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British Virgin Islands premier to plead not guilty to drug trafficking charges, his lawyer says

His lawyer said that the premier of British Virgin Islands will not plead guilty to drug trafficking. He is being accused of money laundering as well as conspiring to import cocaine.

Andrew Fahie, a member of the US Drug Enforcement Agency, was taken into custody in Miami by US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), who claimed to be Mexican drug traffickers.

Later , the 51-year-old was charged with money laundering and drug trafficking offenses.

An American judge has ruled that he is allowed to be released before his trial starts, provided that certain conditions are met.

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Judge Alicia Otazo Reyes of Miami Federal Court ruled that Fahie can remain at the Miami home of his college-age daughters – but only if he surrenders his travel documents and wears an ankle monitor. Also, a $500,000 bond (PS421,777), is required.

The prosecution has indicated that they will appeal the decision. This means that it is unclear when Fahie will be freed.

Fahie claimed Monday that he is protected from prosecution. He cannot be tried as he is an elected constitutional head of government in the British overseas territory.

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Natalio Wheatley (acting premier of British Virgin Islands), confirmed that Fahie has been replaced.

“I never imagined that the British Virgin Islands leadership would come so quickly or under such circumstances,” Mr Wheatley stated during a Facebook Live.

“There is a lot of work ahead, and the fate for the British Virgin Islands is in jeopardy.”

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Premier convicted of drug smuggling

Continue reading:

How US law enforcement stung premier in drugs probe

Although he was nominated by the country’s leadership body, Wheatley must be officially appointed and wait for Fahie to resign before he can assume his office.

Fahie was already being accused of widespread corruption, and an investigation into widespread government fraud had already been launched.

Although the review was not directly related to the arrest or charges of the premier, it found that millions of dollars were used on projects that were abandoned or of no public benefit.

Governor John Rankin is the representative of the Queen to the islands. He said that the report concluded that the current situation in which elected officials are deliberately disregarding the tenets and good governance will continue unabated unless “the most urgent, drastic steps are taken.”

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