British Virgin Islands: UK Minister Dispatched For Governance Talks
After an inquiry advocated for the reinstatement of UK rule, the UK government dispatched a minister to the British Virgin Islands. Andrew Fahie, the leader of the overseas territory, was detained in the United States for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering.
Following his detention, a report authored by a British court was released, advising that due to corruption concerns, direct control be imposed from London. However, the BVI’s acting leader has stated that he opposes the UK assuming control.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are a British overseas territory in the Caribbean, east of Puerto Rico, with a population of over 35,000 people and more than 40 islands.
It is governed as a parliamentary democracy, with the governor, who is selected by the UK government and represents the Queen, serving as the head of the elected government.
Profile Of The British Virgin Islands
- Review whether the UK should reintroduce the Virgin Islands rule.
- In a US cocaine sting, the Premier of the British Virgin Islands was arrested.
- An investigation into corruption in the British Virgin Islands has been initiated.
Amanda Milling, the minister for overseas territories, will visit the territory on Saturday for talks with BVI governor John Rankin and other senior people, according to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Following the meetings, she said, the UK government would explain the next stages for the island’s governance.
Mr Rankin, who is expected to take over as governor of the territory, has stated that the best interests of the BVI’s population are his first focus.
Acting Premier Natalio Wheatley, on the other hand, has stated that the territory opposes any attempt by London to impose direct rule.
“What this would entail in practice is that there would be no more elected representatives from the districts and territories in the House of Assembly, where our society’s laws are established,” he explained.”
“There would also be no government ministers to promote public priorities or a cabinet to approve policies. All of this power would be concentrated in the governor’s hands.”
He told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight that the BVI could handle governance issues without relying on UK direct rule and that he did not believe the people of the BVI wanted the constitution suspended.
“Every Country In The World, Including The United Kingdom, Faces Governance Issues,” He Remarked.
Mr Wheatley said he had had fruitful discussions with Ms Milling and expected them to continue when she came in the territory on Saturday, though he warned that some of the discussions would be “uncomfortable.”
The islands’ dilemma came to a head-on Thursday when it was revealed that Mr Fahie had been arrested in Miami by the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
He was arrested alongside Oleanvine Maynard, the head of the BVI ports, whose son was also arrested in connection with the investigation.
After appearing via video connection in a Florida court on Friday, they were charged with cocaine trafficking and money laundering conspiracies, according to US authorities. They will be held in custody until Wednesday’s bond hearing.
Mr Fahie is accused of agreeing to a $700,000 (£560,000) payment with an undercover informant to allow traffickers to use BVI ports, according to allegations filed in the US.
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