Premier Andrew Fahie has been detained in the United States on drug-related charges as well as charges related to a financial crime.
Governor John Rankin
made the bombshell announcement in a press statement this afternoon.
He said: “This morning, the Honourable Premier Fahie
was detained in Miami on charges related to conspiracy to import a controlled substance and money laundering. As this concerns the arrest of a British citizen, the US government has informed the UK Government of this arrest, as part of the usual process followed when a British citizen is arrested abroad. The UK government has subsequently informed me as Governor.”
“As this is a live US investigation I have no further information on the arrest nor can I comment any further on it. However, what I can confirm is that the arrest was a US operation led by the DEA and is not linked to the Commission of Inquiry
report,” the governor added.’
Amidst this shocking news, the governor called for “calm at this time”.
“I realise this will be shocking news for people in the Territory. And I would call for calm at this time. The Honourable Deputy Premier Natalio Wheatley will remain Acting Premier of the Territory. I will discuss with him and Cabinet the way forward in continuing to support the good governance of the Territory. I will provide a further update in due course.”
In the meantime, the governor also indicated that he will fast-track the release of the COI
“The remit of the Commission of Inquiry
focused on governance and corruption, and was not a criminal investigation into the illegal drug trade. To avoid unnecessary speculation, I intend to move ahead urgently on publication of the Inquiry report so the people of the BVI can see its contents and its recommendations in the areas it addresses. I will have a call with Minister Milling and the Acting Premier Honourable Natalio Wheatley tomorrow to discuss further engagement between the UK and BVI on this urgent issue.”
He said he will provide more information in due course.