortola. That island, the confidential source said was at the time being vetted as a storage point for shipments of cocaine originating from Colombia headed to the US.
The British Virgin Islands is a territory of Britain located east of Puerto Rico with a population of 35,000 people. The governor of the Island is appointed by the Queen and holds the ultimate executive authority. The nation's Premier is an elected official chosen in a general election who serves as the head of the government.