MIAMI, United States, Thurs. Apr. 28, 2022 — The Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Andrew Alturo Fahie, and the BVI’s Director of Port Authority, Oleanvine Maynard, have been detained in Miami by the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States. Also arrested was Kadeem Maynard, the son of the port authority director, although he was not in Miami.
According to the Miami Herald, Fahie and Maynard were detained at Miami-OpaLocka Executive Airport after meeting with undercover DEA agents posing as drug traffickers belonging to the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel to check out a shipment of $700,000 in cash on an airplane destined for the British Virgin Islands.
United States authorities told the Herald that the duo had been in Miami for a cruise convention but visited the airport after the agents informed them about the money— telling them that it was a payoff for allowing the future passage of cocaine loads through the British Virgin Islands into the United States. Both government officials are expected to appear in a Miami federal court on Friday afternoon.
Andrew Fahie has been serving as the BVI Premier since February 2019. Thursday’s drug bust is not the first time that the Premier has been at the center of controversy. In 2003, reports surfaced that he was being investigated for money laundering. Additionally, the UK is currently conducting an unrelated corruption investigation of Fahie’s government.
The British Virgin Islands has been a major transshipment point for cocaine bound for the United States since the 1980s. And Fahie is not the first head of state to have been charged with violating US drug laws.