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Former BVI Port Authority Director Sentenced in Drug Smuggling Scheme

BVI Tortola
Former director of the BVI Ports Authority was sentenced to jail for her role in a cocaine smuggling plot (BVI file photo)

Published Jun 21, 2024 6:17 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

A judge in a Miami, Florida court on Thursday, June 20, sentenced the former BVI Ports Authority Managing Director Oleanvine Pickering-Maynard to jail for her role in a drug smuggling and money laundering scheme that also involved the now convicted and former BVI Premier Andrew Fahie. Maynard had agreed to plead guilty along with her son Kadeem Maynard, and in exchange for her testifying against the former premier, received a reduced sentence.

They were all arrested in April 2022 after months of plotting a scheme that would have brought shipments of up to 3,000 kg of cocaine at a time into the port of Tortola. They believed they were speaking with a member of Mexico's notorious Sinaloa Cartel, who was offering them half a million dollars and 12 percent of the take in exchange for docking the ship to give it legitimacy before proceeding to the United States. The individual turned out to be a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration informant who met Maynard. She later introduced the individual to Fahie.

Maynard had been named to the position of Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority in 2021 with a charge to increase efficiencies through technology implementation and facility upgrades. The port is a popular cruise destination reporting more than 720,000 passengers annually as well as handling 180,000 ferry passengers each year. The cargo operation handles more than 300,000 tonnes annually. She took over at a time when the port and island were attempting to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maynard pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to import more than five kilos of cocaine. The money laundering and racketeering charges were dropped. During the court case, she called the former premier “a little crook,” while he was caught on tape bragging about his role in smuggling cases. He had been a prominent politician since 1999 and served as premier between 2019 and 2022.

During the trial, his lawyers contended he was being politically framed. He said he had a minor role and that Maynard was the one responsible for getting the licenses for the ships smuggling the cocaine. The jury convicted Fahie and he is awaiting sentencing currently scheduled for August. He faces at least 10 years in jail.

Maynard, age 62, was sentenced to nine years and four months, below the recommendation to the court of 11 years, three months and 14 years. She will also have five years of supervised release. Her son Kadeem Maynard was sentenced in November 20223 to 57 months in jail.