British Virgin Islands protesters condemn UK direct rule plan | News

Report commissioned by Queen’s consultant had known as for Caribbean territory to be successfully ruled by London.

Tons of of individuals have protested within the British Virgin Islands (BVI) towards a proposal to place the abroad British territory beneath the direct management of the UK.

The rally on Monday got here days after the BVI premier was arrested in the US city of Miami on drug-related fees.

A report released on Friday that was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth’s consultant to the territory stated the BVI ought to be successfully ruled from London to “restore the requirements of governance” that folks there “are entitled to”.

A day earlier, BVI Premier Andrew Fahie and the territory’s director of ports have been jailed following a sting operation by US authorities.

On Monday, activists gathered outdoors the workplace of Governor John Rankin within the capital, Highway City, on the island of Tortola, chanting slogans and holding indicators that stated “No UK rule”.

“Our message to the UK authorities and to the world: there will probably be no direct rule on this land,” stated demonstrator Luce Hodge-Smith.

The rally coincided with a go to by Amanda Milling, a British Minister of State for Asia and the Center East, to debate the findings of the report.

“Yesterday I arrived within the BVI following the publication of the Fee of Inquiry,” Milling wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“I sit up for partaking with a spread of individuals [including] BVI leaders, opposition, neighborhood teams and sector specialists to hearken to views on what’s in the very best pursuits of the individuals of BVI.”

The BVI, a self-governing Caribbean archipelago, is house to roughly 35,000 individuals and is an abroad territory of the UK, which supervises its defence and international coverage.

It’s also one of many world’s main offshore tax havens. Each the native authorities and London have been accused by anti-corruption campaigners of turning a blind eye to the illicit flows of international cash via the territory.

Final week’s report, led by British decide Sir Gary Hickinbottom, concluded that politicians spent thousands and thousands of {dollars} of state funds yearly with out correct course of. It additionally discovered “critical dishonesty” in relation to gross sales of public property and widespread abuse of appointments.

“Until probably the most pressing and drastic steps are taken, the present sad state of affairs – with elected officers intentionally ignoring the tenets of fine governance giving rise to an atmosphere by which the dangers of dishonesty in relation to public determination making and funding proceed unabated, and the implications of permitting such an atmosphere to flourish – will go on indefinitely,” it stated (PDF).

The doc was commissioned in early 2021, however its launch coincided with Fahie’s arrest.

US officers at Miami-Opa-locka Government Airport took Fahie and Oleanvine Maynard, director of the territory’s Ports Authority, into custody on Thursday after they allegedly agreed to just accept cash from undercover brokers posing as Mexican drug traffickers, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.

The US Justice Department stated it charged Fahie, Maynard and his son with “cocaine trafficking and cash laundering conspiracies for agreeing to facilitate the protected passage via BVI ports of tons of Colombian cocaine headed to Miami”.

In a courtroom submitting on Monday, Fahie’s lawyer claimed that he enjoys immunity from prosecution within the US because the constitutional head of presidency of the British abroad territory.

The premier’s arrest follows the extradition of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to the US, the place he’s dealing with drug trafficking fees.

Inquiry proposes British Virgin Islands return to direct UK rule | News

Premier and port official charged in US with conspiracy to import cocaine and launder cash.

A report has really useful suspending the British Virgin Islands’ self-government and returning to direct rule, because the territory’s Premier Andrew Fahie appeared in a US courtroom following his arrest on drug trafficking and cash laundering fees.

The report, launched on Friday, recommends that governor John Rankin, an appointee of Queen Elizabeth II on recommendation from the British authorities, ought to take direct rule of the territory for 2 years.

The doc states that the inquiry had proven “clearly that substantial legislative and constitutional change is required to revive the requirements of governance that the individuals of the British Virgin Islands are entitled to”.

The premier, Fahie, and his chief port official, Oleanvine Maynard, had been arrested on Thursday at a Miami-area airport within the US after a sting operation by the US Drug Enforcement Company (DEA).

Choose Jonathan Goodman of the US District Court docket for the Southern District of Florida mentioned on Friday the pair had been charged with conspiracy to import 5 kilos or extra of cocaine and conspiracy to launder cash.

DEA brokers on the Miami-Opa-locka Government Airport took Fahie and Maynard into custody after they allegedly agreed to just accept cash from undercover brokers posing as Mexican drug traffickers, the Miami Herald newspaper reported. Fahie and Maynard had been to examine a airplane carrying $700,000 that they’d obtain in change for facilitating cocaine shipments by means of the territory, reported the Herald, citing US authorities.

Maynard’s son was moreover arrested within the affair in one other metropolis.

“The arrest yesterday of the premier of the British Virgin Islands on fees associated to medication trafficking and cash laundering is extraordinarily regarding and underlines the necessity for pressing motion,” British International Secretary Liz Truss mentioned in a press release.

Minister for Abroad Territories Amanda Milling will journey to the territory to talk with the governor, Rankin, and key stakeholders, Truss mentioned.

“We are going to then announce a transparent path ahead,” she mentioned.

Rankin has urged calm within the islands after information of the arrests.

The British Virgin Islands, a self-governing Caribbean archipelago, is residence to roughly 35,000 individuals and is an abroad territory of the UK, which supervises its defence and international coverage.

It is usually one of many world’s main offshore tax havens. Each the native authorities and London have been accused by anti-corruption campaigners of turning a blind eye to the illicit flows of international cash by means of the territory.

British Virgin Islands premier arrested on US drugs charges | Drugs News

Andrew Fahie was detained in Miami in information the British abroad territory’s governor described as ‘surprising’.

The premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the managing director of the Caribbean territory’s ports have been arrested in Miami on drug smuggling expenses.

Andrew Fahie and Oleanvine Maynard, who heads the islands’ port authority, had been arrested at Miami airport, in line with Drug Enforcement Company paperwork launched on Thursday.

The DEA stated 51-year-old Fahie had agreed to permit an informant, who was posing as a member of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel and whose id stays confidential, to make use of British Virgin Islands’ ports to ship cocaine in return for a fee of $500,000. He additionally requested for added cash to repay a debt to a “fixer”.

The officers’ arrests “ought to ship a transparent message,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram stated in a press release.

“Anybody concerned with bringing harmful medicine into america might be held accountable, irrespective of their place.”

Court docket paperwork filed on Thursday confirmed the 2 officers and Maynard’s son, Kadeem Maynard, had been all charged with “conspiracy to import 5 kilograms or extra of cocaine” and “conspiracy to launder cash”.

The arrest of Fahie was first disclosed by BVI Governor John Rankin, who’s appointed by the British queen and acts on her behalf.

“I realise this might be surprising information for folks within the Territory,” Rankin stated in a press release. “And I’d name for calm presently.”

Fahie and Maynard had been on the airport to fulfill Mexican drug traffickers, who in actuality had been undercover DEA brokers, to supervise a money cargo that they anticipated to obtain for serving to smuggle the cocaine from Colombia to the US, by the port at Tortola.

The DEA started its investigation final October.

British overseas secretary Liz Truss stated in a press release she was “appalled” by the allegations.

Rankin stated the arrests in Florida weren’t related to a Fee of Inquiry on governance and corruption that was introduced within the British Virgin Islands final yr.

It’s not identified whether or not the fee had discovered any suspected wrongdoing by Fahie or Maynard, however Rankin stated he expects to have the outcomes printed urgently to keep away from pointless hypothesis.

The British Virgin Islands, which deceive the east of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, have a inhabitants of about 35,000 folks. They’re higher identified for his or her offshore monetary providers business.