PROVIDENCIALES: Former Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Premier, Michael Misick, was arrested at the Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro by Brazilian Federal Police last week.
Neil Smith, the spokesperson for TCI Governor, Ric Todd, said Misick was arrested last Friday as a result of an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol and further warrant issued by the Brazilian Supreme Court.
“His arrest was sought in relation to an on-going investigation by the TCI into issues arising from Sir Robin Auld’s 2008-09 Commission of Inquiry relating to alleged corruption and maladministration,” said Smith.
Misick was implicated in large-scale corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands which led to the partial suspension of the British Overseas Territory’s constitution and the imposition of direct rule by Britain in 2009.
He faces several “serious charges” relating to corruption and maladministration in the Turks and Caicos Islands, according to a statement from the TCI Special Investigation and Prosecution Team.
At a press conference at the federal police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro last week, Orlando Moreira Nunes, federal deputy head of Interpol/Rio de Janeiro, said Misick was alone at the time of his arrest, offered no resistance and looked surprised.
“Information is that he arrived in Rio in October 2011 and resided in the Zona Sul, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon,” said Nunes.
Nunes said Misick was reportedly en route to Sao Paulo, seeking advisers and lawyers in order to stay legally in Brazil.
Nunes requested that Misick be remanded into custody because of his importance.
“We wish to discredit the idea that big criminals can come to Rio and live peacefully,” he said.
Nunes said that Misick would be interrogated, and then be taken to the Ary Franco prison, which has been described as one of the worst prisons in the world. In June, a United Nations panel recommended the immediate closure of the prison, citing detailed cases of torture and other inmate abuse and characterizing the cells as filthy and bug-infested.
British authorities said they were “grateful” to their Brazilian counterparts for their cooperation, and are now seeking to extradite Misick to the TCI.