Norman Saunders (politician)

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Norman B. Saunders (born 1943) is a former politician from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He was the island territory's Chief Minister until March 1985, when he was arrested in Miami. In July 1985 he was sentenced to eight years in prison on conspiracy charges related to drug smuggling.[1]

Initial political career[edit]

Saunders was Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos in 1985 for the Progressive National Party.[2]

Conspiracy conviction[edit]

Saunders was arrested in March 1985 together with Commerce and Development Minister Stafford Missick. Saunders was alleged by the US Drug Enforcement Administration to have accepted $30,000 from undercover agents to ensure safe passage of drugs by permitting safe stopover refuelling of drug flights from Colombia to the United States. Video evidence showed Saunders accepting $20,000 from an agent. Saunders was convicted in July 1985 of conspiracy, though he was acquitted of the charge of conspiring to import drugs into the United States (which Missick was also convicted of). He was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined $50,000.[3]

Later political career[edit]

In January 1995 Saunders was elected to the Parliament by just six votes. His former party, the Progressive National Party, had disowned him, forcing him to run as an independent.[3]


  1. ^ "Turks and Caicos attorney charged in government corruption case". Fox News. Associated Press. September 20, 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. ^ Nordheimer, Jon (March 6, 1985). "HEAD OF ISLES NEAR BAHAMAS ACCUSED OF DRUG PLOT". New York Times. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b Griffith, Ivelaw L. (May 1, 1997). "Illicit Arms Trafficking, Corruption, and Governance in the Caribbean". Penn State International Law Review. 15 (3). pp. 495–6.
Preceded by
Oswald Skippings
Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands
Succeeded by
Nathaniel Francis