British Virgin Islands former premier Fahie pleads not guilty to drug charges

Former leader says he did not launder money or import cocaine to the US

British Virgin Islands ex-premier Andrew Fahie was ousted this month. Reuters
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Former British Virgin Islands premier Andrew Fahie pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to launder money and import cocaine to the US, his lawyer said on Wednesday, following his arrest in Miami.

Mr Fahie was ousted as the British overseas territory's premier this month after the US Department of Justice said he had agreed with a Drug Enforcement Administration informant to help smuggle cocaine in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.

Lawyer Theresa Van Vliet, consulted about the issue by Reuters, said Mr Fahie had pleaded not guilty.

Mr Fahie was replaced by Natalio Wheatley, who had been serving as the territory's acting premier after Mr Fahie's arrest.

The Department of Justice also charged Oleanvine Maynard, who had been the managing director for the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority, with the same crimes.

A commission of inquiry, which was independent of Mr Fahie's arrest, last month said the territory should be effectively ruled from London due to governance and corruption problems.

Updated: May 25, 2022, 10:42 PM