Michael Misick, the premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, has resigned following an investigation that found clear signs of corruption in the British overseas territory's government, media reports say.
I will tender my resignation, effective today, to allow the new PNP party leader to become Premier, the 43-year-old Prime Minister Misick announced Monday.
Britain plans to dissolve the cabinet and legislature of the territory southeast of the Bahamas following the enquiry, prompting accusations that civil servants in London failed to scrutinize a series of deals.
The Foreign Office has said it will suspend much of the islands' constitution and hand power over to the resident British governor, Gordon Wetherell, ending Misick's six-year tenure as Premier.
Misick, who denies selling Crown land for personal gain, resigned a week earlier than expected. He said earlier he would step down because he had lost the public's support.
His party was accused of misusing public funds and profited from the sale of government-owned land in controversial deals, including one to build a Dubai-style luxury resort off the coast of the islands in the West Indies. One saw an East European oligarch acquire land worth millions of pounds for an annual rent of just £170.
The Turks and Caicos Islands, famous as a tourist destination and offshore financial center, lie about 600 miles southeast of Miami near the Bahamas with a population of 30,000.
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