Andrew Fahie, premier of the British Virgin Islands, was arrested Thursday on charges of conspiring to import drugs into the United States. Photo courtesy of Government of the Virgin Islands/Website
April 28 (UPI) -- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents have arrested the premier of the British Virgin Islands on charges of conspiracy to import a controlled substance and money laundering.
John Rankin, governor of the British Virgin Islands, confirmed in a statement that Andrew Fahie was arrested Thursday in Miami and that the U.S. government has informed Britain of the detention of one of its citizens.
"I realize this will be shocking news for people in the territory," he said. "And I would call for calm at this time."
Managing director of BVI Ports Oleanvine Maynard and her son Kadeem Maynard were also arrested and face the same charges, DEA head Anne Milgram said in a statement.
"Anyone involved with bringing dangerous drugs into the United States will be held accountable," she said. "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."
The criminal compliant filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and published online by local news outlet The St. Thomas Source states the trio were arrested as part of an undercover investigation that began in October of last year.
The 15-page document states a confidential DEA source disguised as a Mexican drug smuggler was introduced to the British Virgin Islands officials by a group of people who claimed to be members of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization.
The informant told Fahie and the Maynards that he sought their protection and passage for cocaine that would be brought to the British Virgin Island of Tortola from Colombia en route to Miami and New York.
The informant said 6,613 pounds of cocaine would be packed in 11-pound buckets of waterproof paint and be shipped to Tortola two to three times a month, and in exchange Fahie would receive 12% of the drug's sale price.
The informant gave Fahie $20,000 during a meeting on April 7, stating it was "a good faith gift, to seal that we have an agreement," the document states.
On Thursday morning, Fahie was arrested after inspecting $700,000 that he was told was for him and Maynard on a private plane at the Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport.
"Why am I getting arrested? I don't have any money or drugs," he is quoted as telling the authorities.
Later that same morning, Maynard was shown the same $700,000 on the private jet and given $200,000 as her payment. As she exited the plane, she was also arrested, according to the document.
The complaint does not mention the arrest of Kadeem Maynard but Milgram confirmed that he had also been detained.
"I am appalled by these serious allegations," Britain's' foreign secretary, Liz Truss, said in a statement.