The premier of the British Virgin Islands has been arrested on “charges related to drugs trafficking and money laundering”, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said.
Andrew Fahie was detained in Miami, Florida.
His was held as part of an operation led by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to a statement from British Virgin Islands governor John Rankin.
“I realise this will be shocking news for people in the territory and I would call for calm at this time,” Mr Rankin said.
Fahie was arrested at an airport after DEA agents posed as cocaine traffickers from the Mexican Sinaloa cartel, the Miami Herald reported.
Ms Truss said she was “appalled by these serious allegations”.
She added in a statement: “This afternoon, the premier of the British Virgin Islands, Andrew Fahie, was arrested in the United States on charges related to drugs trafficking and money laundering.
“This arrest demonstrates the importance of the recently concluded Commission of Inquiry.
“I have spoken to the governor of the BVI and he will be holding an emergency meeting of the territory’s cabinet later today.
“He will set out next steps tomorrow, including urgent publication of the inquiry’s report.”
The DEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.