Aletho News


Former colony resists direct UK rule

The acting premier of the British Virgin Islands, Dr. Natalio Wheatley.
Samizdat | May 1, 2022

The acting premier of the British Virgin Islands has voiced deep “concerns” over London’s plans to assume direct governance of the Caribbean territory, following the arrest of its leader in a US drug sting operation, and a highly-critical report into alleged systemic corruption.

On Friday, shortly before the premier of the British Virgin Islands, Andrew Fahie, appeared before a US judge on charges of cocaine smuggling and money laundering, a commission of inquiry led by Judge Sir Gary Hickinbottom hurriedly published its final report, urging the UK to dissolve the islands’ elected government, suspend their constitution, and impose direct rule for at least two years.

“What this would mean in real terms is that there would no longer be elected representatives who represent the people of the districts and the territory in the house of assembly where laws are made for our society,” said Natalio Wheatley, who assumed the post of acting premier after Fahie’s arrest.

London already dispatched a Foreign Office minister, Amanda Milling, to meet the territory’s Governor James Rankin and other senior figures and discuss the terms of direct rule, ahead of a formal decision expected next week.

The acting BVI premier acknowledged “very serious matters highlighted in the report, which spanned successive Administrations,” and did not question the British Crown representative’s authority and responsibility to maintain order – but said the proposed reforms “can be achieved without the partial or full suspension of the constitution,” under already existing emergency powers.

“I urge you the public to read the report with an objective eye in terms of strengthening our systems of Government under a democratic framework of governance, as opposed to draconian measures that would set back the historical constitutional progress we have made as a people.”

Hickinbottom’s commission was established in 2021, amid claims of corruption and wasteful government spending – as well as rumors that the island leadership was engaging in drug trafficking. According to The Guardian, the British government was aware of the US undercover investigation, and decided to “rush out” the 1,000-page Hickinbottom report after Fahie was arrested.

Named by Christopher Columbus, the Virgin Islands are divided between the UK, the US and the US territory of Puerto Rico. Some 35,000 BVI residents have been British citizens since 2002. While they enjoy a limited self-governance under a 2007 constitution, the string of islands is officially designated as one of the British overseas territories, called crown colonies prior to 1983.

April 30, 2022 - Posted by | Civil Liberties | ,


  1. I have known a drugs trafficker well enough to know that he was not making things up. He was always warned before a raid took place, which must have been very frustrating to the British police.

    My conclusion: Andrew Fahie is a competitor to the CIA.

    In stark contrast to the cocaine snorting ZZelensky who receives both money and weapons from western countries and can appear in front of their parliaments.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Balthasar Gerards | April 30, 2022 | Reply

  2. If the Prime Minister had embezzled funds from the government of the British Virgin Islands, or murdered someone while on vacation in the US, would there be any report recommending dissolution of the government and suspension of its constitution? My guess would be no. A criminal act by an individual is a criminal act by an individual, unless proven otherwise. No one is suggesting that the entire government was trafficking drugs.


    Comment by curmudgeon49 | May 1, 2022 | Reply

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