Despite the shame and negative attention the BVI endured in the wake of the arrest of former premier Andrew Fahie, the territory must do all it can to uphold its reputation as a top financial services jurisdiction.
That’s the position taken by Minister for Financial Services, Labour & Trade Lorna Smith, who was recently asked how she plans to prevent further damage to the BVI’s reputation when Fahie
goes to trial in the US in July.
Smith also added that the Virgin Islands
stands ready to respond if allegations are levied during the upcoming Fahie
“That matter of Mr Fahie
’s trial is one for the US courts to determine and it is for us as a jurisdiction to make sure that we continue to uphold our reputation as a leading jurisdiction,” Smith stated. “We will respond if there are allegations. But as I’ve said before, this is a matter for the US courts and not for the BVI.”
was arrested in the US in April 2022 after a months-long sting operation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA alleges that he was conspiring to traffic cocaine from the BVI to the United States.
The arrest sent shockwaves globally and brought unwanted negative attention to the territory. Locally, it paved the way for the early release of a damning Commission of Inquiry
report by the UK government, which threatened to take power from elected representatives.
Still, most elected representatives have been careful not to speak on Fahie
’s arrest in detail although most have admitted that the arrest of the former premier did much damage to the BVI’s international image.