RocaNews - 🌊 Jake from S̶t̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶F̶a̶r̶m̶  FBI

May 2, 2022

Hope you all had a great weekend — at least a better one than Andrew Fahie (more below). Unlike McDonald's amid our pleas to bring back the McRib, we are listening to your feedback. We are introducing a rotational "fun" section at the bottom of the newsletter. Today we bring back Games.

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Key Stories

Potential Illegal Searches

  • The FBI may have conducted millions of illegal searches of Americans’ data between Dec. 2020 and 2021, according to a new US government report
  • It said Americans may have been unintentionally caught up in the FBI's investigation of national security threats, and of Russian hackers in particular
  • The FBI was acting under a post-9/11 law that allows surveillance of “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism
  • Contact info, social security numbers, and collected communications were among the data examined
The FBI conducted 3.9M searches while attempting to investigate and prevent threats to national security, the report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found. Many of these may have been illegal, although the report also said there was no evidence of deliberate privacy violations.

British Virgin Islands Leader Arrested

  • US officers arrested Andrew Fahie, the elected leader of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), in Miami, on drug trafficking and money laundering charges
  • The BVI, a UK-controlled archipelago in the Caribbean, are known for sheltering businesses: 370,000+ companies are registered there, many because of lax business reporting rules
  • Court documents said that Fahie allowed DEA agents posing as drug traffickers to ship cocaine from Colombia to the US via the BVI. The docs said Fahie used a calculator to confirm his cut: $7.8M
  • The BVI Ports Authority’s leader was also arrested
Get the full story in today's Wrap!

DHS Establishes Disinformation Board

  • The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is establishing a “Disinformation Governance Board” to prevent the spread of what it deems misinformation
  • The department's secretary said the board’s goal is to use the DHS’ resources to fight misinformation. It will be led by “disinformation expert” Nina Jankowicz
  • When asked about it, President Biden’s press secretary said, “It sounds like the objective of the board is to prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling around the country in a range of communities. I’m not sure who opposes that effort”
  • Few other details have been released
The news emerged during a congressional hearing, when the DHS secretary was asked how the department was fighting fake news among minority communities. The DHS refused an Associated Press interview request about the board.

Pay + Benefits Increase at Records

  • US companies spent 4.5% more on their workers in the first quarter of 2022 vs. the first quarter of 2021
  • The increase, which represents higher spending on pay and benefits, is the biggest jump since the government began tracking these figures in 2001
  • The increase is a result of more employee demands post-pandemic, and a labor shortage, which is giving workers more bargaining power
  • The record gains don’t outpace inflation, though, and data suggest that when accounting for inflation, private sector wages and salaries have fallen 3.3% over the last year
Another factor pushing up salaries and wages is that people are switching jobs at faster rates, and job-switching is linked to bigger and more frequent bay pumps.

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Do you prefer animated or real-life comedy TV shows?


Today's Question:
How do you react to stories about the government potentially illicitly spying on you?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports
  • No royal treatment: Netflix has dropped an animated series created by Meghan Markle and her Archewell Productions amid larger cutbacks
  • But not all bad Netflix news! Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher will join the the Netflix That '70s Show rebootThat '90s Show
  • Big boy: After the Ravens scooped him in the 4th round of the draft, Australia’s Daniel Faalele became the NFL's heaviest player (384lbs/174kg) 

  • Hater of Omaha: Warren Buffett said of bitcoin, "If you offered [all the bitcoin in the world] to me for $25 I wouldn’t take it"
  • Musk vs Bezos heats up: Amazon plans to challenge SpaceX's Starlink network with Project Kuiper. It aims to launch 3,236 satellites
  • Whole lotta money: Jeff Bezos lost $20B of his fortune in one day after Amazon's stock tanked on its dismal earnings report

  • The family of the Hotel Rwanda hero has filed a $400M lawsuit against Rwanda for luring him back home for abduction and torture
  • Not a Barbie world: Aqua's hit 1997 song "Barbie Girl" will not appear in the 2023 Barbie film starring Margot Robbie
  • An astrophysicist captured a sweet pic of Saturn, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter lined up behind the moon in the dawn sky over Rome
  • Suicide squad: The US is sending a shipment of "suicide drones" to Ukraine. The Jupiter Ghost detonates a warhead when it strikes

Roca Wrap

A Newsletter Exclusive

The last year hadn’t been easy for Andrew Fahie – the premier, or elected leader, of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). But on April 28, things appeared to be paying off.

After attending a conference in Miami, Fahie boarded a jet where he was shown several designer bags loaded with $700,000 cash. It was the first installment of many he was due to receive for a deal he had allegedly cut with a Mexican drug trafficker: Fahie would allow them to store their 3,000kg shipment of Colombian cocaine in the BVI until it was ready for export to the US. In exchange, he’d receive 12% of the profits. 

If the trial shipment was successful, it would be repeated once or twice a month moving forward. Fahie would make up to $7.8M per shipment. 

Except none of it was real: The drug trafficker was a US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) informant, and the operation was a DEA sting. After inspecting the cash on the jet, US agents arrested Fahie. “Why am I getting arrested, I don’t have any money or drugs,” he said, according to court documents. 

Hours later, the head of the BVI government’s Port Authority was shown the same cash on the same plane. She was arrested as well. 


Fahie was born in the BVI in 1970. A high school math teacher known for playing the organ in church and opening government meetings with prayers, he was first elected to government in 1999. He was widely popular, and had a reputation for beating anyone he challenged in an election. In 2017, he became premier of the BVI.  

In January 2021, though, the UK launched an investigation into Fahie’s BVI government, alleging widespread corruption, poor governance, government complicity with drug trafficking, and more. The investigation had been underway since, with a report due in June. 

Throughout, Fahie had stated that the allegations were overblown. “There is no evidence…showing that the BVI is corrupt,” he said in November. He called the allegations “irresponsible” and “unsubstantiated,” while calling on the relevant UK government official to apologize.

As Fahie was making those statements, a US DEA informant posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel was meeting in the BVI with drug traffickers linked to Hezbollah, a US-designated terrorist group. One of them claimed to “own” the director of BVI’s ports; another said he could schedule an introduction to Fahie’s head of security. 

That meeting set the stage for an increasingly elaborate sting, which eventually led to the DEA informant meeting with Fahie himself. According to court documents, in one meeting, Fahie used a calculator to see how much his 12% cut would make off a 3,000kg shipment: $7.8M. In another conversation, Fahie told the informant he “believed in witches and magic and how to read lies in people.”

The sting came to its climax on the jet in Miami last week. 


The UK and DEA said there was no link between the British investigation and the American one, but the UK took Fahie’s arrest as an opportunity to release its BVI report early. 

Governance in the BVI is “appalling,” the report concluded, and “almost everywhere the principles of good governance…are ignored.” It called for suspending the BVI’s elected government for up to 2 years, and placing the territory under direct British control.

Among the report's allegations were that $36.5M of pandemic funds for struggling families went to political allies, $88M of funds for infrastructure projects were misused, and many millions more were wasted through corruption – including a new wall at a high school that cost $917,000 because of corrupt contracts. 

Fahie, the head of BVI ports, and another BVI official are now in US jails awaiting hearings. The BVI remain as beautiful as ever, but they look like paradise no more.  

If you have thoughts, let us know at!
Future Wrap ideas or requests? Let us know!

wave Games

Can you remember the company's original (or previous) name? For example, Meta = Facebook.
  1. Alphabet
  2. WW
  3. World Wrestling Entertainment
  4. KFC
Find out the answer at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse
Yesterday's Poll:

Which famous chef/food personality do you like better? 
Guy Fieri: 45.5%
Gordon Ramsay: 54.5%

Yesterday's Question:

Just 20 Questions! Check out Friday's newsletter for the responses. 
Games Answer(s):
1. Google (technically, BackRub originally) 2. Weight Watchers 3. World Wrestling Federation 4. Kentucky Fried Chicken

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Final Thoughts 

Thanks for reading the Current and we hope you all had better weekends than Andrew Fahie did. Time to attack the week!

- Max and Max
Thanks for reading! 
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