Acting Manager at Jonas Browne & Hubbard, Philbert Lewis has declined to comment on reports in Barbados that the Chairman of the company’s majority shareholder, Goddards Enterprises Ltd has been slapped with a drug charge in Bridgetown.
Businessman Arthur Charles Herbert is one of three suspects who were arrested and slapped with drug related charges, after 267 pounds of marijuana was confiscated on board the luxury yacht ‘Ecstasy,’ at the Bridgetown Port last week Monday.
Information reaching THE NEW TODAY is that 62-year-old Herbert, who is also the head of the Barbados Private Sector Association, along with 55-year-old Walter Oneal Prescod, a sailor and 56-year-old Christopher Glenn Rogers, a company director appeared before the Barbados District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court last week Friday on joint charges of possession, indictable charges of possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation of 267 lbs of cannabis with an estimated street value of $534,160.
The yacht was returning to Barbados after being docked at the Port Louis marina in the Lagoon in St. George’s for several months undergoing repair work.A police source in Grenada told this newspaper that the yacht was under surveillance by local law enforcement officials since May based on intelligence information gathered.
Speculation is rife that the marijuana came into Grenada from neighbouring St. Vincent & The Grenadines for transshipment to Barbados.
According to a local police source, lawmen in the various islands have been stepping up their surveillance work for illegal drugs since the annual Cropover in Barbados and Spicemas in Grenada are the peak times of the year for drug dealers to import and sell “their goods”.
THE NEW TODAY contacted Lewis on Tuesday for comment on the issue involving the head of the company’s majority shareholder, which acquired a 35% shareholding in Hubbards in 2003, which was increased to 52% in 2012.
Lewis declined to comment and directed this newspaper to the Barbados-based Goddard’s Enterprises, who he said will make all official statements on the development.
Hubbard’s is a leading private sector company in Grenada involved in the retail and wholesale business.
In a statement issued by Goddard, which has been circulating in Barbados media, the company said that Herbert “still remains the Chairman of the Group. Mr. William Putnam, the Deputy Chairman of the GEL Board of Directors, will be acting in the role of Chairman until such time as Charles Herbert can resume his official role as Chairman of the Goddard Group”.
“Goddard’s continues to support the outstanding work of Police in their efforts to bring the investigation to a timely close”, the release added.
The three drug suspects appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court last week Friday July 27 where Rogers and Herbert, were released on $400, 000 bail with two sureties.
According to reports out of Barbados, Prescod, who has a previous drug conviction had at that time failed to make bail in the amount of $450,000 for lack of a surety.
Up to press time, THE NEW TODAY was unable to confirm whether he has been released.
It is understood that Prescod was jailed 12 years ago in March 2001 after pleading guilty to importation and possession of 250 pounds of marijuana in March 3, 2000.
Herbert told reporters in Barbados after receiving bail that he was an “innocent” man but did not speak to the evidence in the case nor his ability to continue as Chairman of the Goddard Group.
The drug suspects are scheduled to reappear in court in Barbados on November 6.