Police have launched a major investigation following the seizure of approximately $3 million worth of illegal drugs found aboard the yacht Ecstasy, which is owned by Goddard Enterprises Limited.
Official sources this afternoon told Barbados TODAY the yacht returned to Barbados from Grenada over the weekend with its captain Chris Rogers, a non-executive director with Goddard’s Enterprises, and chairman of that company and head of the Barbados Private Sector Association, Charles Herbert, among those aboard the luxury vessel.
Acting on a tip-off, the yacht was searched by customs officials yesterday and the contraband subsequently discovered.
It is understood that both Herbert and Rogers have spent the last 24 hours between District A and Oistins police stations assisting members of the Drug Squad with their probe. Herbert slept at District ‘A’ Police Station last night.
Barbados TODAY has been informed that police are also questioning a third person of interest who is alleged to have been hired to work on the yacht and might be able to provide additional information related to the contraband.
Up to the time of publication, no charges had been brought against anyone aboard the yacht but sources close to the investigation stated these could be imminent. The sources told Barbados TODAY that all parties who were on the yacht could be held responsible for the contraband under the doctrine of common enterprise if no one admitted to knowledge of the drugs being on the yacht.
“This is a private yacht belonging to Goddards. It is not a vessel that every Tom, Dick and Harry off the streets can just board and have the run of it. So those on board would have to provide answers,” a police source stated on condition of anonymity.
A media release from the Royal Barbados Police Force earlier today said members of the Drug Squad discovered a quantity of marijuana on the yacht about 1 p.m. yesterday and that “three crew members” were assisting with the investigations.
“On Monday 23rd July 2018 about 1 p.m., members of the Royal Barbados Police Force’s Drug Squad unit conducted an operation on board a Barbados registered vessel at the Bridgetown Port, St Michael.
“As a result of that operation, a quantity of marijuana was found. Three crew members are currently assisting police with investigations,” the release said without naming the vessel, those on board or the value of the confiscated drugs.
It was not immediately known when the luxury vessel left Barbados, or if it made any stops other than in Grenada.
Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith yesterday reported that drug-related offences were responsible for 18.7 per cent of crimes committed during the first half of this year.
Meanwhile, it was on April 5 of this year that the owner of a trucking company and a refrigeration technician employed at the Bridgetown Port were arrested after nearly $2 million worth of marijuana was discovered in a vehicle at the port.
The businessman, Graham Bradley Johnson, 35, of Mount View, St Lucy, was jointly accused with Norris Rohan Jackson, a 43-year-old port worker, of Manning Village, St Michael, of possession, possession with intent to supply, possession with intent to traffic and conspiracy to traffic 465.74 pounds of cannabis, with a street value of over $1.8 million.
The driver was reportedly trying to leave the port with a large amount of drugs, according to one employee, who also suggested at the time that at least one of the workers might have been under surveillance previously on suspicion of being involved in illicit activity.