Fahie ‘corrupt to the core’ files fake case and can get bail

Acting BVI Prime Minister Natalio Wheatley said Prime Minister Andrew Fahie’s letter demanding immunity from prosecution was unauthorized.

Federal prosecutors have until Thursday to appeal a federal judge’s decision to free British Virgin Islands Prime Minister Andrew Fahie, whom they say is ‘corrupt to the core’, free on bail. bail of $500,000. The judge’s decision on Wednesday forced Fahie, his wife and two daughters to surrender their passports and stay at the girls’ address in Miami. If released, Fahie would be required to wear electronic monitoring equipment.

Prosecutors had pleaded with the court to keep Fahie locked up: “Through this investigation, it has become clear that Fahie is corrupt to the core,” prosecutors said. “Fahie believes he is above the law. They said he was a clear danger to the community and a clear flight risk.

The decision to potentially release Fahie came almost at the same time as BVI Acting Prime Minister Natalio Wheatley announced that Fahie’s court filing asserting immunity as head of state had been created by an “officer rogue public”.

Wheatley and others were in a meeting when the document was created and sent to court in Florida where Fahie was awaiting trial on cocaine smuggling and money laundering charges.

The unauthorized document, which calls for Fahie’s release because he is head of state and therefore immune from prosecution, bears a dated stamp from the International Affairs Secretariat of the Prime Minister’s Office, but no name or signature of another official. Wheatley, who called on Fahie to resign, said the letter did not reflect his position or the government of the British Virgin Islands.

Notice from BVI Prime Minister Andrew Fahie asking the United States to release him, notably unsigned by Najan Christopher, Director of the Secretariat for International Affairs.

“It appears that the preparation and dispatch of the correspondence were the actions of a rogue public officer who acted without authorization or knowledge of myself as acting prime minister,” Wheatley said. “The content of this letter regarding the diplomatic immunity of the Honorable Fahie does not reflect the position of the Prime Minister’s Office or the Government of the Virgin Islands.”

Wheatley said an investigation into the document is ongoing. Social media commentators are suggesting Fahie be stripped of the ‘honourable’ title enjoyed by BVI elected officials.

In a blunt rebuke to Fahie’s immunity claim, US prosecutors said on Wednesday the alleged cocaine trafficker was not immune from prosecution as head of state because the British territory of overseas is not a sovereign state, as far as the executive branch of the US government is concerned.

The revelation seems particularly scathing given the recommendation of the BVI Governor, appointed by Buckingham Palace, to suspend local governance for at least two years to stamp out suspicions of corruption and mismanagement.

Legal experts told The Source on Tuesday that while many heads of state enjoy immunity from prosecution abroad, comity is by no means automatic. It requires that the person’s home and host country recognize them as heads of state, and that the host country extend the offer of immunity.

Florida prosecutors – who are holding Fahie and co-defendant Oleanvine Pickering Maynard, director of the BVI Port Authority, in federal custody since their April 28 arrest – said Fahie’s position as prime minister does not was little more than a title in criminal proceedings.

“The executive branch of the United States government does not recognize the British Virgin Islands as a sovereign state or that Fahie is entitled to immunity from this lawsuit,” U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez wrote.

The British Virgin Islands’ official site says: “Ultimate executive authority in the British Virgin Islands rests with the Queen and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor of the British Virgin Islands. The Governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British government. Defense and most foreign affairs remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

As British officials move to temporarily take full control of the BVI, some residents have taken to the streets in protest, saying such a move smacks of colonialism. Others grudgingly acknowledged the need for greater oversight.

Florida prosecutors said Fahie boasted 15 to 20 years of criminal activity, while performing public duties. Fahie, 51, was elected in 1999 to the Legislative Council, now called the House of Assembly. He faces a sentence of more than 20 years if convicted.

In a motion Wednesday to keep Fahie and Maynard remanded in custody, prosecutors cited what they called the “danger they pose to the community and their serious flight risk.” The petition alleged that Fahie was willing to facilitate arms trafficking in addition to cocaine smuggling and money laundering.

Prosecutors’ assessment of Fahie was flawless: “During this conspiracy, it became clear that Fahie is engaged in corruption and criminal activity at the highest levels. He accepted bribes, he agreed to pay bribes, he conspired to import thousands of kilograms of a dangerous controlled substance, he admitted to working with known drug traffickers in IVB and he expressed his willingness to inquire about the acquisition of firearms from a Senegalese contact – on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel. Fahie added that his “reliable” criminal associate at the BVI was involved in the transfer of money and firearms (apparently with Fahie’s knowledge and consent). According to Fahie himself, he has been involved in this type of criminal activity for 15 to 20 years. His release would result in danger to the community by allowing continued drug trafficking from the BVI to the United States and the continued protection of criminal activity provided by Fahie. Not only would Fahie himself pose a danger to the community, but his freedom in society would allow the unfettered criminal activity of Fahie’s associates to continue.

Fahie and Maynard allegedly conspired to import 27,000 kilograms of cocaine into the United States and launder millions of dollars through the BVI, prosecutors said, and inquired with a trusted friend about the weapons smuggling.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration allegedly infiltrated a group of self-proclaimed Lebanese Hezbollah operatives in October 2021 who allegedly made inroads into senior BVI government officials, according to the criminal complaint against Fahie, Maynard and Maynard’s son, Kadeem Maynard. In March and April, the trio reportedly agreed to help ship cocaine to Puerto Rico and then Miami via Tortola by providing businesses that traffickers could use to hide their operations, licenses and safe passage for the drug, and assurances that the police would not interfere. They also allegedly accepted bribes and offered to pay other people who might obstruct the operation, securing access to airports, arranging payments through bank accounts and cash deliveries by plane and boat, and to facilitate false seizures of lower quality cocaine to distract from their real product.

The first shipment of 3,000 kilograms was due to pass through the BVI in July, according to court documents.

When they were arrested in Miami, Fahie and Maynard believed they were immediately paid $700,000 and would later collect about $7.8 million per shipment, prosecutors said. They were also going to collect an additional 2% of the total shipped to pay local kickbacks.

Had he not been arrested, Fahie planned to fly to St. Maarten from Miami on Tuesday to meet a trusted friend who had done him political favors, prosecutors say. Fahie had demanded $83,000 to pay a debt from the man who lived in Senegal and who may have helped supply firearms, according to the complaint.

In a recorded meeting the next day, Fahie reportedly said that the man from Senegal “did a few things for me, politically”, and that he “knows a lot about the elections, so he will come to the elections”.

Later that day, Fahie reportedly said a woman helped him organize businesses to hide money and solve political issues that are “not above board”. He also reportedly said he would bribe a government official who might interfere with the plans.

Asked about the money deliveries, the criminal complaint alleges that Fahie had regular criminal associates:

“Fahie explained, ‘I’m going to roll it all, so we can get that money…the first boat payment…once you get that back, I’ll tell you exactly where, I got a guy, reliable, like my brother, but he does a lot of business on the “other side”.

When asked what he meant by “the other said,” Fahie reportedly replied, “Well, he does, he ships, he moves whatever he moves now, whether it’s cocaine or guns, he does it all… he’s reliable. ”

The complaint said Fahie provided that person’s nickname. Prosecutors said the person is a well-known BVI drug dealer who has previous convictions for possession of firearms and possession with intent to distribute narcotics.

Fahie then reportedly said he was used to receiving large amounts of cash and would remove the bank wrappers to prevent the change from being found.

The court filing reads: “Fahie replied, ‘Oh no no no, not my first rodeo at all, NOT, MY FIRST RODEO, AT ALL. Fahie then laughed and went on to describe his previous criminal activity. He told a story about saving a man $3 million and how that man agreed to pay Fahie $1 million for Fahie’s efforts. However, this person also arranged for the courier providing the million dollars to be stolen before the money was given to Fahie. Fahie further explained that over the past 15 to 20 years, he had lost approximately $7.5 million that was owed to him when the “deal” was made (the drug trade), but he was stiffened and unpaid by his partner in crime. ”

Fahie and Maynard were arrested after seeing what they believed to be their $700,000 payment on a private jet. The money was fake, prosecutors said.

At the end of December 2021, Fahie announced an anti-corruption bill, called the Integrity in Public Life Actto clarify standards of conduct for elected BVI officials, strengthen accountability and compliance with public policies, and establish an integrity commission “to promote good governance, improve the ethical conduct of public officials, and strengthen the prevention and detection of potential acts of corruption by persons in public life.”

Fahie promised that the commission’s first report would be delivered in the first quarter of 2022.

“I would like to say at this point that as we approach the new year, your government continues to further strengthen our framework for good governance through the passage of many important pieces of legislation in the House of Assembly,” said Fahie.

US prosecutors said that by the time the Integrity Commission was due to deliver its report, Fahie was plotting to smuggle cocaine, illegal money and potentially weapons through the British Virgin Islands.

Printable, PDF and email version

Comments are closed.