BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Two prominent businessmen, including one who heads the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA), were today each granted BDS$400,000 (US$200,000) bail when they appeared in court charged with possession, possession with intent to supply and trafficking of 276 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of BDS$534,160 (US$267,080).
Chairman of the Goddard Group, Arthur Charles Herbert, 62, along with another director at the company, Christopher Glenn Rogers, were able to leave the court after securing sureties, with the former insisting that he and his co-accused were innocent of all the charges.
He said the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) Drug Squad and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had handled the matter “in a professional way” and had worked exceedingly hard over the last four days “to assemble evidence related to this case”.
“All of the evidence that they have clearly supports our innocence. We are therefore shocked that cases were brought against us, and we can only assume that the people who made the decision lack the courage to stand by the truth that they themselves have discovered and that they are sworn to uphold,” Herbert told reporters after emerging from the District “A” Magistrates Court.
“I want to call on the Director of Public Prosecutions to urgently review the evidence that has been collected and to preserve the integrity of the Police Force in bringing these charges against us.”
A third accused – a 55-year-old sailor Walter Oneal Prescod – was remanded to prison until next Monday, after he was unable to find sureties to secure his BDS$450,000 (US$225,000) bail.
The three men were taken into custody on Monday when the drugs were discovered by the RBPF Drug Squad on a boat owned by Goddard Enterprises, Ecstasy, which they were on.
Following news of the trio’s detention, Goddard Enterprises issued a statement stating that deputy chairman William Putnam would act in the position of chairman until such time as Herbert could resume that role.
Herbert said today he was not sure when or if he would return to the post.
“I have to review whether I am even able to do so while a charge of drug trafficking hangs over my head and challenges my credibility. Any decision that I make would be in the interest of the company that I represent, and if my continuing harms them, then I will not continue,” he said.
Herbert, who was elected as chairman of the BPSA in August 2016, said he would also resign from that position if he “hurt the credibility of the private sector”.