The Premier of the British Virgin Islands and the director of the territory’s ports were arrested on cocaine related charges in Miami on Thursday.
Governor of the British Virgin Islands, John Rankin, confirmed the arrest in a statement a short while ago.
Reports are premier Andrew Alturo Fahie and managing director of the port authority, Oleanvine Maynard, were arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, Agents at the Miami Opa-Locka Executive Airport during a sting operation on Thursday.
Reports from the United States indicate both were arrested on charges of conspiring to import cocaine and money laundering.
The two high ranking officials from the British overseas territory were reportedly arrested after they met undercover DEA agents posing as cocaine traffickers to check an alleged shipment of US$700,000.
The DEA agents were reportedly posing as members of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel.
Both government officials were reportedly in Miami for a cruise convention.
They reportedly went to the airport after the undercover agents told them the money was a payoff for allowing the cartel’s future cocaine shipments to pass through the British territory on the way to the US.
It’s understood that a third person, Kadeem Maynard, the son of the BVI’s port director, was also arrested Thursday in connection with the undercover DEA case.
However, it’s understood this arrest wasn’t in Miami, authorities said.
All three defendants were charged with conspiring to import more than five kilos of cocaine into the United States and conspiring to commit money laundering.
Mr Ranking says the British government has been informed of the arrests.
He says the territory’s Deputy Premier Natalio Wheatley will remain Acting Premier.