US authorities have arrested a Caribbean leader, charging him with conspiring to import drugs following a sting operation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
According to US media reports, Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Andrew Fahie, was arrested on Thursday in Miami on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
The arrest followed a sting operation that started in Tortola in March and ended Thursday when Fahie was arrested while on a visit to Miami.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida, Fahie requested an upfront payment of $500,000 to let cocaine slip through the BVI on the way to Miami and New York.
The BVI’s Director of Ports, Oleanvine Pickering Maynard, and her son, Kadeem Stephan Maynard, also face similar charges.
According to a New York Times report, ‘A man who presented himself as working for the Sinaloa Cartel, who was also a confidential source for the federal authorities, met with Ms. Maynard on March 20’
‘The man allegedly told Ms. Maynard he needed help ferrying thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia through Tortola and she agreed to assist – and according to the report, she ‘said Mr. Fahie would also be open to such an arrangement,’ the story reported.
The story continued: ‘Mr. Fahie was said to have met with the snitch on April 7 and requested $500,000 as an upfront payment to get the process started, promising that Ms. Maynard could provide the licenses for the cocaine to slip through the ports.’
The ‘confidential source’ then gave Mr. Fahie $20,000, said to represent ‘a good faith gift, to seal that we have an agreement…’
Meanwhile, in a statement on Thursday, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said the arrests “should send a clear message.”
According to Milgram: “Anyone involved with bringing dangerous drugs into the United States will be held accountable, no matter their position.”