British Virgin Islands Prime Minister and Port Authority Director Arrested for Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering in Miami


Premier Andrew Alturo Fahie and BVI Ports Authority CEO Oleanvine Pickering Maynard were arrested at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, according to the affidavit. Maynard’s son, Kadeem Stephan Maynard, was also arrested, he said.

Fahie and the Maynards are charged with conspiracy to import 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and conspiracy to launder money, the affidavit states.

CNN was unable to determine if any of them have attorneys.

The affidavit alleges that beginning on or about October 16, 2021, a confidential United States Drug Enforcement Administration source had several meetings with “a group of self-proclaimed Lebanese Hezbollah operatives … who stated have trade ties with South Florida and the Middle East.” These meetings took place on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, according to the complaint.

Throughout these meetings, the confidential source asked the group to help facilitate the use of Tortola as a temporary storage port for cocaine transported from Colombia by boat and bound for the United States, she says. . The source’s plan also allegedly included the laundering of drug proceeds.

The British Virgin Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean, east of Puerto Rico. The islands are part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, alongside the US Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands.

According to the affidavit, the group agreed to present the source to senior members of the British Virgin Islands government who could offer protection, for a price. A member of the group said he would approach Fahie’s chief of security staff and arrange a meeting. A member of the band also claimed he “owned” Oleanvine Maynard, according to the affidavit.

Last month, the source met with Oleanvine Maynard and her son Kadeem to determine how the operation would work and the roles they and Fahie would play, the affidavit states.

On April 7, 2022, the source traveled to Tortola and met the Maynards, then they all met Fahie, according to the affidavit. During a long drive to the meeting, Fahie allegedly complained to the source that “the Brits didn’t pay him much,” the affidavit states.

The source told Fahie that he worked for people in Mexico and that they wanted to use the ports of Tortola for the free passage of 3,000 kilograms of cocaine at a time. The cocaine, believed to come from Colombia, would pass through the BVI and then Puerto Rico en route to Miami and New York, the source told them, according to the affidavit.

The source offered a percentage of cocaine sales to the United States as payment for their involvement in smuggling the drug through BVI ports. The amount of the proposed payment was 12% of the expected sale price in Miami, which Fahie estimated at more than $7.8 million. Fahie allegedly asked for $500,000 upfront and another $83,000 he needed to pay off a debt he owed someone in Senegal, according to the affidavit. The source also offered to fund Fahie’s re-election campaign and asked to help choose Fahie’s eventual successor as prime minister.

The parties agreed to do a 3,000 kilogram trial, which would be followed by 3,000 kilograms crossing the island two or three times a month for the next four months, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the parties set in motion a plan to have the source leave $700,000 in cash on a private jet at Miami-Opa Locka airport to be picked up by Oleanvine Maynard and an unknown person and flown back to the BVI. Kadeem Maynard also negotiated a side deal with the source where he would receive 60 kilograms of cocaine per week to sell, according to the affidavit. He was also responsible for ensuring that the jet with the $700,000 from Miami would be allowed to land at the BVI without issue, he says.

An arrest made

On April 28, Fahie and the source flew to Opa-Locka Airport, where the source showed him $700,000 in cash that was for him and Oleanvine Maynard. The money was in designer bags, the affidavit states. As Fahie exited the plane after seeing the money, he was taken into custody.

Later that morning, Oleanvine Maynard was brought to the same airport and plane and shown the $700,000, the affidavit states. The source gave him $200,000 and told him that was his payment and the rest of the money was for Fahie. He assured her that the money would be wrapped and hidden before the robbery. Upon exiting the plane, she was also arrested.

The affidavit does not specify where Kadeem Maynard was arrested.

British Virgin Islands Governor John Rankin, who is the territory’s de facto head of state, announced Fahie’s arrest.

“It is my duty as governor to inform you that this morning the Honorable Premier Fahie was detained in Miami for conspiracy to import a controlled substance and money laundering,” Rankin said in a statement. Press release.

Rankin, who is a British diplomat, was appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British government. In his statement, Rankin said the US government informed the UK government of the arrest, which was part of a DEA-led operation.

“I realize this will be shocking news for the people of the Territory. And I would call for calm at this time,” Rankin said.

Deputy Prime Minister Natalio Wheatley will remain acting premier of the territory, he said. Wheatley was put in place as caretaker prime minister while Fahie was out of the country. According to a press release from his office, Fahie was in Miami for the annual SeaTrade Summit.

CNN has contacted the British Virgin Islands government for more information.

In a statement obtained by CNN, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she was appalled by the serious allegations against Fahie.

“This afternoon, Prime Minister of the British Virgin Islands, Andrew Fahie, was arrested in the United States on charges relating to drug trafficking and money laundering,” its statement read. “I am appalled by these serious allegations.”

Truss also referenced an anti-corruption investigation unrelated to the DEA investigation.

“This arrest demonstrates the significance of the recently concluded Board of Inquiry. I have spoken to the BVI Governor and he will be holding an emergency cabinet meeting in the territory later today. He will outline next steps tomorrow, including including the urgent publication of the investigation report,” she added.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a statement that the arrest should send a “clear message” to anyone bringing drugs into the country.

“Anyone involved in bringing dangerous drugs into the United States will be held accountable, regardless of their position. Today is another example of the DEA’s determination to hold corrupt members of government accountable 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,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.

CNN’s Max Foster and Mary Kay Mallonee contributed to this report.

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